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Solar Stills When You Least Expect Them

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  • Dave Womble
    One of the biggest factors I have seen is how much moisture is coming out of the ground? . I haven t made a solar still intentionally but I have seen its
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 28, 2007
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      One of the biggest factors I have seen is "how much moisture is coming
      out of the ground?". I haven't made a solar still intentionally but I
      have seen its effect many times while backpacking. When hammocking I
      sometimes get a lot of moisture on the under side of my tarp and many
      times that is from condensation from the moisture evaporating from the
      ground and/or vegetation on the ground. Sometimes it is so pronounced
      that it occurs between the time I set up my tarp, mess around camp and
      cook my dinner... I will have condensation on the underside of my tarp
      before I have even been under the tarp.

      One of the more noticeable occurrences was when I tarped and slept on
      the ground using either a plastic ground sheet or a Tyvek ground
      sheet. When I used a plastic ground sheet, the underside of it would
      often be slightly muddy even on dry ground after a night of sleeping
      and I didn't have much problem with condensation on the underside of
      my tarp. When I used a Tyvek ground sheet, the underside of it would
      be dry on dry ground after a night of sleeping but I often had
      problems with condensation on the underside of my tarp... in fact,
      there were times I would have condensation on the underside of my tarp
      between the time I set up my tarp, messed around camp and cooked my
      dinner.

      Looking back on those situations, I think I was lucky that I didn't
      get into a situation when I was using a Tyvek ground sheet where I got
      into trouble because not only is it not a vapor barrier, I don't think
      it is waterproof to a very high pressure and I worry that you might
      get ground water pushing through it from you body weight if the ground
      was saturated with water, like laying in or on a puddle of water in
      heavy rains. At the time I appreciated that I didn't have to deal with
      a slightly muddy piece of plastic in the morning even when the ground
      was dry.

      Dave Womble
      aka Youngblood 2000
      designer of the Speer Segmented Pad Extender, SnugFit Underquilt, and
      WinterTarp

      was Re: [Hammock Camping] Re: female 'pee bottles' was Panda High Peak
      as a sleep...

      Best idea is to try this out before deciding to rely on it. The amount
      of sweat spent in digging a hole 3 foot wide and 3 foot deep is amazing,
      especially when one has no shovel. I have tried using smaller set-ups.
      They have always been disappointing. The essential design criteria is
      that the slope of the plastic needs to be steep enough so that the water
      runs off it.

      I am reading a desert survival book this week. In that book, the solar
      still is called idol worship. It seems like a good idea, but does not
      accomplish much.

      Rick

      amendment2@... wrote:
      > Almost, in a solar still, you line around the inside with the urine and
      > other moisture bearing vegetation. In the center you put a clean
      container and
      the
      > distilled water condenses on the plastic, runs to the low point,
      drips into
      > the clean container. Best idea is to put a long small diameter hose
      from the
      > inside bottom of the container up to the outside of the still so you can
      > drink the water without disturbing the distilling action of the still.
      >
    • tim garner
      one interesting method i ve seen (but not put to use) is wrapping a foliage covered branch in plastic (trash bag?) & wrapping the end tight around the branch
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 28, 2007
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        one interesting method i've seen (but not put to use) is wrapping a foliage covered branch in plastic (trash bag?) & wrapping the end tight around the branch to seal it.

        as the sun heats the plastic the green leaves inside will put off moister which will collect inside the bag.

        that apparently is more practical in a lot of situations than a solar still.
        that way of collecting water was shown by cody lundun (sp?), a survival expert specializing in desert conditions of the south west US.

        Dave Womble <dpwomble@...> wrote:
        One of the biggest factors I have seen is "how much moisture is coming
        out of the ground?". I haven't made a solar still intentionally but I
        have seen its effect many times while backpacking. When hammocking I
        sometimes get a lot of moisture on the under side of my tarp and many
        times that is from condensation from the moisture evaporating from the
        ground and/or vegetation on the ground. Sometimes it is so pronounced
        that it occurs between the time I set up my tarp, mess around camp and
        cook my dinner... I will have condensation on the underside of my tarp
        before I have even been under the tarp.

        One of the more noticeable occurrences was when I tarped and slept on
        the ground using either a plastic ground sheet or a Tyvek ground
        sheet. When I used a plastic ground sheet, the underside of it would
        often be slightly muddy even on dry ground after a night of sleeping
        and I didn't have much problem with condensation on the underside of
        my tarp. When I used a Tyvek ground sheet, the underside of it would
        be dry on dry ground after a night of sleeping but I often had
        problems with condensation on the underside of my tarp... in fact,
        there were times I would have condensation on the underside of my tarp
        between the time I set up my tarp, messed around camp and cooked my
        dinner.

        Looking back on those situations, I think I was lucky that I didn't
        get into a situation when I was using a Tyvek ground sheet where I got
        into trouble because not only is it not a vapor barrier, I don't think
        it is waterproof to a very high pressure and I worry that you might
        get ground water pushing through it from you body weight if the ground
        was saturated with water, like laying in or on a puddle of water in
        heavy rains. At the time I appreciated that I didn't have to deal with
        a slightly muddy piece of plastic in the morning even when the ground
        was dry.

        Dave Womble
        aka Youngblood 2000
        designer of the Speer Segmented Pad Extender, SnugFit Underquilt, and
        WinterTarp


        don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!!!


        ---------------------------------
        Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your homepage.

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Cara Lin Bridgman
        I ve tried it. It works. In less than two hours, I got a large mouthful of water from 2 daisies (flowers, leaves, and stems). The bag needs to be clear and
        Message 3 of 3 , Nov 28, 2007
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          I've tried it. It works. In less than two hours, I got a large
          mouthful of water from 2 daisies (flowers, leaves, and stems). The bag
          needs to be clear and the plants need to be in the sun. It has nothing
          to do with cooking the plants and everything to do with the
          transpiration (plants 'breathing').

          As for hammocking, when I bought my Hennessey Hammock, I didn't buy the
          snake skins, but I went all out on the tarp-tensioners. They should
          work for condensation on the underside of the tarp, too--if the
          condensation is heavy enough to start running down the tarp.

          CL

          tim garner wrote:
          > one interesting method i've seen (but not put to use) is wrapping a foliage covered branch in plastic (trash bag?) & wrapping the end tight around the branch to seal it.
          >
          > as the sun heats the plastic the green leaves inside will put off moister which will collect inside the bag.
          >
          > that apparently is more practical in a lot of situations than a solar still.
          > that way of collecting water was shown by cody lundun (sp?), a survival expert specializing in desert conditions of the south west US.
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