Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Free Filter Hobo Style for Rain Water Run Off

I just finished this video for Youtube. Its part of my Hobo Series. I take "junk" and free stuff to create usable survival systems. This one is all about what to do with the rain water collected in buckets from off the roof. I have used bleach exclusively for all my long distance hikes, including The Pacific Crest Trail (Mexico to Canada), the Appalachian Trail, the entire 2,172 miles from Georgia to Maine, the Colorado Trail, can we say Bovine and Beavers?? I know bleach works.

Its important to get the organic material out of the water, hence the double filtration. First, the netting removes the larger debris. Its easy to clean this netting too. Then, the cotton bandanna creates a fine filtration. Its a cheap easy way to get it down to the finest particles.

The straw is inserted into a hole created by a hot soldering iron. You can use a hot nail, or match. Then insert straw, seal with glue. I prefer a 100% silicone in a caulking tube. I keep this stuff around all the time. Once open, you can double wrap it in a couple plastic walmart bags. When you need it again, apply pressure, unplug by pulling out that little solid piece, and it will flow freely again. The stuff is great for all kinds of repairs and water proofing. It will withstand direct sunlight and has survived my solar water testing procedures.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the short video.


  1. I knew you were a hiker and all, but I didn't realize how much you had done. The things you must have seen. I've traveled a good bit in the country but by four wheel drive and usually with my brothers and my son. Never did the back pack thing. It must be nice to be free of the logistics tail vehicles require.

  2. Loved the video. I would've liked to see a bit on you putting the individual parts together though, before the actual demonstration of it working.

  3. Terrific set up. I heard a lecture given by a doctor who works with cholera in Pakistan and they have found that filtering water through several layers of sari cloth reduced village cholera rates by 1/2. Anyway, how much chlorine should be used per, say, gallon of water to make it potable?

  4. Hi WIll, I did make a short video of that, but didn't include it with this cause it seemed sort of lame. I can do a post on that, too, and show the stuff, it was very hobo plastic bottles, scrap of netting, scrap of cotton bandanna, cut a straw in half. Made a hole with a soldering tool, siliconed all around it. Let it set up to get hardened. Tested it. Worked!

  5. Hey, Proudhillbilly, we use about one drop of chlorine per quart on decent water. Times we took out of a beaver pond or in cattle country, we used three. If there is no organic material in it and came from a reasonable source, like these rain barrels, I'd give it one drop per quart (4 drops per gallon), let it set half an hour. Really cold water, or sunlight will disapate the chlorine, so keep that in mind. In a survival situation, a person would not want to waste all the chlorine on non esential purification, I'm thinking, like for the dog or horse, or watering stuff.

  6. Speaking too that survival situation, Ya can easily pix up a bag of Pool water "shock" at Local department or home improvement store for just under 3 USD. That bag is meant too clean a whole Pool in two applications. As long as ya take a few moments too premix the shock ya have enough for months were it needed that long.

  7. Lagaz, is that shock stuff useable for drinking water? I know a little goes a looooong way. It disapates in sunlight, so that a person could use the shock treatment in water jugs, allow to sit opened to disapate,and end result is clean safe water...is this correct, Lagaz?

  8. Yes Brawny. I didn't like leaving the suggestion open ended So I did a little Google digging myself. I posted this on the video on You Tube as well

    pool shock with calcium hypochlorite..

    First make the solution; solution makes the bleach; bleach makes the purified water.

    Solution: 1 heaping tsp. of pool shock to 2 gallons of water= Solution

    Bleach: 1/4 cup solution to 1.5 gallons (6 quarts) of water= Bleach

    Water Purifier: 4/5 drops to a gallon of water= Purified Water

    Too break that down again First you mix the solution That gives you 2 Gallons of "starter"

    From the "stater" Use 1/4 cup with 1 an 1/2 water too make the bleach, Once you are "there" 4 or 5 drops per Gallon Water and about 1/2 hour later with it in the sun you are good too drink it.

    Hope this "helps"

  9. Thanks Lagaz, I'm going to see if they still got shock in stock at the Mart today...things are on sale end of season. Very good to know, this shock stuff would go a long long way!

  10. Arsenius, I only state my resume to prevent the people who sometimes question my experience, like "How would she know if bleach works?" A tiny one ounce bottle goes a long way, an ultralighters dream.
    Come to think of it, a survivalists dream too, cause how easy is it to slip that little bottle in a day pack or bear sling contraption (my post a couple back)

    love reading your blog, the scenery is So familiar, I know I've been through that neighborhood!