Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Swastika on Arizona and Peruvian Pottery

Someone sent in a comment about an ancient Moche vase he had seen in a picture on display at a Peruvian museum. I thought it not only interesting, but yet another example of someone drawing a conclusion based on modern knowledge without looking into the ancient meaning of his view. His comment was:  “How do you explain the Nazi swastika showing up on pottery in Peru, as well as in Arizona? This hardly seems like a connection between the ancient Jews and your Book of Mormon people. Looks like another proof of the hoax Joseph Smith laid on you!”
The answer is simpler than it might seem. First of all, the two pottery vessels he mentioned, interestingly enough, are actually another proof of the Jewish-South American connection, not the opposite as he supposes.
The first vessel was found in a pyramid along the north coast of Peru and dates to the early Moche-Sican-Lambayeque period, beginning around 100 B.C., and currently on display in the Huaca Rajada Site Museum.
Left: The remains of the Moche-Sican mud-brick pyramid in Lambayeque; Right: The swastika-adorned pottery vessel found in the pyramid
The second, a Hohokam pottery vessel, now on display at the Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, was found in the Hohokam village ruins dating to about 400 A.D. The Hohokam once inhabited a large area from southern Utah-Colorado far into northwestern Mexico to the Durango border.
Left: 1500 year-old Hohokam village ruins near Phoenix, Arizona; Right: The Hohokam vessel found in the ruins with a swastika. Note the outside lines are angled
The Swastika, contrary to his inference and most people’s opinion, did not originate with the Nazi movement in Germany. The so-called “swastika” is actually an adaptation from the early Hebrew symbol meaning “eternity in motion.” It was also found on American plains Indians of the U.S., specifically drawn on teepees, etc. In fact, the word "swastika" comes from the Sanskrit words su, meaning "well," and asti, meaning “to be.”
An ancient symbol, the swastika was used in various forms by many civilizations all over the world. It was the sign of Thor's hammer for Scandinavians, used by early Christians as an alternative cross to avoid persecution, and by later Christians as a decorative emblem. It was used extensively by the Hittites, Celts and Greeks, and was a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. It was widespread among Native American peoples, and appeared in ancient Oriental, Egyptian, and Irish cultures. India associates the swastika with good luck and protection from wrath, and mark it on doors, walls, shrines, and their own bodies. It can represent the sun, the god Vishnu, or the 'world-wheel.' It is one of the 24 auspicious marks in Jainism.
Top: Left: An Iranian necklace excavated from Kalunaz, Guilan, first millennium B.C.; Center: Ancient Roman tile design; Right: Pre-Christian Polish symbol of Slavic diety Svarog; Bottom: Left: Children light lamps in the shape of a swastika on the Diwali, eve of Hindu new year; Center: Ancient Buddhist temple in Korea; Right: 1920 Arizona highway marker
The swastika was the Indian sun symbol conferring good luck and the Sanskrit word meaning “fortunate” or “well-being,” and to the Romans it meant “peace,” while to the Hindus it meant “good fortune,” and to the plains Indians it meant “good luck.” To the Windsor, Nova Scotia, team in the early days of hockey, it meant both “power and good fortune,” and to the fans it meant a high-scoring top-notch hockey team whose players proudly displayed the symbol on their jerseys and who were almost impossible to beat by other teams in the area.
Left: The 1912 Windsor, Nova Scotia, hockey team in their uniforms with the swastika on their jerseys; Right: The women’s 1916 Edmonton Swastikas Hockey Team
Since the early Middle Ages the sign of the swastika was well-established among all Slavic lands, where it was known as swarzyca, and primarily associated with one of their gods named Swarog. With time the significance of the symbol faded, but it was preserved in numerous cases as a personal symbol of various personalities, as was the case of the Boreyko Coat of Arms. It was also preserved in the folk culture of the region of Podhale, where it was used as a talisman well into the 20th century. As a solar symbol, it was painted or carved on various parts of houses in the Tatra Mountains and was thought to save the household from evil.
In America, the 45th Infantry Division of the United States Army used a yellow swastika on a red background as a unit symbol until the 1930s, when it was switched to a thunderbird, and the U.S. Navy base at Coronado, California, has a swastika-shaped building, which predates World War II. In 1925, Coca-Cola made a lucky watch formed in the shape of a swastika with the slogan, "Drink Coca Cola five cents in bottles." The Health, Physical Education and Recreation Building at Indiana University, which was built in the 1920s before the Nazis came to power in Germany, contains decorative Native American-inspired reverse swastika tilework on the walls of the foyer and stairwells on the southeast side of the building, which now creates enormous controversy.
Left: 45thInfantry Division Patch; Center: Coronado U.S. Navy Building; Right: Coca-Cola lucky watch charm
Shortly after the beginning of World War II, the Native American tribes Navajo, Apache, Tohono O’odham, and Hopi, published a decree stating that they would no longer use the swastika in their artwork, because it had come to symbolize evil to them. The decree states: ”Because the above ornament which has been a symbol of friendship among our forefathers for many centuries has been desecrated recently by another nation of peoples. Therefore it is resolved that henceforth from this date on and forever more our tribes renounce the use of the emblem commonly known today as the swastika or fylfot on our blankets, baskets, art objects, sandpainting, and clothing.”
In the late nineteenth century, the swastika symbolized a movement celebrating Germanic culture, heritage, and nationalism, however, by 1920 this movement began to take on anti-Semitic undertones. Later, Adolph Hitler chose the swastika to be the symbol of the Nazi Party.
There are many other historically documented uses of the swastika as a totem, a decoration, or a good luck "charm" in ancient civilizations including the Mesopotamians, Hindu, Native Americans (both North and South) and Scandinavians. To the Hopi’s, the swastika symbol represents the path of the migrations of the clans. The center of the cross represents Tuwanasavi or the Center of the Universe, which lay in what is now the Hopi country in the southwestern part of the US. Tuwanasavi was not the geographic center of North America, but the magnetic or spiritual center formed by the junction of the North-South and the East-West axes along which the Twins sent their vibratory messages and controlled the rotation of the planet. Three directions (pasos) for most of the clans were the same: the ice locked back door to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Only 7 clans—the Bear, Eagle, Sun, Kachina, Parrot, Flute and Coyote clans—migrated to South America to the southern paso at it's tip. The rest of some 40 clans, having started from somewhere in South America, regarded this as their southern paso, their migration thus forming a balanced symbol. Upon arriving at each paso all the leading clans turned right before retracing their routes.
The symbol itself, probably originating anciently in the Hebrew geometric symbols, where a vertical line represented the spiritual realm, a horizontal line represented man and his existence or the temporal sphere, and the circle represented eternity with no beginning and no end. When you put those together you have a circle with a cross inside. By removing parts of the circle, you have eternity in motion, which looks somewhat like a swastika.
This is just another example and proof of how the ancient Hebrew or Jewish culture of Lehi’s time can be seen in many ways within the Western Hemisphere.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

What do Guinea Pigs, Apes, some Fruit Bats and Humans have in common?

Guinea Pigs, Apes, Fruit Bats and Humans

What do Guinea Pigs, Apes, some Fruit Bats and Humans have in common?

They all share the inability to produce their ownAscorbic Acid (Vitamin C).
All other animals produce Vitamin C endogenously, or inside their own bodies.
Scientists believe they have evidence suggesting that humans used to produce their own ascorbic acid from an enzyme produced in the liver. But something happened and humans now depend on dietary sources of vitamin C.
Guinea pigs, apes, some fruit bats and humans share another trait: The tendency to develop coronary heart disease. The development of heart disease only occurs in animals and humans that lack adequate intake of ascorbates through dietary sources.
It has also been observed that zoo animals, such as gorillas fed processed “gorilla chow” readily develop heart disease unless they are supplied with adequate amounts of ascorbates.
By comparing the amount of vitamin C produced endogenously in animals that do not develop heart disease, we can get a good idea of how much vitamin C is essential to maintain cardiovascular health in humans.
Goats, cows, dogs, cats, squirrels and rabbits manufacture ascorbic acid at a rate of about 10 g per 70 kg (154 pounds) of body weight. In other words, to achieve the levels of ascorbic acid produced by animals that do not develop coronary heart disease, a 154-pound human would need to ingest 10 g of dietary or supplemental vitamin C daily.
Noting that 1,000 mg = 1 g, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has established the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C at 35 mg for infants; 45-50 mg for children and 60 mg for adults. According to the FDA, humans require about 200 times less vitamin C than animals to maintain optimal health!
The late Dr. Fred Klenner was one of the world’s foremost authorities on vitamin C. He believed that the government’s concept of daily minimal intakes should be abolished because, “The physiological requirements [for ascorbic acid] in man are no different than other mammals capable of carrying out this synthesis.”
Judging from the numbers of people being stricken by and succumbing to heart disease in the U.S., it would appear that Dr. Klenner (and doctors Pauling, Irwin Stone, Glenn Dettman and Archie Kalokerinos) are correct about the levels of ascorbic acid necessary to maintain optimal cardiovascular health.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Hydration for the Apocalypse: How to Store Water for Long-Term Emergencies

April 1, 2014
Manly SkillsSelf-RelianceSurvival

Your community in action - moving food, water, medicines into shelters.
A big storm and earthquake hits your town. It’s a certifiable quakenado.
Your house is spared structural damage, but the power and water are out. According to news reports, the grid is down in your area and several water mains are broken. Conservative estimates are that it will take crews at least a week to get water service back on.
Would you have enough water in your home for you and your family to last until the water came back? Or if you live in the southwest, would you have enough in a situation where your city just plain runs out of water?

How Much Water Do I Need?

Vintage drinking water barrel.
Water…because ducking and covering works up a mighty thirst.
The general rule of thumb is that you’ll need one gallon of water per person per day. Half a gallon is used for drinking and the other half is used for hygiene. That number will go up depending on a whole host of factors. If you live in a hot climate or have pregnant or nursing women in your group, you’ll want to store more water.
Alright, so a gallon a day per person is the general rule.
So the question becomes, how many days without water should you prep for?
Well that depends on how prepared you want to be for varying degrees of disaster.
FEMA recommends that everyone have enough water to last three days should your regular water source be disrupted. Three days of water should be enough to get you through the periods of water shut-off or contamination that can happen during natural disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes, and ice storms.
Three days is a good starting point, but even during run-of-the-mill disasters, water access can be down for much longer than that.
After spending hours reading prepper blogs and forums, it seems the general consensus is that you should have at least two weeks worth of water on hand. So for a single person, that’s 14 gallons of water. For a family of four, that would mean you’d need 56 gallons of water.
Whether you decide to go above and beyond the two-week minimum is up to you. For lots of people, finding space in their home or apartment to store enough water for two weeks is a stretch, so trying to find room for a month might not be in the cards (though with a bit of creativity, you’d be surprised how you can arrange things in your house to make room for large amounts of water and food storage). Even if space isn’t an issue, the upfront costs for long-term water storage can be prohibitively expensive.
My recommendation would be to start off with the two-week supply and slowly build up to larger amounts as space and money become available. Right now I have about a month’s worth of water for my family. The funny/scary thing about prepping is that it can become a weird obsession. Once I filled my two 55-gallon barrels with water, I immediately wanted more. Now I’m shooting for a year supply. Have I turned into a crazy SHTF (Sh*t Hits The Fan) prepper? Just a touch. I better get busy burying 42 school buses underground….

Long-Term Water Storage Solutions

So you’ve decided to start building your emergency water supply. You’ll need a safe container in which to store it. The general guideline is to use food-grade plastic bottles. You can also use glass bottles so long as they haven’t stored non-food items. Stainless steel is another option, but you won’t be able to treat your stored water with chlorine, as it corrodes steel. Finally, no matter what you store your water in, make sure you can seal it. You don’t want any bacteria or other contamination mucking up your drinking water. Below, we highlight several water storage options.

Two-Week Water Storage Options

Storing bottled water for an emergency supply
Store-Bought Bottled Water. The easiest (but slightly more expensive) way to reach your water storage quota is to simply buy pre-packaged bottled water. It’s clean, well-sealed, and comes in food-grade plastic bottles. Moreover, bottled water is highly portable, which comes in handy ifyou need to bug out. This is a great option if you have limited space in your home or apartment. Just buy a bunch of packages and store them under beds. For example, one 35-count package of Poland Spring waterprovides about 4.6 gallons. That’s enough water to last one person four days. If you want two weeks of water, you just need four packages.
Empty Soda/Water/Gatorade Bottles. If you’re a cheap bastard, you can just refill empty soda/water/Gatorade bottles with water from your tap. Just make sure to thoroughly clean the bottles first, using this process.
5-7-Gallon Water Jugs. If you’re a regular camper, you might already have a few of these in your garage. They’re made from sturdy, food-grade plastic. The plastic is usually a dark blue which restricts light and helps prevent algae growth. I think the blue is also to remind you that “Hey! This is for water only!” The jugs are typically stackable, so they make for easy storage, even in the tightest of spaces. Their smallish size also makes for easy transport in case you need to leave your home base.

One Month or More Water Storage Options

waterBOBIf you’ve read The Roadyou’ll likely remember the scene where our protagonist begins to fill up a bathtub immediately after seeing flashes that signal an impending apocalypse outside his window. He knew the city water would be shutting off soon, and he wanted to store as much as he could before that happened. This is actually in my emergency plan if we ever encounter a SHTF moment here in Tulsa. While filling up a tub will give you 100 gallons of water, the problem is that it’s not very sanitary for a couple of reasons. First, when was the last time you cleaned your tub? And if you did clean it recently, did you use harsh chemicals to do so? Either way, you probably don’t want to drink water straight from it. Second, water in your tub has no covering so it’s susceptible to all sorts of contamination.
waterBOB system for emergency water.
In times of crisis, a waterBOB is quite handy. Be sure to have fresh towels and some scented candles on hand as well, as seen above. Even during the apocalypse, everyone needs some “me time.”
That’s where the waterBOB comes in. It’s a giant, heavy-duty plastic bag that holds up to 100 gallons of water. Just place it in your bathtub and fill with water from your tub faucet. Boom! Instant sanitary water storage.
This is a good option for folks with limited space. Just bust it out whenever you think you’ll need to use it. The downside is that when you think you need it, there might not be any water to fill it up.
Water Barrels. If you have the space and you’re looking to have at least one month of water storage on hand, you can’t go wrong with 55-gallon water barrels. They’re made from sturdy food-grade plastic and have bungs at the top that can be sealed super tight in order to protect your water from contamination. The plastic is also BPA-free and UV-resistant. Two of these babies will give a family of four about 27 days worth of water. This is what I have right now for my water storage solution.
There are a few downsides. The first one is space. If you live in an apartment, you probably won’t have room for a 55-gallon water barrel. The second is price. Each barrel will set you back about $90. You’ll also need to buy a pump and a specialty drinking water hose to fill them up. Finally, they’re not very portable. A full barrel weighs in at 440 lbs. You’ll definitely want a more portable option available in case you need to bug out.
If you’re looking to store more than a month of water, you might consider getting one (or more!) of these 320-gallon water storage systems. I’m looking to add one to our garage later this year.

How to Store Water in 55-Gallon Barrels

55-gallon drinking water barrels
I’ve got two 55-gallon barrels in my garage.
water barrels on a wood pallet
While probably not necessary, I placed my barrels on a wooden pallet to avoid a possible chemical reaction between the barrels and the cement.
specialty drinking water hose
Experts recommend that you avoid using a regular old garden hose when filling up your water barrels and instead use a speciality drinking water hose.
filled water barrels
Filled them up. It didn’t take as long as I thought it would.
chlorine drops for pre-treating water
Many prepper sites recommend pre-treating your water with chlorine to help prevent algae and bacteria growth. However, several sites claim that this isn’t even necessary because tap water is already treated with chlorine. I treated one barrel and not the other. It will be interesting to see if there’s any difference between the two in a year.
Tightening the water barrels
After filling your barrels, make sure to seal the bung as tight as you can. Remember, water doesn’t spoil. What causes water to go bad is contamination.
smaller water storage jug
Even though you might have giant barrels full of water, it’s a good idea to have smaller storage jugs in case you need to bug out of your house.
Rain BarrelsIn addition to storing tap water, you might consider adding some rain barrels into your system. Simply place a rain barrel at the bottom of your gutter pipe, and whenever it rains your barrel collects the water. Rainwater harvesting is an eco and budget friendly way to create a long-term water storage reserve. Because it comes from the heavens, and it’s sitting in a barely-protected barrel outside, you’ll want to filter and sanitize rainwater before drinking it. Some preppers just use rainwater for hygiene and save their stored tap water for drinking. Although it’s a myth that some states have made rainwater collection illegal, some drought-prone states have regulations on methods and require permits, and some states (like Texas) actually give a tax credit for buying rain collection equipment. Be sure to check the regulations for your state.
Water Cistern SystemWater cisterns are a big step up from rain barrels. They’re basically giant holding containers that you use to capture rain water. Water cistern systems can hold  anywhere from 1,400 gallons to 12,000 gallons of water. If you’re planning for end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it events, water cisterns are where it’s at. You’ll need space where you can place a giant water tank and you’ll need to develop a system of pipes to deliver rainwater to the cistern. Also, the tanks used in cistern systems usually aren’t food friendly. You’ll want to treat the water before drinking it or use cistern water primarily for hygiene purposes.

Back-up Water Solutions

In addition to having stored water, you’ll want to have options to filter and purify water in case you need to use water from rivers, streams, or lakes to supplement your supply. Creek Stewart recommends having three options on hand to produce clean drinking water: filter, chemical, and boiling.
  • Water filter. I have a Katadyn Hiker Pro Filtration System in my bug-out bag. You can produce about 1 liter of clean water per minute with it. You definitely can’t rely on it for your primary source of clean water. It’s just a supplement.
  • Purification tabletsI have some iodine and sodium chlorite tablets for purification as well.
  • Fuel and stove to boil water. Finally, I have a small stove and fuel in my bug-out bag so I can boil water to purify it.
paper bag trick for heating water
If you find yourself in a scenario where you have a paper bag but not a pot in which to boil water in…I present to you a life hack from a 1950s issue of Modern Mechanix magazine.

Common Questions About Water Storage

Do I need to rotate my water every year? This is probably the most common question and the most common answer is, yes, you need to change your water out at least once a year. But after looking into it, I found that this isn’t necessarily true. First, it’s important to understand that water doesn’t have an expiration date. If properly stored, water doesn’t spoil. What makes water go bad is contamination that gets into it. If you take proper precautions in sealing and storing your water so that bacteria or other contaminants don’t get into it, your water could theoretically stay good forever. In fact, I’ve read lots of blog posts from folks who’ve imbibed five-year-old stored water without any problems. So, as long as you take proper precautions, no, you don’t need to change your water out every year. However, if you’re worried about contamination, then go ahead and do it.
Do I need to treat my water with chlorine before I store it? A few prepper sites recommend that you treat your water with chlorine before you seal its storage container. But if you’re using tap water from your city to fill your water storage, it’s unnecessary. Tap water has already been treated with chlorine. If you properly seal your bottle or drum, you shouldn’t have to worry about bacteria or algae growth. If the day comes that you have to crack open your water source and you’re worried about contamination, feel free to add chlorine. The proper amount is 1/8 teaspoon of chlorine per gallon of water. To make it easier, just buy somewater treatment drops. They tell you exactly what you need to add.
Do I need to boil my stored water before I drink it? If you have reason to believe that your water has been contaminated, then boil it. If not, don’t. It’s a waste of fuel.
Why does my stored water taste funny? Is it contaminated? Stored water will often taste flat and weird because there’s no oxygen in it. To get rid of that weird stored water taste, simply swish your water around your cup a few times before drinking.
Do I need to store my water off the cement? If you plan on storing water in 55-gallon barrels, you’ll likely come across recommendations to not store the barrels on your garage’s cement floor and to instead place them on wooden pallets. The reason given is that chemicals in the cement can cause a chemical reaction with the plastic storage container and possibly contaminate the water. Looking into this a bit more, this seems to be more of an old prepper wives’ tale. I couldn’t find any scientific research to back up this claim. A few prepper sites claimed that storing your water on cement only became a problem when your cement got really hot.
To be on the safe side, I went ahead and put my water barrels on a pallet. Didn’t cost me much more and didn’t take up much more space. You can also use carpet or flattened cardboard boxes too.
I have a swimming pool. Can’t I just use that for my emergency water? If you have an average size swimming pool out back, you have around 20,000 gallons of water at your disposal in case of an emergency. It’s certainly drinkable. You just have to be smart about it. Because of the chlorine and pump/filter, pool water is typically free of contaminants like algae and bacteria. Don’t be freaked out about drinking chlorinated pool water. The recommended chlorine levels for pools is 2 parts per million.Water with chlorine levels below 4 parts per million is safe for humans to drink.
The problem with relying on pool water for a long-term water solution is that in a grid-down situation in which water and electricity are out for more than a week, that pool water is going to go bad. First, chlorine levels will drop in a few days unless you keep adding chlorine to the pool. If you don’t have enough chlorine on hand, that means the water will become an algae and bacteria breeding ground in a short while. Second, without electricity, your pool’s pump and filter can’t clean out the gunk. So after a week, your pristine drinkable pool water will start to “spoil.” With that in mind, you might consider having several collapsible water carriers on hand and filling them up with pool water if you think the power will be down for more than a week. Fill as many as you can and put them in your garage. You should  boil or chemically treat any pool water before drinking it just to be safe.
What about saltwater pools? Well, that’s a bit trickier. There’s a lot of mixed info out there on the topic. A few people make the case that salt levels in saltwater pools aren’t as high as you’d think they’d be, and are arguably in the safe range for drinking. On the other hand, their levels are still pretty high and too much salt consumption in a survival situation can be detrimental to your overall well-being, so you’re better off not swigging the stuff. It’s better to play it safe by avoiding drinking the saltwater from your pool. If you do have a saltwater pool and would like to use the water, consider using it only for hygiene purposes. If you want to use it for drinking, use a solar desalination device like this one. Just be warned, it takes a long time to produce drinkable water.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

That Water is Unsafe to Drink

May 6, 2005 by Ron Fontaine 

Copyright © SurvivalTopics.com Read more at: http://survivaltopics.com/that-water-is-unsafe-to-drink/

In this Survival Topic we will discuss why it is important that you consider ALL sources of drinking water as contaminated with disease causing organisms until you properly treat it. We will also touch upon the best method to make water safe to drink. Water Born Disease Organisms I want to hammer home to you the importance of always always always (did I say “always”?) treating any water before you use it for anything you will ingest into your body. Water Born Disease Organisms I want to hammer home to you the importance of always always always (did I say “always”?) treating any water before you use it for anything you will ingest into your body. In short, before you use water for any purpose that ends up in your body including Drinking water. Oral hygiene such as rinsing your mouth or brushing your teeth. Cleaning of vegetables and other foods. Cleaning of cooking and eating utensils. Douching and enemas if you are into such things best left unsaid. The water must first be de-contaminated so that all water borne pathogens are destroyed or rendered inert. Otherwise you may become very sick indeed. Contaminated Water One of the most basic concepts you must completely understand in order to stay healthy in wilderness survival situations is that all sources of water are suspect. Urban dwellers that we tend to be, we are usually accustomed to simply turning on the tap and drinking the water that comes from it. It is important to note that tap water usually comes from protected sources and has been treated by municipal agencies to destroy disease causing organisms. This water is also frequently tested in order to insure it meets standards for potablility. In more rural areas tap water often comes from wells and springs where natural processes have purified the water. Because we usually obtain our water so easily from the tap, the mindset to always consider water from untested sources as contaminated can be difficult to fully accept. Old habits die hard and many of you will be tempted to ignore my advice and drink any outdoor water source that appears to be fresh and clean. But I want you to drop any preconceived notion you many have on this subject and trust Survival Topics completely when it comes to treating your water. It could very well save your life. Too many times to count people have told me that a certain stream or lake is safe to drink because it is clear, cold, and natural. I have some important information that could very well prevent you from becoming very sick: That crystal clear mountain stream may seem clean enough to the eye, but invisible microorganisms are thriving in its waters by the millions. Most of the tiny living things in water are harmless to humans, but all too often there are types that can make you very sick should you ingest them. You Are Likely Drinking Feces Many disease organisms contaminate water sources due to improper disposal of human wastes including feces. Another common natural source of water contamination comes from the local wildlife that often defecate in or near the water. Birds and mammals that live in or near water think nothing of releasing their bodily wastes into it. But worse, many ignorant humans will improperly dispose of urine, feces, and kitchen wastes close to communal water supplies. No matter how remote you feel you are, I guarantee someone has been there before you. They may be swimming, washing up, or even have deposited a steaming pile of feces just upstream minutes before you filled your water container. On a number of occasions while at established campsites I have visited the only available water supply, often a natural spring, only to find that someone had washed their dishes in it! Were it not for the odd bits of food items floating in the other wise clear water I may never had known ignorant humans had been there before me. If these people are dumb enough to wash filthy dishes in the only available water supply, who knows what else they may have done nearby. If I were less informed about the hazards of untested water I may have drank that water without treating it and become very sick. Humans are veritible poop machines and wherever they have been you can be assured there is plenty of feces laying about. Historically, wastes and human fecal contamination of water supplies has resulted in large epidemics of cholera and other diseases that have ended the lives of millions. Do not let the actions of dumb people take you down: treat all water before you ingest it. Disease Organisms Would Like You to Drink Them Water can contain a range of nasty organisms you would do well to avoid. These include bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. Coli) Salmonella Protozoa, which also often come from human an animal feces: Microsporidia including Giarda Cryptosporidium Toxoplasma gondii Amoebae Ciliates Flagellates Apicomplexans and let’s not forget helminth zoonoses such as: nematodes ascarids pinworms hookworms strongylids angiostrongylids capillarids guinea worms liver flukes tapeworms But it’s not just fecal contamination from wildlife and ignorant humans you must worry about. I recall hiking up a crystal clear mountain stream in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. At the top of a high waterfall, below which people often swim, lay a huge rotting moose carcass that dammed up the entire stream. Unbeknownst to all, the whole water course filtered through eight hundred pounds of rotting meat on the way to that fine swimming hole downstream. So much for crystal clear mountain streams being safe to drink from! How to Make Water Safe to Drink Now that I have convinced you to consider all sources of water as contaminated until treated, I would like to suggest the best way to make water safe to drink. Once again I am sure to be stirring up a hornets nest of dissent on this subject but I stand by what I write as proven beyond doubt. Try to release any preconceived notions you may have as you read what follows. The miracle of modern advertising would have you believe that the portable water filters on the market today will remove nearly all pathogens and disease causing organisms from water. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is, studies have conclusively shown water filters vary a great deal in the types and amount of organisms they are able to filter. And that is when the water filters are functioning properly and users correctly operate and maintain them. A tall order indeed, especially in the field during adverse conditions. Would you drink water from a filter that is removing only 85% of water borne disease organisms? Chances are the water filter you use isn’t even doing that well. Various chemicals used to treat water also lack the ability to destroy 100% of disease causing organisms in water. The reasons for this are beyond the scope of this article and will be covered in a future Survival Topic. The manufacturers of chemicals and water filters don’t want you to know what the best way to make water safe to drink really is. That’s because its simple, inexpensive to operate, and they cannot sell it. The fact is, the best way to make water safe for consumption will destroy or render inert 100% of disease causing organisms. What’s more, this process is readily available and nearly foolproof. It has been successfully used for centuries and remains hands down the best method of all: boiling. How Long Does the Water Need to Boil? Water does do not even have to reach the boiling point (about 212° F or 100° C at sea level) to be rendered safe to drink; Once the water temperature reaches 185° F (85° C) nearly all disease causing organisms have been destroyed. The only reason you typically get water up to the boiling point is you probably do not have a thermometer handy to measure the water temperature. Boiling is proof positive the water is hot enough to make it safe to drink. You can also throw out the myth that you must boil water longer at higher elevations. The boiling point of water even on Mount Everest is still high enough to destroy all disease causing organisms even before the water has started to boil. For more information on boiling water to make it safe to drink read the breakthrough Survival Topic “How Long Do you Need to Boil Water?”. In conclusion: Consider water from any source as contaminated with disease causing organisms. By far the best way to treat water is by boiling it. You only have to bring the water to a boil. Don’t waste fuel; there is no need to boil water for 10-minutes, 5-minutes, or even 1-minute. Once it is boiling all disease causing organisms have been destroyed or rendered inert some time earlier. Even on Mount Everest, the highest point on earth, once water reaches the boiling point it is safe to drink. Filed Under: Recent Survival Topics, Survival Topics Blog

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