November 8, 2010

Primitive Water Purification

Water is one of the essential aspects of survival. Knowing how to make it safe to drink is a vital skill. Imagine being in a survival situation without access to more modern means of purifying water... what to do?

Rock boiling water is an excellent way to purify water. If you, however, do not have a container to boil water in you are presented with an additional problem.

Alderleaf Wilderness Certification Program students were faced with this situation on Friday in class. First, they spent some time burning out bowls using coals from a fire.

Then, once it it has been hollowed out enough and scraped smooth, they poured water into it. Next they dropped red-hot golf-ball sized stones into the water to bring it to a boil. The water was allowed to boil for several minutes to allow time to kill water borne parasites. Some western hemlock needles were added for flavor, and allowed to cool.

Students gained a new appreciation for having easily available clean drinking water and learned skills they will have to put to the use on their survival trip at the end of the year.

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