Water for survival

First you need to stop for a moment, or for more then a moment and think about importance of the water. There is a all kind of cool information about water all around the net. And you can research them all.

We have started a water page in our wiki and hope you add your survival knowledge about water to it. For instructions how to edit the wiki please read this. In this article I write about my experience with water during SHTF. I try to touch on few topics that might not be so obvious.

Importance of water for survival

When SHTF everything matters and all small things are connected. New small problems suddenly emerge, and one small problem is connecting to another small problem, and suddenly you have big problem and then you are dead. And thats it.
So you need to think about in new terms. I suggest that you try to measure amount of water that you spend for one day. For cooking, cleaning, drinking, shower, toilet and all that.

After you measure that amount of water then go and shut down your water souces for a week. In that week use some canisters and drag your water from your neighbour who is for example 1 mile far from you. One week. After that week sit down and try to think again about importance of the water.

It will be refreshing reminder about importance of something we take for granted.

Probably you are going to conclude that water is much more important then you thought before. But belive me you are still do not know, you still probably can not imagine how important it is.

When you hearing that man can survive only few days without water, it is true maybe, but you need to think about water in some new terms. Not only like cool bottle of water to drink.

1. Water to boost your morale

Sooner or later you are going to find yourself without “real” food, and you are gonna start to “invent” food. Ive gone trough that. Boil plants with water, boil small amounts of flour with water, all kind of “tea” or bad “soups” for food.

At some of the very bad time I had something like hot colored water for my lunch, without too much asking what was added for color. I mean yes, you are perfectly prepared, lots of canned food, your storage is full. But think about “sooner or later”

One of the my best memories from bad times is hot soup. There is something “magical” in hot soup when you are cold and wet, and when everything out is gone to hell. It is like fire a great boost for your morale.

2. You need more water during SHTF

In long term survival scenario chances are you will work more with your body than now. That means you need even more water than now.

Do not expect to spend few days laying at home, in nice and cool room. When shtf and you fight for survival there is always much to do.

To be long time survivor you do not want to live on 500ml water a day. You want to have much water every day.

3. Hygiene

You need water for hygiene, lots of water. You can think that you can survive even if you do not have enough water to keep yourself clean. Yes people survived like that, but keep in mind again, that small problems lead to bigger problems, and big problems at the end kills you.

To be dirty because you do not have enough water is not like in movies. It is not about sweating and dirty shirt only. It is about you are crippled wit some fungal infection on your feet because you simply did not have enough clean socks to wear, because you spent 20 hours daily in your shoes, boots. At the end you can not run at all. And to be in state when you can not run is definitely not good idea when SHTF.

Forget about problems with bad smell, thats not problem. Its a civilization problem but when things get uncivilized it does not matter. Problem is you having diarrhea for week, you need to go to toilet every half hours, you can not get up without dizziness, you are weak like baby, and again all because you did not have enough water to keep yourself clean, or to eat clean food that you at least boiled first.

4. Some survival water games you can “play” today

The scouting game
Do not get yourself in situation where you need to go out and check for water sources when SHTF. Probably it is not gonna be easy then to wander around and check things.

Forget about empty towns with lot of resources laying everywhere. That happens in movies maybe.
In my case many people were shot at well known water sources by snipers. It’s like lions in deserts. They wait for prey near water holes.

Go out today and check your surroundings for possible less known water resources close to you like small springs or places where water stays for some time after rain. Have that places marked in your map for future. Take your time today when you have enough.

The saving water game
Research some things. For example how you can wash your clothes with as little water as you can, some alternative ways of washing yourself with “bottle” of water. Check how much water you can save with using anti bacterial napkins for cleaning yourself for example.

The hiding game
That means to think about some other spots to have some hidden backup water. Personally I have three spots close to my apartment where I have extra sources of water if I gonna need it. Another water resource is halfway between me and my bug out location.

The collection game
Rain is good source of water depending in what region you live. But definitely good idea is to have plan ready and tools ready to collect water from your roof. Check it, somewhere is enough to have few barrels, saw and piece of pipe and thats it. You can use rainwater today to water your plants for example.

Water means life

This article is just reminder that without water no life and of course no survival. It is easy to get lost in having perfect security and weapons at home but not being familiar with living with limited amount of clean water.

In my course I talk about how we collected water from our roof and if you have stories about how you collected water please share in comments or our survival wiki.

Dayz – the first real survival game?

This week I spent some time playing what some people call the first real survival game on PC. Here is my short review of the game and what I like and what not. I’m not much into playing games but this game looked promising.

In this game, called Dayz, which is just extension of another game called Arma II: Combined Operations you have no goal but survive.

You start the game on a big map of 225 square kilometers with nothing, besides some basic bandages. No weapons or anything like that. The game is hard and more or less realistic. When you die you lose everything you collected.

Bad situation. To make things worse there are zombies at each settlement. So if you want to get anything and scavenge place you have to sneak past those zombies. Don’t stop reading now because you hear zombie. It could have been also gangs or anything else to make things a bit harder.

Scavenging / gathering resources

Scavenging is pretty much what you do all the time. The game does not have real goal, just get enough resources to survive. Because you keep running out of food, drinks and other things you are under survival stress all the time. I think this and interaction with other players is most interesting part of game.

You can live off land but before you kill wild pigs, make fire and eat their meat you need hunting knife for butchering them, axe to cut wood and matches to light fire. So first thing you do is to sneak into places and take whatever you can. You can not carry that much so you have to pick wisely.

What I like about this part of game:

  • That it is biggest part of game and it is biggest part of survival too
  • That you often do not find what you look for which increases stress
  • Finding small things like matches make a difference
  • The relief when you find for example something to drink when you almost die of thirst
  • Some places, like hospitals, are very few and create more than usual dangerous areas which is realistic too. Places with resources are highest risk

What I dislike about scavenging part of game:

  • That it takes no work to get stuff. In reality you have to sometimes spend time on getting things from pile of trash
  • That there is no way to hide something. You can set up tent with some things in it but it is so easy to see that others find your things and take them most of the time. During war when I could not take something useful I often hide it to come back another night.
  • You can not enter many buildings. Would be nice to have option to kick in doors.

Interaction with other players

This makes big difference and game much more interesting. Other people play in the same world and also hunt and fight for survival. You can team up with them or, like more often someone will just try to kill you and take what you have.

When I heard about this part of game I got interested. If you play it you get a bit of feeling of why shoot first ask question later also was normal during war. If you meet someone you are very careful and if in doubt it is better if you are first person who shoots.

If you do not have any weapon you are just prey for others. You have to hide and sneak and stay hidden until you at least find some weapon.

What I like about this part of game:

  • If you die, you lose everything you collected. If you have much good stuff, you fight harder to survive. I had AK47 and some other good stuff and broke my leg because I jump from ladder. I did not want to give up and crawled to hospital in next town. That took me half hour.
  • You can save friendly players and give them first aid. Teamwork against others helps a lot as well.
  • It might help people to understand how you think when you have to trust someone else with your life. If in doubt you want to be the one shooting first…

What I dislike about this part of game:

  • You can not fight without weapon. In reality there were many fist fights for things because people did not want to kill others.
  • Many players do not talk they just shoot.


So overall I can say it is nice try to give people feeling of how survival like this feels. You often feel desperate and have to be careful all the time. It is far from perfect but creates clearer picture of what survival is about than any movie I saw in the past. Movies are usually “romantic survival”… lone man on the road fights and wins against everything.

How to play Dayz?

You need Arma II: Combined Operations for $29.99 to play the game. Then you download the Dayz Mod for free and install and play. It is a bit tricky but you can find detailed instructions how to install Dayz here.

Dayz reviews

(ignore hysteric screaming)

To get an idea how the game is after you have found some gear have a look at this:

If you play the game let me know what you think about it in comments. I’m happy that this is at least fair try to make realistic survival game. It can be very frustrating but that is how survival can be.