When water sources become scarce or you find yourself in a survival situation without the normal channels of water present like rivers, lakes, ponds, etc… then advanced water retrieval methods may become necessary. In most climates, water is actually abundant but is inaccessible through standard water collecting methods. So today we are going to discuss some of the most common advanced water collecting techniques that involve condensation:
Condensation from Trees– Trees and other forms of vegetation can be a key source of water collection. Some of the most commonly founds trees in the world can collect water from water tables found 60 feet or more below the grounds surface. These trees can provide water from depths that you would never have the capability to dig by hand. The first step to collecting water from a tree source is to find a plastic sack, plastic bag, a plastic poncho, polyurethane tent, plastic liner, or any other similar material. For this example we’ll say we are using a traditional plastic bag. Next, locate a leafy branch on the tree that is within your reach and preferably receives a significant amount of sunlight. Now place the plastic bag around the leafy branch in a fashion that insures the opening of the bag is at the uppermost top of the branch and that one of the corners of the bag is hanging low and pointing towards the ground. So in this case the bag should appear to be sideways in a vertical up and down position. Now rap the opening or mouth of the bag with some type of cordage to seal it off. Sometimes it’s also helpful to blow a small amount of air into the plastic bag to make it expand properly and keep the vegetation from coming into contact with the sides of the plastic. This will also intern introduce more air trapped into the bag to even further help with the condensation process. If several sources of plastic or supplies are available, then it is helpful to make several suspended bags to further increase your water production capability. Depending on the size of the plastic material or bag used as well as climate, most condensation setups can yield 14 ounces of water or more per day.
Condensation from Vegetation – besides trees, all sorts of vegetation can also be used to create water by using the condensation method. The materials needed for this method are the same as those addressed above in the prior section. This method can be used in two fashions; you can either place the plastic material over a plant or collect uprooted vegetation and place it in the plastic bag. If you are placing the plastic over a plant then you want to position it as if you were building a tent around the plant and ensuring that the sides of the plastic don’t come into contact with any of the vegetation itself. You will also need to dig a small moat around the plant and secure the plastic using rocks, dirt, or other materials in a manner that will hold the plastic secure and create an impression that will collect the water. The concept here is that the water will be drawn to the sides of the bag and then run down into a reservoir created at the bottom. To hold the top of the plastic you can either use cordage to secure it from an adjacent limb, build a tripod from some small timber, or use a stick/stake drove into the ground within the plastic itself. If you are using a stick within the bag then be sure to find a material to be used as a pad between the stick and the plastic itself to prevent from tearing the material. It’s also helpful to grade the soil at an angle so that the handmade reservoir runs down hill and all the water collects in one designated spot. If you decide to place vegetation within the bag instead of placing it over a plant, then be sure to pull the vegetation up by its roots. The roots of a plant contain the majority of that plants water source so you will be conserving much more fluid than if you just simply cut or pluck the leaves off of a plant or collect only the grass leaves themselves. The roots are key to collecting a sufficient amount of water using this method. First collect rocks or stones to form a base at the bottom of the plastic bag. This will provide a platform that will allow the water to drip and flow better than just having the vegetation bundled together at the bottom of the bag. This setup will also require that the plastic stay tight and kept from coming into contact with the edges of the vegetation. A simple slope to one side can help the water run downhill and collect in a small handmade reservoir. If several sources of plastic or supplies are available, then it is helpful to make several setups to further increase your water production capability. Depending on the size of the plastic material or bag used as well as climate, most condensation setups of this type can yield 10 ounces of water or more per day.