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Get Water From a Hole in the Ground
You can get a steady supply of distilled drinking water simply by digging a hole in the ground, putting a can in the center and covering the hole with some plastic. This technique can produce water as long as there is abundant direct sunlight to cause evaporation. This is by far the easiest way to distill water in the wild, and learning how to apply this method may save your life one day if you ever get stranded. Follow the few steps that are described below in order to put this practical trick to good use.
The first step is to dig a big hole, at least three feet in diameter and three feet deep. Of course, you need a piece of plastic wide enough to cover the hole as well. However, this method will work with smaller dimensions, but smaller setups will produce less water. Once you have dug the hole, place a can directly in the center. You can use any kind of can, as long as you are checking on it periodically to make sure that it is not overflowing.
The next step is to place some moist content in the bottom of the hole. You can add anything from dirty water or urine to moist moss, grass or even dirt. You can also combine everything you got and fill up the hole about a third of the way up. These moist items will contribute to the process of evaporation and increase the amount of water that is distilled. If you are digging in a moist area, there will also be a lot of water locked into the surrounding soil that will contribute to production as well.
Next, place the plastic over the hole, but leave enough slack so it can dip inward. Secure it in place by taking some of the dirt that you dug up and make mounds over the plastic. You can also use rocks if they are available. Then, place a small stone directly in the center that is also above the can. As the light from the sun passes through the plastic, it will heat the moist items inside and evaporation will occur. The plastic will trap the water and the inward cone in the center will funnel it back into the can. The process of evaporation separates impurities in the water, making what is collected in the can safe to drink.
One useful variation of this method is to insert a long plastic tube into the can that reaches beyond the plastic cover. You can use this as a straw instead of having to remove and reset the plastic every time that you want a drink. This simple solar still can turn out to be a life saving resource in a survival situation.
Keep in mind that the amount of water that it can collect will relate to how much moisture is in the ground and the things that you’ve added to the hole. The intensity of the sunlight, outside air temperature and the dew point will also contribute to the amount of water that will be distilled. Consider making more than one of these as a way to fortify your water supply, especially if yields are not what you were anticipating.
How to Make a Healthy and Tasty Fermented Turmeric Soda
Turmeric is a delicious spice as well as a very potent medicine. Incorporating turmeric into your diet can help with a wide-range of ailments and illnesses, and we’ve discussed the benefits in the past. However, making a soda from turmeric and a few other, common ingredients is one of the best and most-delicious ways to give your body a nutritional boost. Best of all, it can be stored over the long-term, and you can make it without having access to a full kitchen. Consequently, it’s a great recipe to have on hand during a period of prolonged self-sufficiency.
First Thing’s First
Before you can make the soda, you need to develop a starter culture in order to be able to kick-off the fermentation process. In this case, the starter comes from a fresh piece of turmeric root. This is probably the only drawback to this recipe as turmeric root isn’t always easy to find in grocery stores. However, once you get your hands on a piece of root, with the skin on, you can start putting this recipe together.
Making the Starter
You don’t need a lot of root, just about a tablespoon worth. It’s essential that you use root with the skin on, because it contains the compounds necessary for fermentation. Add the grated root, along with a teaspoon of non-refined sugar, into a mason jar. Pour in 3 tablespoons of filtered water that does not have any chlorine, and stir until everything is mixed together evenly.
Place a piece of cheesecloth or thin fabric atop the jar and clamp it down with a rubber band. Put the jar in a dark location and let it rest for about 24 hours. Add another round of ingredients and water and repeat. Do the same for about four days or until you start to notice the mixture starting to bubble and the liquid begin to separate. Once it’s frothy and bubbly, you can use it as a starter for your soda.
Ingredients for the Soda
6 inches worth of sliced turmeric root
1 inch of sliced ginger root
½ – ¾ cup of turmeric starter
1 tablespoon of whole peppercorns
1 cup of non-refined sugar
Approximately 2 quarts of filtered or distilled water
Putting Everything Together
Combine the water, turmeric, peppercorns and ginger into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally in order to let the ingredients steep. Remove from heat when finished and let it cool until it’s safe to pour into a gallon mason jar without cracking it. You can also heat the jar ahead of time in order save some time.
Strain the liquid from the solids and pour into the jar. Make sure to leave a few inches of headspace in order to provide room for the gases that will form to expand without creating too much pressure once capped. Cover the jar with a cloth and let it cool to room temperature.
Next, remove the cover and add in the turmeric starter, but save a tablespoon or two if you want to keep regenerating the starter for future batches. Cover the jar with cloth again, tighten with the rubber band and let it rest for about four more days. However, the fermentation time may be shorter in warmer climates. Make sure that you store the jar in a dark place again. Once it is frothy on top, strain the liquid once again to remove as many particles as possible and pour the soda into appropriate glass bottles with latched seals. Store in a cool and dry place until ready to drink.
This soda is a mix of sweet with some bite to it, and it is something that has been used medicinally in various parts of the world for ages. Try it for yourself, and don’t be surprised if you start to enjoy some of its medicinal benefits, especially if you drink it on a regular basis.