Letter Re: Sawyer Water Filter Additional Information

Hello, I would like to add some information about the Sawyer water filter. One of the readers mentioned that the Sawyer filter use to be 1,000,000 gallons, and now it’s 100,000. Those are two separate filters. The 1-million gallon filter is the larger version. The 100,000 gallon is the mini version, which I personally have used since it came on the market. I do a lot of hiking, backpacking, and exploring in the outdoors. I like to carry my Camelback for ease of drinking and carrying my water. What I recommend is to buy the Mini Sawyer filter, cut the …




Two Letters Re: Review of the Sawyer Filter

HJL, I have seen these filters sold with different components, bells, and whistles and have bought three different types. One package features components that allow you to gravity feed the water from a plastic food grade bucket through the filter and into a storage container. I have this set up ready to go now, if and when it is needed. The narrative on the packaging suggests that if this filter is used on an overseas mission trip it could be left behind for use by the native people. That’s a nice humanitarian touch. There was no mention that these filters …




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Sawyer Mini Water Filter

“You Must Have A Source Of Safe Drinking Water. Without It, You Will Die!” I don’t know how many times I said this in my many articles over the past 25+ years, or when speaking to people about survival, but I still can’t drive the point home to some folks. I get questions like “but the water is crystal clear (from a stream or creek), so I know it’s okay to drink.” Many people just refuse to believe that it’s what you can’t see with the naked eye in crystal clear water that will kill you. You can die from …




Letter Re: Sanitation Issues: Understanding Home Septic Systems

Dear SurvivalBlog Readers, Recently SurvivalBlog has presented several articles on sanitation issues. I’d like to add to those. Many homes are equipped with septic tanks to perform as a holding tank for waste allowing waste decomposition to occur. Reduction of solid waste through bacterial action works, but is a slow process and often incomplete; additionally, a large number of chemicals we regularly introduce into our septic tanks, such as common soap, dish washing and clothes detergents, bleach, commercial toilet cleaning solutions, etc., are toxic to the bacteria performing the job of decomposition. Septic tanks are one part of the equation, …




Something in the Water- Part 2, by J.R.

Copper Like iron, copper is an essential element in a person’s diet. Too much copper, however, can cause health problems, as it accumulates primarily in the liver and kidneys. Like the current issue with lead in the water supply in Flint, Michigan, copper in drinking water can come from corrosion of copper pipes. Flushing the tap for 30 to 45 seconds can reduce the copper that has accumulated when the plumbing is not in use. Reverse osmosis or ion exchange are effective at reducing excessive copper from water. Lead The recent events in Flint, Michigan have raised awareness of problems …




Letter Re: Winter Survival

HJL, One point to consider regarding use of water filters in cold weather: Both Sawyer and Lifestraw warn that once their filter have been used, they should not be exposed to freezing temperatures. Ceramic filters are not as susceptible. From the Lifestraw web site: “If your LifeStraw has been used, and is then exposed to freezing temperatures, water inside can freeze and crack the filter. You may not see these cracks, so we recommend never letting it freeze once it’s been used. When camping at high elevations or freezing temperatures, be extra careful not to let it freeze.” From Sawyer …




Water Works- Part 4, by JSP

Other Projects, A Future Project, and “War Game” Potential Problems In this final section addressing survival related water systems, I will outline a few projects we have completed, talk about a future project, and “war game” potential problems that could arise. Our personal outlook is that, when things crash, people who are previously identified will be coming to our place of retreat, and we also have to be open to the fact that the Holy Spirit may direct people to us who we don’t currently know. Our main residence has a standard septic tank and drain field, two bathrooms, and …




Two Letters Re: Water Works, by JSP

Hugh, Reference “Water Works, by JSP”. Back in 1960’s Dad buried a 250-gallon steel fuel oil tank. The oil tank was buried in heavy clay soil. In the 1980’s Dad retired and since he no longer needed the fuel tank, he left the tank empty. After an unusual heavy rain fall, the oil tank had floated out of the ground about one foot. Since the author is burying plastic tanks, I feel it is very important to strap the tanks to a concrete base, if he wants to keep them buried. – R.L. o o o HJL, In reference to …




Water Works- Part 3, by JSP

Hot Water Grid Down or When the Schumer Hits The Fan Let’s all agree that we can survive without hot water. Yet, as some have successfully argued on this blog that when it comes to food “variety is the spice of life”, I would ask why it is important, especially in a survival situation. “Morale” would be my answer. We could all survive on rice and beans, but it would be hard to keep group morale up if after a supper of rice and beans the group only could look forward to a breakfast of rice and beans. My personal …




Water Works- Part 2, by JSP

In part 1, I explained several things we did to take our water preps to the next level, which felt good but was still lacking in some areas. So, let’s start by looking at the potential problems of that system. Problems of Our Water System At This Point First, at this point, the poly tanks are not “plumbed” to anything; they are simply static, stand-alone storage vessels. Make no mistake that is way better than having no water on hand but not ideal either. Secondly, the primary grid down backup plan is a gas generator. Many people would argue that …







Three Letters Re: An Alternative to Calcium Hypochlorite, by TLS

HJL, Great article on the Pentair Intellichlor. A couple of things I gleaned from the Amazon listing attached to the article: “…I’ve been told the power unit is simply a fancy transformer that reduces the voltage from 120V down to 12V…” So, perhaps the unit can be run, grid-down, without the need for an (energy consuming) inverter? (directly from a battery bank?) And: “It won’t generate chlorine if the water temperature is too cold. The water temp needs to be at least 52 degrees.” Good to be aware of this limiting factor. – Best, P.R. o o o Hugh, We …




Obsoleting Sodium Hypochlorite – The MSR SE200, by Hugh Latimer

In 2004, the devastating Southeast Asia Tsunami stimulated charity from all over the world. Fresh drinking water was one of the prime concerns in this disaster and MSR (Cascade Designs) had been specializing in back country water purification for years. They lept into action, delivering many of their water purification devices to the area. Unfortunately, they learned some hard lessons along the way. In their own words, they admitted that the philanthropic effort, though well intended, was humbling. The logistics were complicated, so delivery of the devices was hindered, and once there they discovered that the size of the devices, …




Letter Re: An Alternative to Calcium Hypochlorite, by TLS

Gentlemen, I just read the excellent article written on chlorine usage for water disinfection. As a long time analytical chemist, it was a pleasure to read such an articulate article on the subject. I wanted to add a caveat to the article. One must keep in mind that when using chlorine, a minimum contact time of one hour is required to kill organisms, and you should maintain a residual of chlorine in the water. Contact time is the length of time the chlorine is allowed to work. And since the chlorine reacts with the organic molecules composing the undesirable organisms, …




Two Letters Re: The Harsh Truth About Bugging Out of Cities

Hi HJL and JWR, The Harsh Truth About Bugging Out of Cities was an awesome article. Patrice Lewis definitely addresses the knowns, the unknowns, known unknowns, and unknown-unknowns in her article! I totally agree, based on the same data that she and her husband are looking at that most people won’t make it out of the cities alive. As a collapse theorist myself, if we do indeed have a fast crash (as compared to the slow one we’re currently in), I believe that the current societal trends– the suicides, the mass-shootings, overdoses of legal and illegal drugs, et cetera– would …