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Top Survival Priority: Water or Shelter?

Top Survival Priority: Water or Shelter?

Where should you be setting your priorities in a survival situation?

Survivalist and preppers understand that the essentials must be covered in order to sustain them should there be a catastrophic event. Sure, planning has gone into making a bug out bag and there have been some skills which have been honed in order to achieve this, but which element should be the top of the top? Should you focus on your food or your water as your main priority?

The Easy Answer

Focus on Shelter.shelter2 This may come as a shock to some people, but the reality of the situation is that you have already acquired your water for the first 5 days. Granted, this will not sustain you for the long run and you will need to find a water source, but if you have done your prepping and planning strategically (meaning that you have not waited until a catastrophic event has occurred) you already have located a sustainable water source.

What would cause you to need to find alternate shelter from your plan?

Your disaster preparedness plan should have a definitive location for your shelter and your water. However, the area can become compromised based upon several factors. These can include:

  • Military presence around your location is too strong – There is a theory that the closer you are to danger the safer you will be. This is not true in a catastrophic event. If your shelter is too close to a military base of operations, you will more than likely be found and seized.
  • Other Preppers have acquired the spot – Yes, you could fight to the death over the area, but this is really not the way that you want to start out your survival. The only way that I would say that you should duke out the survival spot is if you have erected a structure such as a bunker and another person has tried to occupy it.
  • Catastrophic Situations have unpredictably made the area insecure or unyielding – In a catastrophic event you will not be able to predict with certainty how the terrain will be affected. Should you find that the area in your disaster plan is unsuitable, you will need to go to another location.

Shelter should be sought over water as the environment is going to be harsh. As you are looking for an area in which to live, simply finding a spot that has water is not going to be sufficient. You need to ensure that there is a food source, water, a means of getting out quick if needed, tactical advantages, vantage points, the proximity to dangers, egresses, natural lighting, and the condition of the soil (just to name a few).  Now, keep in mind that during a catastrophic event, you will be battling against the terrain as well as everyone else to find a spot. The best solution: Find multiple spots prior to an event occurring.

The more difficult answer

Where shelter is a priority and will need to be found in order to keep you from over exertion, dehydration, as well as provide the basic functionality of a shelter, water may be the top priority depending upon the conditions. Should an event occur and the heat index rise to a substantial level you will need to find water and find it quickly. Granted, you will need to find a shelter to keep from getting sunburned and dehydrated, but without water you will die anyway.

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You should not spend more than 2 days looking for shelter. If you have to think of water vs shelter and you have a 5 day pack, you need to ensure that you will be able to allot time to finding water. If after the end of 2 days you have not found s sustainable shelter, you will need to just make do with what is available and seek out some sustainable water. You do NOT want to totally deplete your bug out bags water prior to finding a renewable source of water.

It’s all about the location

Finally, when you are thinking about your survival plan consider where your plan is located. Are you depending on wilderness survival? If so, you will need to focus on the shelter first, as water is more abundant in the wilderness (usually). Are you planning for urban survival? Water will be your main priority as there will be plenty of abandon buildings and structures which you can choose to take shelter in. Look for residences with external water heaters as a quick way to gain access to stored and safe water.

Be prepared and you will not have to prioritize

Where you cannot fully plan for the worst situation, you can be prepared to survive. Preppers and survivalist who have a plan and a backup plan or two should have a few locations selected in various locations which provide ample shelter as well as have a natural water source. Bug out bags should be equipped with tarps and water to provide for immediate shelter and water if needed, but these should be understood to be temporary solutions. Bags which have water straws and water filters can maximize the time that a person can look for a shelter or a route to their bug out location. Do not limit yourself to one plan or have your location around one main river (For example: you would not want to have 15 locations picked along the Mississippi River. If the river becomes polluted to the point of not being able to use it you have 15 useless locations). Diversify your locations around several natural water supplies to maximize your potential for one of the locations to be functional in a catastrophic event.

It is in the best interest of the prepper/survivalist to perform checks on their shelter and water locations. Revamp your plan if you find weaknesses in your plan or if the shelter and water desirability change (for example a 4 lane highway is constructed cutting you off from accessing your shelter without compromising your safety). Prepare, plan, re-plan, and you should survive.

Things I Wish I Knew About Water Purification Before I First Started

I’m sure you’ve heard stories of solo hikers or bikers that manage to get themselves lost in the wilderness, and then, after battling with nature and its extremes, they return to civilization because of their will to survive and of course – that handy bottle of water.

We humans can only survive around 3 to 4 days without water, while staying alive without food is much easier, because trying to survive in extreme heat conditions can actually worsen your thirst and your body will start craving more fluids.

While over-hydration is not a good thing either, you will still always need a certain amount of water in your body so that your organs can function fluently.

When you find yourself lost in the wild or venturing through unknown and tricky terrains, carrying enough water with you can be hard.

This is why water purification methods have been devised by survivalists who understand how important constant access to clean water is when you are traveling off-the-grid.

However, many people are left regretting the fact that they didn’t know ‘enough’ about water purification, before venturing into the wild.

So here are a few pointers that can help you understand water purification to upgrade your survival chances.

Be Conscious About the Water Sources You Choose

Your best option for retrieving pure water is from sources of clear flowing water from areas where there are no people around, no manmade buildings or any obvious signs of pollution.

When you are making your way through the wilderness and you run across a stream or a spring, you should try to fill up as many bottles of water as you have.

Ponds, lakes, & Rivers

You should know that ponds, lakes and rivers are less ideal sources of water since the first two are water bodies that are stagnant, which means that it may have a lot of bacteria, while rivers can often typically be heavily polluted.

Things I Wish I Knew About Water Purification Before I First Started

Be extra careful after the area has experienced any flooding, or if there are population centers or chemical plants operating nearby.

Snow & Ice

As long as this is not frozen seawater, ice and snow are also great and instantly available sources or pure, or at least, clean water in the winter season.

You shouldn’t et ice or snow though, since that lowers your body temperature quite a lot and does not do much to quench your thirst.

You should still purify ice or snow after it has melted, but only as long as it isn’t brown, yellow or black in color. Adding snow to a hot pot and melting it will make for an awful taste.

Filtering & Digging for Clean Water

You can also try to retrieve clean water from mud, dry river beds or any other kinds of low lying terrain.

One thing that I haven’t particularly tried but have heard numerous times about is creating a swamp well which is done by digging up a hole and then trying to shore it up back from the shoreline.

The main concept behind this procedure is trying to find bodies of clean water underground which are usually present in excess around other large bodies of water like oceans or seas.

However, while all of the aforementioned ways of looking for clean water are very useful, sometimes you are stuck with very limited options and the only thing that you can do is look for possible purification methods that can help you.

Also, it is never a good idea to plan a risky trip in water scarce areas, because if you get lost, your survival instincts will be the only thing that can help you stay alive.

Boiling Water

The best way to purify water is through boiling, and it is also the easiest.

All you need is a little bit of equipment along with a camp stove or a campfire.

You should try to bring the water you have to a full boil until you have rolling bubbles as the pot simmers over high heat, and make sure that you let those bubbles roll for at least five minutes to ensure maximum purification.

Then cool it down and drink up!

Purification Pumps or Filtration

When you make a visit to a camping supplies store, you will find a number of different kinds of filters and purifying pumps that actually enables you to clean water almost instantly.

This can easily be done by squeezing water though charcoal or ceramic filters, after which it is treated with chemicals to become safe for drinking.

There are a variety of hi-tech water bottles available that have this process built in as mechanism, so that water can be purified without being pumped from bottle to bottle.

The purification takes place as you suck the water into your mouth through the head of the water bottle. 

Tablets & Drops for Purification

This is a very inexpensive and simple procedure, but the water extracted through this method will not necessarily be the best in taste.

The easiest way of purifying any kind of wild water is simply by dissolving purification drops or tablets in it and then waiting for a few minutes.

You can either use Iodine, which is more common, but potassium permanganate and chlorine can also be highly effective.

You should let the water be for at least 20 minutes after adding these chemicals before you can think of consuming it, and if the taste is unpleasant, use powdered fruit juice mixes to mask the taste.

Clearly Filtered Water Filters Review: Are They Any Good?

Watch this first:

 

Today’s article we will be reviewing the Clearly Filtered water bottles. I am currently testing out three different water filtration bottles from ClearlyFiltered. We’ll be reviewing these three bottles:

Clearly Filtered Athlete Water FilterClearlyFiltered Stainless Water bottle

as well as the one that we’re using as our full time hunting/fishing water bottle.

ClearlyFiltered Canteen

My personal favorite for my day-to-day is the Athlete edition. The reason for that is because it fits great in my hands, fits in my normal everyday carry pack along with fitting in the car’s cup holder perfectly.

My girlfriend was very excited about receiving “The Stainless” as she has always had these types of stainless steel water bottles and really likes them. She’s not too big on prepping/survival so this is kind of an under-the-radar way of getting her prepared for anything and everything.

And the Filtered Canteen is the perfect bottle for hunting/fishing. It holds more water and if you hunt, you know that you want to stay stationary as much as possible so this holds enough water for ya. Plus, it’s green and blends in great with the woods.

I’d recommend keeping the Canteen in your bug out bag (it comes with a little leash that can attach to your bag, all of these bottles do and I REALLY like that about them)

 

Now you’re probably thinking…. sure they look good, but how do they work? Well here’s the kicker…. they freakin kick ass and I’ve tried out a bunch of different water filter bottles.

 

Here’s one of the charts I found that compares with some of the other water filters/bottles.

 

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As preppers, we want something that is going to last and this will last 100+ gallons.

Although I have found that people say it’s actually much closer to 200+ gallons, I feel that for legal reasons they have to put 100+ to keep everything legal.

After testing out a few of the other types of water filters, I really like the Clearly Filtered bottles and the company is really standing behind their statements and research.    

All in all, I really like the ease of their filter. With many of the filtered bottles I’ve tested you end up expending a lot of energy sucking the water through the filter in order to actually get the drink.

To me, that’s a pain in the ass.

With the Clearly Filtered bottles, it’s as easy as drinking normally. The only downside I see with it is that I can’t “gulp or chug” my water and after long hikes/runs I sometimes just want to do that. I guess that’s where the other filters they offer come in handy.

However, as a great day to day and bug out bag essential I would definitely give my highest ratings to the guys over at Clearly Filtered.

A+ review

Top 3 Water Purification Water Bottles

We wanted to create a Top 3 water purification water bottles list for you so you can learn a little bit more about the companies behind your favorite water purification bottles.

It can be difficult to choose which is the right for you and we’ve tried these three and have found that these 3 companies are doing great things not only for survivalists like you and me, but are doing their part to make the world a better place.

We simply wanted to put together a short list so you could learn more and make an educated decision on your own on which product you would like to carry with you in your everyday pack and your bug out bags.

Take a few minutes and watch the videos below to make your own decision. We provide you with direct links to buy below the videos to make it easier for you to find each respective product.

1. Clearly Filtered Water Filter


Click Here to Order the Clearly Filtered Water Filter

What makes them different?

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We aren’t satisfied with the options people have when it comes to water. That is why we are committed to coming up with better solutions that will keep you healthy and wont hurt the environment in the process.

The truth is bottled water isn’t good for our bodies, our wallets or for the planet. The faster we get people to realize this the sooner we can start considering better alternatives. Clearly Filtered can help make a positive impact on your health, your finances and our ecosystem. It’s not the only choice, it’s the best choice.

What they’re passionate about:

We are passionate about helping others achieve a healthy lifestyle by ensuring that the water they drink is clean and pure.

Their Mission:

Our mission is to provide clean, safe drinking water to people all over the world.

We believe that clean water is a basic human right and we intend on doing everything that we can to make sure that people don’t go thirsty.

Click Here to Order the Clearly Filtered Water Filter

2. Sawyer Mini Water Filter


Click Here to Order the Sawyer Mini Water Filter

About Sawyer Products

Since 1984, Sawyer Products has offered the best, most technologically advanced solutions for protection against sun, bugs, water & injuries–everything from first aid kits developed for wilderness use to our newest topical insect repellents that use time-released liposome technology.

We’re specifically dedicated to eliminating two of the biggest causes of death in the world: bad water and mosquito bites.

We acquired Coulston Products in 1999, the company that helped develop the use of permethrin, an insect repellent treatment for clothing that provides protection for U.S. troops and outdoor enthusiasts and was adapted for use on mosquito nets now widely used in Africa, saving millions of lives. Sawyer partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) to conduct the underlying studies that led to the widespread use of repellent on mosquito netting. Sawyer now sells the number one brand of permethrin in retail stores.

We are also the proud developers of point-of-use water filters that filter contaminated water to levels cleaner than U.S. bottled water. Developed using advanced kidney dialysis filtration technology, our hollow fiber membrane filters are the fastest, easiest, and most cost efficient way to deliver clean water anywhere. They are small, portable, don’t require chemicals, a power source, or trained operator for use or maintenance.sawyermini

Click Here to Order the Sawyer Mini Water Filter

3. Lifestraw

Click Here to Order a Lifestraw

How it Works

When you purchase any type of LifeStraw® filter, we use part of the funds to distribute LifeStraw® Community institutional water purifiers to schools in Africa. LifeStraw® Community is specifically designed to deliver clean, safe water to school children by removing waterborne pathogens and dirt commonly found in source water.

In 2013 and 2014 we are distributing LifeStraw® Community purifiers to schools in Kenya, which is one of the top 10 countries in the world with the largest population of people without access to safe, clean water. We chose this area for our first program because only 37% of Kenyan schools have access to safe, clean water within 200 meters of the schools grounds.

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We have over 40 full time employees based in Western Province of Kenya who are managing programs. In 2013 and 2014 your purchases of LifeStraw® filters will be directly impacting schools in Bungoma County, a rural area in Western Province. The large-scale distributions will begin in March 2014 and we will be capturing the program throughout its progress using mobile monitoring systems which will be uploaded into a public GIS database easily viewed by the public.

LifeStrawBaner

Click Here to Order a Lifestraw