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In “Water, Part 1” in early February, we discussed a couple of water related tools mentioned in “Tahoma’s Hammer”—the waterbob (for lining your bathtub) and the sillcock key (for operating spigots on commercial structures.) Now, in writing this article, I’ve noticed that the waterbobs are completely out-of-stock, which may have something to do with the panic buying happening in early 2020 (“Hey! Where’d all the mother-effin’ toilet paper go?!?!”) I’ll throw up a nice little alternative nobody is talking about at the end of the article.
As I’ve told people all along, my interest was more in writing a compelling novel and less in writing a prepper manual. You won’t find diatribes of technical data regarding collecting, purifying or storing water in my books—but those things are still in there passively. You may recall Carmen and Stu learning how to barter from a couple of army vets. [Spoiler alert: those two hombres make a major reappearance in “Order Divested.”] They wind up taking some additional sports bottles at a hefty price. The real value in their trade, though, was a filter straw. These models by Lifestraw and Frontier Pro are two models that I own and have drank stream water through. I highly recommend them. I don’t just take them hiking—we have them in every vehicle’s Get Home Bag and I carry one in my every day backpack at all times.
While the plastic water bottles they gained were light-years above using the 16 ounce crunchy throw-away bottles, what they should have had was a single-wall stainless steel bottle, like this one for Kleen Kanteen.
“Why single-wall?” you ask. Simply, they can be suspended over your campfire in order to boil water you’ve collected. Double-walled bottles have a vacuum inside them. They won’t transfer heat properly and could possible even explode. While aluminum is okay, manufacturers tend to coat the inside with a protective coating that is meant to keep your water from taking on an aluminum flavor. That coating can off-gas chemical into your water, particularly when heated.
Lastly, Phil had brought out to the range one of these big filters from Katadyn. They can filter up to 39,000 gallons! They can be homemade, but the small savings tends to not be enough to hassle with it. There are varieties in plastic and stainless steel. If you plan on providing water from questionable sources for a long time, you need one of these. Short of suffocating or dying from extreme heat or hypothermic issues, the lack-of clean water will be your greatest enemy. It is a very simple problem to fix for just a few hundred dollars.
PS—let’s say you need to go grab your water from a stream or lake. This cool wheel barrow water bag is a cool idea. It is only thirty gallons, as compared to the waterbob’s 100 gallons.
However, even your strapping young teenage son won’t want to push 250 pounds of water around in a wheel barrow for very long. Still, they fill and empty quite easily. Like I always say: better to have it and not need it than the other way around.
Every few weeks I’ll through up another article in this “Gear of Cascadia Fallen” series. I’ll also include other real-life items that I use and recommend, that Phil or the others would have been using even if the plot didn’t require me to say so.
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