emergency shelter.
snowy field and bare trees
Scott Falls, Alger County, Michigan
A forest bed of wild leeks
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Basic Survival Skills


The aboveground water still, used for drawing moisture from green leafy plants, is one of many methods of obtaining safe drinking water in a wilderness survival situation.  Using this method to collect water is a time consuming process (you might get a quart in twenty-four hours) so if this is one of the methods you will be using, build more than one if you have the materials and, if possible, start the process before you actually need the water.  (You should also consider building an underground water still to augment your efforts.) Depending on your terrain it could take several  stills to meet an individuals daily water intake.
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Materials needed:
A clear plastic bag
Green, leafy vegetation.  Be careful not to use any poisonous plants.
Something to add weight like a small rock
Construction of the aboveground water still:
Scoop air into the plastic bag or turn the opening into the wind to fill it with air.
Fill the bag three fourths full of green leafy vegetation (minus anything that is poisonous, or might puncture the bag). Place your rock inside the bag and tie the opening as close to the end as possible to maintain maximum air space.  The open end of the bag must be sealed to keep air from escaping from your still.
Maneuver the bag in place, in full sun, on the slope with the mouth on the downhill side.  If necessary, you can create a slope using rocks and soil or whatever else is available.
Position the bag with the mouth higher than the low point where the rock will be sitting.
Hand drawn demonstration of an aboveground water still.
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You can retrieve water from your still by gently tipping the bag and running the collected water into a container, then reseal the bag  to collect more moisture.

Once you have extracted most of the water from the vegetation, replace the clippings and start the process over again.

Always purify any collected water to remove harmful microorganisms and render your collected water safe to drink. To ensure that you have enough water for your survival needs, you should have several collection methods in place.
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The following recipes contain ingredients found in the wilderness
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