Monday, November 2, 2015
What’s the big deal? Just buy a bottle of water on the go, right? Well, no.
First, even if you mostly move around in urban areas and can buy bottles of water whenever you feel the need, this can become a pretty wasteful habit. Wasteful regarding waste of money, money that could be put to good use elsewhere, wasteful also regarding the environment. I’m no tree-hugger, but I can see how regularly buying disposable containers is a pretty wasteful thing to do.
I consider water to be one of the most critical yet most often overlooked EDC components. Basically everything else people EDC, knives, guns, flashlights, even wallet and mobile phones, you could honestly get by without for several hours, even several days and not die. The same cannot be said about water. You will need water in the next few hours. In our permissive environment, we simply lost perspective of how precious a resource it truly is. But you need water. You need to drink it, you need it to clean wounds, wash your face after a disaster, wash debris out of your eyes or soak a hat or rag to cool down or prepare a tea or coffee when cold.
Then there’s the container. A good water bottle is much stronger than those disposable ones. It can be refilled time and again for many years. With the right container you could even cook safely in it. When aboriginal societies in some isolated parts of the world are exposed to modern technologies, one of the things that amazes them the most and they themselves find the most useful is a container that can withstand fire and isn’t brittle or fragile like their clay or wooden containers. For those that are forced to survive in the wilderness for extended periods of time, several decades even, containers that they can both cook and carry liquids in are the thing they miss the most.
Choosing the Right Water bottle
As some of you already know, I recently relocated from Ireland to the south of Spain. During that transition a thing that got left behind was my water bottle. During those last few days everything was this whirlwind of preparations and at the last minute I just didn’t have any room for it. In hindsight I could have tried to get in along with my carry-on luggage, but given how tight airplane regulations are I decided to just leave the heavily dented steel bottle and just get a new one later on. Oh, did I regret that decision!
Not a day had gone by that I wish I had my old Klean Kanteen with me. I got by refilling used water bottles but it sure was a pitiful replacement. I walked into several outdoor stores but none had the kind of bottle I was looking for. Either the design wasn’t right, or the bottle wasn’t marked as BPA free. I saw a few SIGG water bottles but after seeing first-hand how the interior liner chipped and peeled off into a toxic gunk I wasn’t going to buy one of those again. Some of the bottles out there were aluminium with no liner of any kind. Those you want to avoid as much as the SIGGs.
I ended up ordering three types of bottles online. A generic steel water bottle, Nalgene and Klean Kateen. The cheap generic one had no markings and the cap said nothing about being BPA free. The Klean Kanteen and the Nalgene, these last two are the ones I most definitely recommend.
Nalgene Wide Mouth Bottle (Clear, 1-Pint) $8.62
Nalgene water bottles are rightfully one of the most popular options. They are light but durable. Even though they are made of plastic, the material is much thicker than an ordinary water bottle and you can immediately tell when you pick one up that these bottles made in USA can take a beating. They are reasonably priced as well, making it easier to buy several for kits and different family members. My advice would be to buy clear transparent ones. These allow you to use sunlight to treat water with UV (SODIS). 6hs of direct sunlight can kill harmful bacteria according to the World Health Organization.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.