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Water & Survival

A diagram of water, with two hydrogen atoms bonded to one oxygen atom, there are dotted lines showing 4 H2O molecules bonded to another H2O molecule in the conter of the image. All of this is on a clear background, which shown in the context of the prepping blog is a white background.

The molecular structure of water.

In a survival situation water is going to be one of the most importation resources in almost every situation you may find yourself in. It cannot be stressed enough that water will be required to hydrate your body, and keep you alive; if you are storing freeze-dried foods, water will be required to dehydrate that food and make it consumable and dehydrated consuming dehydrated food may mean that your body will need to remove extra toxins and salt from your body that your body is not normally used to removing. All of this means that a safe supply of water is important to be able to survive a disaster.

If you are preparing for a long-term disaster (i.e. Without Rule of Law, Economic Collapse or EMP), a reliable source of water becomes very important.

How much water do you need?

Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to work properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.

Reference: Mayo Clinic

Depending on the region where you are located acquiring water may be down right difficult, or very easy depending on what natural sources are near you.

If you are located in a desert, or equatorial region you may need to consider storing a-lot of water.

The mayo clinic recommends in an average non-emergency everyday of consuming 2.2 liters a day for women and 3 liters a day for men. In a disaster in a desert region the required amount of water can skyrocket when you are working outside in extremely hot weather.

It is also suggested that you consider storing electrolyte rich additives for your water, so your body can continue functioning properly, The electrolytes that your body needs to function are the following: sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), chloride (Cl), hydrogen phosphate (HPO42−), and hydrogen carbonate (HCO3). These electrolytes are found in drinks like Gatorade or Powerade and other sports drinks.

All known higher lifeforms require a subtle and complex electrolyte balance between the intracellular and extracellular environment. In particular, the maintenance of precise osmotic gradients of electrolytes is important. Such gradients affect and regulate the hydration of the body as well as blood pH, and are critical for nerve and muscle function. Various mechanisms exist in living species that keep the concentrations of different electrolytes under tight control.

Both muscle tissue and neurons are considered electric tissues of the body. Muscles and neurons are activated by electrolyte activity between the extracellular fluid or interstitial fluid, and intracellular fluid. Electrolytes may enter or leave the cell membrane through specialized protein structures embedded in the plasma membrane called ion channels. For example, muscle contraction is dependent upon the presence of calcium (Ca2+), sodium (Na+), and potassium (K+). Without sufficient levels of these key electrolytes, muscle weakness or severe muscle contractions may occur.

Electrolyte balance is maintained by oral, or in emergencies, intravenous (IV) intake of electrolyte-containing substances, and is regulated by hormones, generally with the kidneys flushing out excess levels. In humans, electrolytehomeostasis is regulated by hormones such as antidiuretic hormonealdosterone and parathyroid hormone. Serious electrolyte disturbances, such as dehydration and overhydration, may lead to cardiac and neurological complications and, unless they are rapidly resolved, will result in a medical emergency.

Reference: Wikipedia

In future articles I will cover.

  • Methods for water storage.
  • Methods for water collection.
  • Methods and equipment for water filtration.

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