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Distilling Water from the Sun


Distilling Water from the Sun

Water purification is vital in a survival situation

Understanding the basics of distilling water from the sun could come in very handy in a wilderness survival situation. One of the reasons why a tarp or sheet of plastic sheeting is listed on any good wilderness survival gear list is because either one can be used to collect or distill water from the sun.

sun2This method is especially helpful in areas where it is hot during the day and yet, gets downright cold at night. Even in the driest desert this method of distilling water from the sun can be used to provide water.

The first step in solar water distillation is to dig a hole that’s about three feet across and about 18-24 inches deep. Place a pan or some type of container in which to collect the water in the bottom of the pit. Use the tarp or plastic sheeting cover the hole using rocks around the edges to hold it in place.

tarpsOnce the edges are secured, place a rock in the center of the tarp, loosening the tarp enough so that a cone or depression is created in the center of the tarp. Make sure the lowest point; the point of the “cone” is directly over the collection container in the bottom of the pit.

As the sun heats the surface of the ground and the surrounding air it vaporizes any moisture in the air and soil. This moisture then collects on the underside of the tarp, flowing down the underside of the tarp and dripping into the collection container.

waterIn distilling water from the sun you can’t be in a hurry. It usually takes about 24 hours to produce two cups of water. To speed up the distillation process poisoned water, urine or even salt water can be place in the bottom of the pit away from the collection container. The solar still vaporizes the water content of the undrinkable liquid and deposits drinkable distilled water in the collection container.


Additional Information

Basics of Solar Distilling Understanding the basics of distilling water from the sun could come in very handy...

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