Here we go with the first submission on our new page on wilderness how to’s.
Imagine you are in the wilderness and require hot water for something. For example, everyone knows you should not drink water from an unknown source without boiling it first or you need clean water to treat some type of wound. Problem is how do you boil the water without a pot to boil it in!! This is a question I have asked many people during the times Michel and I taught wilderness survival to pilot groups. The answers were varied and sometimes amazing.
To accomplish this you first find a container of some type, plastic bottle, a hat, a boot, a birch bark cup, a hollow piece of wood or even a curved piece of wood you can carve out. A bark cup can be formed with most types of small trees where you can strip a large piece of bark off a tree and semi roll it into a cup shape and secure it’s shape by tying a piece of string or lace from a boot or shoe, once secured it can be sealed with sap or gum from the same tree. Heat the sap or gum by the fire to make a warm paste and slather it over the seam and as much of the rest of the cup as you can, let cool. I once saw a fellow actually make a cup from clay mud from the creek we were by and then bake it in the fire and make an excellent container. Once you come up with a container the next problem is how to heat the water contained in it without burning the container, thus spilling the water. Fill the container 3/4 full with water from your source.
To do this find a large handful of small rocks, clean the rocks as best you can to remove any dirt or algae that may be on them. Once you have a good fire going (to be covered on another post) place the rocks very close to or in the fire to heat . Once the rocks are very hot use a couple sticks as tweezers to move the rocks to the water container from the fire and carefully place them in the water SLOWLY! You must place them in slowly to prevent them from exploding from the heat transfer when they touch the water. Add the rocks a couple at a time as the water heats and as the rocks cool remove them, with your wooden stick tongs and reheat by your fire. Keep the transfer of rock from the fire to the water container until the water heats to the desired temperature or to a rolling boil. If you are wanting to drink the water, keep the boil going for a least 3 to 4 minutes to kill any bacteria and organisms which may be in the water.
This simple but effective method has helped me out many times in the bush and certainly if you require water, never drink it from an unknown source. The organisms can cause devastating effects which can seriously harm your chances of survival if lost or stranded. Often a nice fire and a hot drink can do wonders in improving your outlook and reasoning when faced with a serious situation.
Again we welcome any input from our readers regarding any topic we post on this site.
Good luck and all the best from Tom and Michel.