41

If you have a clean black garbage bag with you (and if you don't, you really should :)), put the snow into the garbage bag, arrange it in a thin layer inside the bag, and lay the bag in the sun on a flat rock (if available), thin layer parallel to the flat rock. Weigh it down with a few rocks to help make contact between the black surface and the snow. ...


36

Let's do some back-of-the-envelope calculations. The specific heat of water is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of a particular amount of water by 1 degree C. This is 4.186 joules/gram °C (reference). To raise the temperature of 1 L of water (1000 g) by 80 degrees C (to boiling from room temperature), would be 4.186 * 1000 * 80 = 334,...


35

Assuming you don't have a genitourinary tract infection, fresh urine should be sterile, the problem is that it is a waste product which, apart from making it not taste very nice, means that consuming it will increase the concentration of waste in your body which will require an increased volume of water to absorb and subsequently excrete, resulting in you ...


34

It is likely caused by iron in the pump or pipes. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health: Iron is mainly present in water in two forms: either the soluble ferrous iron or the insoluble ferric iron. Water containing ferrous iron is clear and colorless because the iron is completely dissolved. When exposed to air in the pressure tank or ...


29

Copy and paste from the answer here: Is it a good idea to drink your own urine in a survival situation (Skeptics SE)? Summary: You can do it, as a last resort, but it's dicey. The US Army doesn't think it's a good idea and lists it on its "Do NOT drink" list, stating in its Field Manual that it "contains harmful body wastes" and that it is "about 2 ...


23

I'm pretty picky about the taste of my water, I grew up high enough in the mountains that our tap water wasn't chemically treated, they simply filtered the spring water coming out of the mountains, and let gravity bring it the rest of the way into our homes. The first time I tried bottled water I thought it was disgusting. I've been using a camelbak for ...


21

A dark coloured water bottle strapped on top of your pack would absorb quite a lot of solar heat on a sunny day. Getting the snow in would be easier with a wide neck, like a bike bottle or Nalgene. Around freezing point this can be quite effective. If you have flexible clear plastic with you in any form (a large ziplock bag for example) this can be loosely ...


20

Urine is normally sterile (barring urinary tract infections) - so, from bacteriological stance, fresh urine isn't going to hurt. The problem is - urine is a waste product, and so is full of stuff that your body wants to be rid of. Worse, as you get more dehydrated, your body produces more concentrated urine. That said - as a short term measure to keep ...


19

If it is clean, fresh snow, it is safe to drink. This is basically drinking rain water. It hasn't had time to pick up pollutants when it is newly fallen. I live in New England, and kids do this all the time. You get taught early to only do this with white snow. Make sure that the snow is actually clean: the longer it sits, and the more urbanized an area is, ...


18

The best way to melt snow is to put it in a bottle inside your jacket under your mid layers while you're on the move and let your body heat melt it. Do not place it against the skin, leave a layer or two between you and the bottle. It's advisable to always leave your bottle in your jacket in subzero temperatures, it can freeze if left in your bag. Melting ...


17

The effects of drinking distilled, deminieralized, deionized, and many other forms of water purification have been thoroughly studied and despite the research, the jury is still out on the subject, with regards to temporary usage. As far as adventuring goes, it appears it does not matter, as long as the water you are drinking is microbiologically and ...


15

Cause of coloring: As you specifically referred to Groundwater, I believe it is most likely due to the Manganese and Iron contents in the water. Iron and manganese are common metallic elements found in the earth's crust. Water percolating through soil and rock can dissolve minerals containing iron and manganese and hold them in solution. Occasionally, iron ...


15

Distilled / deionized (as for lab purposes) water tastes stale. So do reverse-osmosis drinking water, and cooked water: this is attributed mainly to the lack of CO2 / HCO3⁻ compared to fresh ground / tap drinking water. Yes, you can encounter distilled water in outdoor situations. In winter it lies around on the ground as white powder... Lots of people have ...


15

I've found lemon juice and baking soda works quite well. I've also found that different brands of bladders have more or less plastic taste to them. If all else fails you could look into using a disposable bladder such as the Polar Cenote, they come individually or in multi packs and are reasonably priced. If your going to be using it a ton though, ...


14

For maximum efficiency (i.e. melted water per used fuel) make sure the following things are always true: Always have some water in the pot. Never have only water in the pot. Having water increases the thermal conductivity between the pot and the snow/water. With just snow you have a smaller contact area. As long as there is both snow and water in the pot, ...


13

As Cryptosporidium is passed in the faeces of animals, the more heavily the land is used by animals, the greater the risk of Cryptosporidium contamination in water sourced from that land. This article suggests some ways (quoted below) to avoid Giardia (which has a similar lifecycle to Cryptosporidium), conversely, if you are unable to source water following ...


13

This can be calculated using a property called cryoscopic constant Kf which links the concentration of a solved substance to the freezing point depression Td: Td = m * Kf where m is the molality which is the amount of mols of solved substance per kg of solvent (here water). For water Kf is 1.86K*kg/mol and the molar mass of sugar (sucrose) is 342g/mol. So ...


13

Pee on it. To keep the water drinkable, you'd want to have the liquids separated but still have good thermal transfer between them. A well equipped traveller will pick his/her thermos bottle and a condom, pee in the condom (ladies would probably do it the other way around), tie the condom and put in the bottle, fill the rest with snow, cap, wait and drink. ...


12

While coffee filters would work great as suggested in a different answer I would probably just use something I was going to bring anyway like a handkerchief. That should work reasonably well, be reusable, and not require you to bring specialized gear. You might even be able to wrap the bandana around your pump intake (maybe using a rubber band) and be able ...


11

It's pretty easy to keep your water from freezing without adding anything to it, actually. If you keep it under your shell, your body heat will keep it from freezing. If you bury it under a foot or so of snow, it will stay liquid overnight (although you may get a little ice around the edges). If you boil it and put your hot water bottle in your sleeping bag, ...


10

I'm going to assume that you are employing the SODIS method of water sterilization. To sum up the details of the process, this method is where you fill plastic pop bottles, (PET), up with rather clear water 3/4 full, shake them up, and let them sit in the bright sun for 5+ hours. The mechanism this works by is by utilizing the UV radiation in sunlight. ...


10

There are two natural options; none of them is quite pleasant. Alcohol Per Wikipedia, 8.5 vol% of ethanol make the freezing point drop to -3C (26.6F) (more values at at Wikipedia, also a diagram is available below). Most of the ethanol will be evaporized during cooking, so it's not that much an issue; also 14 vol% is only 6.8 wt%, so the added weight is 6....


10

Is this rust by chance? If so, let it dry and it'll be powdery at the bottom. Run your finger on the surface and some will come off on your finger. If it's rust, you may be able to get it clean with some steel wool. Just make sure to keep it dry after use from then on. SmemSeger could be correct and that it's mineral deposits. I usually find those to be ...


10

The solvay biwak is solely an emergency shelter. There is an emergency radio available. So if you sleep there without declaring an emergency (even if just to inform the authorities) you have to expect to be fined (the locals are very strict and fines not negligible). In August you cannot expect snow around the hut (though you might get lucky and it can snow ...


10

Leaving aside your assertion that water in the high mountains is likely to be biologically safe. The answer depends on how big the particulates are. The smaller they are, the harder it is to find an easy way to remove them effectively. For both of the following you will need to take a funnel to hold the filter. However, the simple answer is a coffee ...


8

As already explained in the other questions, the primary concern is possible contamination. For fresh snow and far from civilization this is very easy to identify: White is good: yellow, brown, ... not so :) Close to roads/industry there might be a non-visible contamination but unlikely to be harmful for occasional consumption (at least in countries with ...


8

Another answer talks about hardness. There is some relevance to that, but more importantly, ice is brittle, regardless of how hard it is. You don't need much of a tool to scrape or crack chunks from a large piece of ice like a glacier. Also, any large piece of ice has to have edges someplace. It's easier to split off pot-sized chunks from edges than ...


8

I would make an improvised bore snake with a piece of string or fishing line and a small piece of clean cloth and pull the piece of cloth through the straw just like you would a gun barrel. Everyone should have at least some string and something like handkerchief which you might have to cut down to size in order to fit. The other option would be to try and ...


7

Distilled water is acidic (pH lower than 7), because it absorbs carbon dioxide from the air. Tap water contains all kinds of salts that act as buffers. The acidity is not dangerous, but can be measured easily with pH paper. It is true that distilled water is surprisingly corrosive and can eat through steel, brass or copper. Maybe a few mm a year, depending ...


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