How to Collect Rainwater

Most of us get our water from our taps, provided by water companies that collect rainwater, purify it and send it to our homes.

What if you were trapped out in the wilderness, what water should you drink?

You could drink from a stream, but you risk contamination, you don’t know if the water came from a place that has lead poisoning, or if its source is from inside a mine. So, how can you hydrate?

Pretty much every creature alive on earth has to have water to drink and survive, we all need that sweet, sweet hydration. 

Why Collect Rainwater?

The human body is up to 60% water, and while we urinate and sweat it out, we need to constantly replenish it. Otherwise, we get weak and die, shrivelling up like raisins.

If you are in the midst of the wilderness you will find that water will be sparse and vital to you. Luckily though, if you are in an area in which it rains, you may find your salvation in the sky.

Rainwater is perfectly drinkable, and you can seek your all important H2O from that, preventing you from becoming dehydrated.

As we also know, when people have no access to fresh drinking water, things can become violent, problematic, and very dangerous. Water is an imperative part of our existence and even if it's just a few droplets of rainwater, it makes all the difference.

Do remember that having a rainwater collection system in your home can also be very useful, especially if there is a water cutout. It would also be very handy during an apocalypse, so for those who are mentally preparing for a zombie Apocalypse, why not set up a water collection system, just in case?

How to Collect Rainwater?

Even rainwater can save us from problematic dehydration, and there are many ways to capture it. If you are stranded in a forest and have no fresh drinking water nearby, you can resort to capturing some of that sweet-sweet sky water.

Many people who aren’t even stranded in the forest sometimes take to drinking rainwater, it saves the hassle of extra water bills, it can be more economical, and frankly a lot of people like doing it, simply because they know exactly where it is coming from and how clean it is.

One of the most common ways that you can gather your own rainwater is to use a water collection system. Most of these you will see in more rural parts of the world, or places that do not have sophisticated country-wide water supply systems.

You can also use tanks, for storage and collection, though with this, you need to consider a few hygiene tips first.

But before we get into tanks, let’s have a look at how you can use rainwater collection systems if you are stranded in the middle of nowhere on a rainy day.

Rainwater Collection Systems

These systems are often also called ‘rain traps’, the easiest way to use a water trap is to have some tarp or waterproof material hooked up that will collect the water.

Think of that time that you put up the gazebo, or a being of tarp in your backyard and water started to collect and pool in it during a rainy day.

This is basically what this is.

There are a few things that you want to consider before you start setting up your water traps;

  • The bigger the surface area of your trap, the more water you can collect.
  • Water that is collected should be transported efficiently.
  • Water that is transported should be filtered.

You can create a water trap but using tarps to funnel the water and a bucket to catch it. If you are in the wild and taken by surprise, broad leaves are also a fantastic way to do this. You could also use a rain coat, these are often waterproof and will collect water well. Even saran wrap can work well too! If its waterproof, it will work.

If on the other hand, you want to collect rainwater in your home, for you apocalypse-anticipators. Building a water collection system is easy, in fact if you have a slanted roof, you are already half way there, and your guttering is surely helping.

Here is a little guide on how to create a rainwater collection system in your home.

  1. Measure the height of the barrel you will use to collect the water, so you know where to cut in your downspout. You will likely want to use the existing downspout elbow near the ground and just move it up to fit the barrel beneath it.
  2. Cut the gutter with a hacksaw.
  3. Move the gutter elbow located near the ground to the freshly cut location.
  4. Once the elbow is relocated, place the barrel under the gutter system on a flat surface, make sure the barrel is close enough to the gutter for the water to flow into it.

Keep in mind this water may be contaminated by the materials on your roof and in your gutter, so you will need to purify it before use.

Thinking about tanks

If you are collecting rainwater at home, you may want to invest in some tanks in which to store the rainwater.

When using tanks you need to remember that you will need to filter and purify your rainwater, because the tanks may contaminate the water.

You should also be aware of using certain types of tanks, ones that can get rust are a strong no-go, as this can be a health risk. Be sure to maintain your water tanks.

Things to remember about Rainwater Collection

There are rumors that collecting rainwater is illegal, these are just rumors. Every state has different laws about this, but however some states are not all for the collection of rainwater, so check your states laws first.

However, no one owns rain.

Remember that even if there is no rain you can also find your own water, digging often leads to water, so if you don’t fancy rain, why not dig to find water. But do remember you will need to purify this water regardless! 

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