You never know what situation you will end up in when it comes to survival. What options do you have when you run out of clean water? Is it safe to drink rain water? How to catch rain water? Is rainwater good to drink? These are all questions that are likely to pop into your head and luckily we will answer them in this post today.
Is rainwater dirty?
Rain passes through the atmosphere before it finally lands on the ground. During this transition, it will pick up contaminants in the air. So imagine you’re now near Chernobyl or Fukushima, the rainwater is likely to have traces of radioactive particles in it. The same goes with drinking rainwater near factories or chemical plants, they all produce clouds of smoke or release toxins into the air. These toxins can be soaked up in the rain and well, if you drink that, there’s a good chance you’ll be in trouble. IF it is not near a place of concern the water is not dirty. However, it is not as clean as you would think. NEVER drink water that has touched another surface, i.e if it hit your roof and dribbled down. For example, this water is likely full of waste or bird waste.
Can you drink rainwater?
If drinking rainwater is a necessity for staying alive you can drink it, but you run the risk of getting an upset stomach or a serious disease that could cause death. Some water is likely to contain things like E.coli, fecal coliforms, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium. These are things you do NOT want. So there is a number of things you can do to purify rainwater and that will minimize the risk for you. The most obvious option is to boil the water, this will get rid of all the nasties in it. This water can then be used to cook with.
You could also add water purification tablets in which would help but you’re likely to only have a few in your bug out bag so this isn’t an option that will last forever. Plus they don’t instantly make your water safe to drink. Now we could literally write an entire blog post about the use of water purification tablets and whether or not there safe but we will say this:
You are putting chemicals into your water to clean it out. This doesn’t come without risks.
If you want to be really safe you could boil the water and then add a purification tablet. This will keep you extra safe.
How do we make rainwater drinkable?
We highly recommend purchasing a portable water filter bottle. This is a bottle that allows you to collect add much rainwater as you want while ensuring no parasites, viruses and bacteria get in your way! You can even collect water from a river, pond or puddle with these bottles. HOWEVER, they don’t work with seawater.
How do filtered water bottles work?
These water bottles come with filters that will work to keep anything bad out. This is also an extremely green method of drinking water (stay away from plastic bottles). Anyway, the filtration systems within these bottles will remove impurities and contaminants by using a 3 step process.
Step 1 – Activate carbon
Carbon filters is a method of using activated carbon to remove contaminants and impurities from the water. Carbon is activated by physically modifying the carbon in a furnace under a controlled atmosphere and temperature.
Step 2 – Adsorption
Activated carbon works by utilizing a process called absorption. Nearby contaminants / impurities will get trapped inside the carbons structure. This process is extremely effective and can even remove lead and metal from water too! Think of this part like the filter is collecting the contaminants.
Step 3 – Filtration
This is the part where the contaminants are removed from your water. The bad particles are now removed from your drinking water and are kept aside inside the filter. This is why it’s very important to change your filters frequently.