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How to Store Water for Long-Term Survival

If you're prepping for the long haul, one thing you can't overlook is water. It's the elixir of life, and when it comes to survival, having a reliable stash can be a game-changer.

5/6/20244 min read

Bottled water
Bottled water

The human body needs a good amount of water to carry out important functions like regulating temperature and keeping cells alive. Normally, a person can go without water for about 3 days. However, there are many factors that can affect this timeframe, such as how much water the body needs and uses. Different things can influence how much water a person needs, like age, physical activity, overall health, height and weight, and gender. What you eat also plays a part in determining how much water you need. For example, if you eat lots of water-rich foods like fruits and veggies, you might need less water compared to someone who eats dry foods like grains and bread. The environment you're in also affects how much water your body uses. If you live in a hot place, you'll lose more water through sweat, but if you're in a climate-controlled environment, you won't lose as much water. Lastly, if you have conditions like diarrhea or vomiting and can't drink water, you'll lose water faster than someone who doesn't have those issues.

Dehydration can set in rapidly, especially in extremely hot weather when a person is sweating profusely. The body relies on water to create sweat, which then evaporates and cools down the body. If there is a lack of water, the body is unable to produce sweat, leading to a dangerous rise in body temperature and putting stress on the body's fluids, including the blood. A decrease in blood volume can result in less blood circulating throughout the body, causing a significant drop in blood pressure. This drop can result in fainting or even death. Additionally, dehydration causes dryness in the mouth and slows down the digestive system. Water plays a crucial role in eliminating toxins from cells and expelling them through urine and breath. Without enough water, the body struggles to remove toxins efficiently, leading to a buildup of harmful substances. This buildup can damage the kidneys, which are responsible for filtering out toxins. If the kidneys fail, the toxins accumulate further, leading to organ failure and ultimately, death.

So, if you're prepping for the long haul, one thing you can't overlook is water. It's the elixir of life, and when it comes to survival, having a reliable stash can be a game-changer. Preparing now for the inevitable later will mean the difference between life and death. Now that you know how important water is for survival, let's discuss how to store water for the long-term.

Top 5 Methods of Storing Water for Long-Term Survival

Water Barrels: Think big and sturdy. Water barrels, usually made of food-grade plastic or metal, are a popular choice. They come in various sizes, from manageable 15-gallon ones to hefty 55-gallon beasts. Just make sure they're sealed tight to keep pesky contaminants out.

Water Tanks: For those with ample space and a serious commitment to survival, water tanks are a godsend. These large containers, often installed underground or above ground, can hold hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water, ensuring you're covered for the long haul.

Water Bricks: Compact and stackable, water bricks are perfect for those with limited space. These durable containers can hold several gallons each and are great for grabbing on the go if you need to bug out.

Cisterns: Embraced by off-gridders and homesteaders alike, cisterns are essentially large underground tanks that collect rainwater. They're eco-friendly, efficient, and can provide a sustainable water source year-round with proper filtration.

Water Pouches: Lightweight and portable, water pouches are ideal for bug-out bags and emergency kits. They may not hold as much as other methods, but they're perfect for staying hydrated on the move.

Top 5 Methods of Purifying Water

Boiling: The OG method. Boiling water kills off harmful pathogens, making it safe for consumption. Just remember to let it cool down before you take a sip!

Filtration: Whether it's a trusty water filter or a DIY setup with charcoal and sand, filtration is a reliable way to remove impurities from water, ensuring it's clean and safe to drink.

Chlorination: Adding a few drops of bleach per gallon of water can effectively kill off bacteria and viruses, making it safe for drinking. Just be sure to use unscented bleach and follow proper dosage guidelines.

UV Purification: Harnessing the power of ultraviolet light, UV purification systems zap away harmful microbes, leaving you with clean, potable water in no time.

Distillation: By heating water to its boiling point and collecting the vapor, distillation removes impurities, minerals, and even heavy metals, giving you pure H2O.

Top 5 Containers for Storing Water

Food-Grade Plastic Containers: Affordable and readily available, food-grade plastic containers are a popular choice for storing water. Just be sure they're BPA-free and specifically designed for long-term water storage.

Stainless Steel Tanks: Durable and corrosion-resistant, stainless-steel tanks are perfect for storing large quantities of water. Plus, they won't impart any funky flavors or odors to your precious H2O.

Concrete Cisterns: Built to last, concrete cisterns can hold thousands of gallons of water and are a staple in off-grid living. Just make sure they're properly sealed to prevent leaks and contamination.

Glass Carboys: If you're wary of plastic or metal, glass carboys are a classy alternative. They're non-reactive and won't leach any chemicals into your water, ensuring it stays pure and pristine.

Collapsible Water Containers: Perfect for camping or bugging out, collapsible water containers are lightweight, space-saving, and ultra-portable. Just fill 'em up, roll 'em out, and you're good to go!

Where to Place Stored Water

When it comes to preserving the freshness of your stored water, location is key. Keep your containers in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Basements, root cellars, or underground storage areas are ideal for maintaining optimal water quality.

Dated and Rotated: Yes or No?

The age-old question: should you date and rotate your stored water? While it's not strictly necessary, it's a good practice to follow. By labeling your containers with the date they were filled and periodically rotating them out, you can ensure you always have fresh, potable water on hand.

And there you have it. With these top tips and tricks, you'll be well-equipped to store water like a pro and ensure your long-term survival.