So, you've been wandering the wastes with hardly a drop to drink. Wouldn't you just love to dive into a fresh, clean lake, and drink in the pure liquid by the mouthful? Well, too bad! Because you are wandering a desert, a wasteland, and there is hardly any water of any kind, yet alone fresh water. But, use your head. You have to be resourceful. Where there is a will there is a way, and if you can pull through you just might make it to your next stop.
Finding H2OEditThe first trouble of wandering the wastes unprepared is the problem of finding water to drink. It has been years since there was running water being maintained, and if you aren't close to a city you won't find any bottles either. But there are always supplies out there, and whether purified or not, water is around.
Generally there will be pockets of pools of water or small streams located in various locations. These pockets are easy to find. The more vegetation, the more likely it is that water will be located there. Use your surroundings to judge from where the water would be located. Low levels, such as craters or rounded bottom plains usually hold water that has washed down from rain. If you head down hill, you may come across one. However, you may be in a flat area, and thus have no way of using your surroundings. Using vegetation might be good, but using the wild creatures about is the easiest method, as these, in order to survive, have to locate steady supplies of water. Stalking animals and wildlife will easily lead you to pools or streams of water, and then by taking out the creature not only do you have a sure supply of liquid, but also a nice meal.
However, some areas experience harsh dry seasons that may last days, weeks, months, and even years. It is at these points that we have to consider going to the extreme in finding water. Old bathrooms may hold water in the toilets or sinks. Abandoned buildings might have sinks or water fountains that managed to preserve water from built up pressure. Old pipes might have small amounts of moisture left in them. And even machinery, such as automobiles, may contain batteries that require water to keep the materials stable. All of these are viable options in an emergency.
Unfortunately, obtaining the drinking water is not the final step of being able to drink. Dirty water has deadly toxins that can easily lead to failure of organs and death. How does one bypass this? By purifying it, of course. For the most effect means of purification, one will need to get a barrel or container and poke or drill holes into the bottom. A shirt should be placed under it and it be placed over another container. A layer of sand should be placed at the bottom, a layer of ashes should be placed over that, then a layer of sand, then a layer of ashes. The water should be poured into this barrel, and the ashes and sand with sift out any large amounts of sewage or waste as well as certain disease causing bacteria. As well as this or instead of, in case sand or ashes are unavailable, the water can be purified by being poured through cloth and a pure bleach containing chlorine can be added in small amounts to eliminate disease. After all this, the water should be boiled, at which point it is purified and able to be enjoyed.
This, however, does not solve the problem of radiation, as lethal radioactive particles may still be inside the water. This process should eliminate a large portion of these particles, making the water safe to drink in small doses. Large amounts shouldn't be consumed unless the purification is thorough.