My Dirt Time The Adventures of Tom Sciacca

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A solar still

My Dirt Time This is a solar still. I have seen it over the years in all of the survival manuals and finally tried one. Just as I have heard and read many times, it was disappointing. Unless you have really wet ground, it isnít going to pull much water out for you to drink.

You can also urinate in the hole to add liquid. Of course don't pee in the cup that the fresh water goes in, just go into the hole around it. Also you could add vegetation, salt water or other dirty water to the hole. The condensation that forms on the plastic and then drops into the cup in the center will be pure water.

1. Dig a pit approximately 4 feet wide and 3 feet deep. Use a shovel, hand trowel, a digging stick or even your hands in soft soil or sand. Look for a sandy wash or a depression where rainwater might collect.

2. . In the center of the pit, dig another small hole deep enough for the water container.

3. Place the container inside, then run the tubing (if you have tubing it will save you from opening up the still every time you take a drink. Instead you will be able to sip from the tube like a straw) from the container to the outside of the pit. If there is tape available, tape the tubing to the inside of the container.

4. Blanket the pit with the plastic sheet evenly on all sides but not touching the bottom of the pit. Anchor the corners with rocks.

5. Find a small rounded rock to place in the center of the sheet, over the water container. This will keep the plastic centered (so the condensation rolls down the inside of the plastic to the lowest point which should be right over your cup or can) and control any flapping from the wind. Gently push down on the center weight until the sides slope to a 45ļ angle. If the pit is dug deep enough, this should leave the center weight just a few inches above the water container.

6. Next, secure the edges of the plastic sheet with rocks and dirt. Make sure there are no places where moisture can escape.

7. Close the tubing end with a knot, or double it and tie it closed.

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