National Preparedness Month Daily Challenge: Day 5

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This topic contains 33 replies, has 34 voices, and was last updated by  Crusher 1 5 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #22219


    Here’s today’s challenge!

    Where is the closest natural source of water to you?

    This might be a river, a pond, a lake, or even a tiny little stream.  The goal here is to locate the closest one to your home.

    Now, imagine you have to get there. In situation A, you can stroll down and just fill up your container and stroll back. Map your route for situation A.

    In situation B, things are more dangerous. It isn’t safe to be out but you’ve run out of your own supply and there’s nary a cloud in the sky for catching rainwater. You MUST have water. What is the stealthiest route to get to your water source? This might be a trail through the woods, alleyways if you’re in the city. What is the way where you’re likely to encounter the fewest people?

    And finally, how will you tote the water home?  Water is pretty heavy at just over 8 pounds per gallon. Below are a few ideas:

    Water bladder backpack (This is a good option for Situation B when you must be stealthy)
    Soda bottles in a regular backpack (also stealthy)
    Share your ideas

    What are your plans for acquiring water in Situations A and B? Are there other variables where you live that could make it even more difficult to get some water home in an emergency? Let’s talk about it!

  • #22223

    drafts man

    Neighborhood detention pond is the closest (500′) although not exactly a natural water source. There is a lake (.6 miles) and city park pond (.2 miles) near by as well as other detention ponds that would be less stealthy. Soda bottles in an backpack, and a bucket w/ a lid. More importantly after you get your water how are you going to make it drinkable? You wouldn’t want to contaminate a transport container w/ non potable water.


  • #22224

    Loving Life

    Ok. I have a well with solar backup. I also have tons of water stores (rain barrels, hot tub, potable water, Berkey, filters, Lifestraws, water purification tablets, etc), so I hope these scenarios do not come into play.

    I am about 1/2 to 1 mile from a small river.

    Scenario A. I would bike with front basket the mile down the dirt road (down the mountain) to the river with my backpack. I would load the water in the backpack and in front basket. I would take as many trips as needed, then I would pray for rain.

    Scenario B. I live in a wooded rural area. Instead of taking the dirt road, I would take a combination of two foot paths and then bushwhack about 50 feet to the stream. I would only take my water backpack with me.

  • #22225

    Livingthe Dream

    There is a canal that’s at the bottom of the hill I live on, about 1/4 mile away.  If it’s dried up then I would have to go to the river that is about 2 miles away.

    Situation A – Drive to the nearest source and fill up all the buckets and bottles I could fit in it.

    Situation B –  I live in the middle of town so the only way to be stealthy would be to move at night.  I  would use a backpack filled with water bottles since trying to push a stroller or pull a wagon up the hill would be beyond my capability.  It would take quite a few trips.

  • #22226


    There is a river that runs past my neighborhood about one block away from my house, so we could easily walk over and get water.  It would be transported back in a folding utility wagon that we have, and then filtered. Also, in thinking about this, the river does get covered in ice chunks in the winter, and would be a risk to go to in the winter.  To that end, we could use melted snow (purified) as drinking water.  We also have rain barrels that we can set up on our gutters to use as well.

  • #22227


    There is a canal about 1/2 mile from my house. I could easily walk over with my huge wheelbarrow and/or buckets and bottles to fill it, in situation A. Situation B, I’m thinking I’d need to go after dark, and take a different route there, which would probably double the “commute”. In that case, I’m all for a backpack with plastic bottles. I’m considering looking into an underground well, just to see what other options I can give myself.

  • #22229

    Farm Girl

    We have a stream behind our house, less than 15 feet, so collecting and transporting would be easy, as long as its not the middle of summer.  If stream is dry, we have a big pond about 75 to 100 feet away.  We have a wheelbarrow and gardening wagon we could easily load containers in and bring to the house.  We have buckets, pitchers, water bricks, camp water containers, etc that we could collect water in.

    For situation 2, stream behind us would be easy to be stealthy.  Pond would be tricky.  There are no trees or bushes which could be used for cover.  But then, it would also be hard for people with ill intent to hide as well.  Still, probably best to collect it at night.  We have a family size LifeStraw system, some individual LifeStraws, potable water tablets, and of course, there is always boiling.

  • #22230

    Crow Bar

    Got 2 ponds.

    One within rock throwing distance of the back deck.  The other, well if I really get my arm behind that rock, I might hit the edge from the deck.

    There is a drainage ditch (non-roadway drainage) about 100yrds from the back deck.  It is constantly running, and turns into a small stream in heavy rains.

    Then there is the brook.  It is a good 1/4 to 1/2 mile from the house.  I have a serious of walking trails I use to walk the dogs that goes back there.  I can hump it out there with two 5gal buckets and lids.  Is it a chore?  Yep.  But I have done it before.  That is where I sometimes get the livestock’s water from.

  • #22232

    scott weech

    there is 1 stream, and several ponds nearby, plus i collect rainwater.

  • #22233

    OldMt Woman

    There is a pond on our property.  Oddly, the small creek is mostly dry right now …. this has happened only 1 other time in decades…but I’d use the pond anyway.  There are springs that fill the pond but in a terrible drought year, even it went way down.  Yet, we’d have enough to draw from it.

    I would chose to run some of the water from the pond directly thru my water pre-filter and filter… into CLEAN containers.  I have all sorts of sizes.  Some would be designated UNclean for flushing.

    IF we still had vehicles, we would carry the large Waterman bottles up with the truck for clean water.  5 gallon buckets with lids for UNclean.  No I cannot lift either of those when full.  We would fill them with a smaller container – always keeping track of Clean/UNclean.  Can back truck right up to the pond.

    If StuffHitsFan and vehicles don’t work, we would use large saddlebags across the horse. Worst come to worse:  wheelbarrows, sleds, lil’ red wagon,old wheelchair, wheeled grocery carrier, 2-wheel dolly….lots of options since we regularly deal with moving stuff around like bales of hay.  BUT it’s so very steeply UP HILL.  Would not try a wheeled trash container due to the UP hill.

    If stealth was required, [even on our own land…..OR if the weather was nasty/cold, I wouldn’t bother with filtering at the pond.  I’d bring it up and deal with it at the house.

    …Of course we’d use water catchment off the roof of house/outbuildings too.  OR use the big sheets of plastic on a hillside – spread to funnel into containers.  Requires rain….


  • #22235

    Susan Cooper

    About a quarter mile from my home is a small stream. We live in a wooded area and I could get there stealthily.  Also, I live 1 mile from two major lakes in my area. They too are heavily wooded and there are lots of pathways to get to the water

  • #22239


    We moved to a place that has a large creek on the property. My daughter and I actually practiced bringing buckets of water up to the garden area. Man, it was tough! We ended up meeting at the fence, lifting a filled bucket up to the person watering the garden, and then passing an empty bucket to the one fetching the water. It’s not a far walk, but it was still strenuous. We switched out places several times. It took us an over an hour to water everything in our small kitchen garden. We have a garden wagon. It might have been helpful. but I wanted to do it by hand.

  • #22241


    A storm drainage ditch across the street; it is blocked by homes on one side and open to a sidewalk/street on the other. There are also 2 drainage ponds, also partially surrounded by homes. One 2 blocks away, another 4. Only way to any of them is via the street.

    Now the stealth part. There are few sections where I can get access to the storm drainage ditch, but still it would mean walking down a street. The pond would be easier. Visit a neighbor, walk across the street and sneak behind back yards.However that would mean climbing fences and risk being shot at.

  • #22245


    I’m very lucky in this matter. There are multiple natural sources and a few slightly less natural sources around me. I have 2-3 small creeks/streams running through my property, one definitely within 500, probably within 200 feet of my door. There are also 2-3 springs feeding into those creeks, and then those creeks feed into a larger creek/river at the base of the big hill I live on. The next door neighbor also has a fair size pond, and a neighbor a bit further down the road has a pretty big pond. Many of these sources are in pastures as water sources for livestock, though, so extra care will probably need to be taken during filtering. And in that same vein, there are probably a bunch of stock tanks and other livestock waterers and pools that could be used in an emergency. For scenario A, I’d probably go a bit further to the point where the creek’s a little bit deeper and clearer to source my water, and depending on whether or not they work, might just use the farm four wheelers and some 5 gallon buckets for transport (have done that before, probably not the best way, but quick, can carry about 4-6 buckets depending on which wheeler, and easy enough to go back for more water). If not wagon or wheelbarrow should hopefully work. For scenario B, I’d probably just take two buckets to the bit of creek closest to my house, or a backpack full of empty bottles to that same bit of creek (I’d probably save the water bladder for the ready to drink water after filtering and stuff). Just quick, short, in and out. If that creek goes dry, stealth scenario, would probably walk along the creek bed downstream to see if the larger creek still has any water, or go upstream, see if I can find one of the springs, and look for water in pools around the springs.But the creek bed is brushy, woody mess, and even the one branch in the open pasture has small trees and shrubs around it, so travel using those for cover would be better than open road. Thinking further out, the Great Lakes are a couple hours north, not too bad, they’d likely still have water, but are very prominent and also likely to be taken over and guarded.

  • #22247


    We have a river in back of neighborhood.  It is in walking distance.  I would use our wagon and make a few trips.  We also have a water detention pond that is about 5 minutes from us driving and maybe 10 to 15 mins. walking. Not sure on walking as I have never walked it. We also have a well that is set to be able to use on generator right now as hurricane Dorian coming our way. Though I think we might just get the heavy rain with flooding in low land areas. In process of figuring out a rain water catchment system other than just rain barrels at the gutters.

    We have several ways to filter water including a berkey system.

  • #22250

    Mama cando

    I If there’s no rain. We have within 1-3 blocks a small park with a spring fed large pond plus a second one down the road in the opposite direction,  can walk to park and pond with as many containers as I can fit in the two garden wagons. The spring that feeds it is about a 1/2 mile down further from us. Would have to use car (if still running) or use bicycle with wagons attached behind. I have a couple of friends who back up to the park and I would be able to access the pond from their back yards. From October to August our sump runs almost continuously,  would divert to buckets, filter, boil and chlorinate as I would the pond/stream water. August thru October would have to make a run on the pond near us.  Unfortunately there is no real good stealthy way to collect water here as I am in a subdivision. I believe most of the neighbors will be doing the same and to some extent there maybe safety in numbers.Unless some scumbag and gang decide to shut down the park, we maybe okay till winter. That’s predisposing we get snow, then we would gather snow, melt/boil, filter, etc. in addition to trying to get water from the ponds.

  • #22252

    Dala Barnes

    We have a home on a lake so we would stroll down :). I have a wagon that I could pull or use my tractor to haul it uphill. If it became dangerous we would have one on  overwatch and do it at night. We are more familiar with the wooded area around us than others who might try to come in.

  • #22254


    H<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>ave 2 </span>miles of head water over front around 3/4 of property about 100 feet down near house. To bring up when not frozen we have pumps gas/deisel or a ram pump or a windmill pump that can be deployed.


    House has well inside with both electric and hand pump that has a stationary bike that can be attached. It pumps to a 2000 gallon tank in attic.


    There are two stock watering ponds that have springs in them.


    Inside house near zero risk, outside well only risk is if you would go out to hand pump water for animals but it is in consealment now and could be made to be cover.


    Ponds are 500 yards out from housing area they have a wind break with trees and thorny plants with a swale on house side. Could hide in the bushes but that would be in bull pen and boar pen… do at own risk. We could drag hand cart there capible of carrying 8 5 gallon jugs at once.


    We use about 500 gallons a day for stock and people.




  • #22253


    Oh, wow…for me to come up with a do-able plan for this challenge is tough. I’ve thought about it all day and can’t come up with any realistic plan I could execute for either A or B. Although I live in a rural area with farm ponds and creeks everywhere, at 81 I simply would not have the physical strength to walk any distance and haul any amount of water back to my house.

    At the start of any long-term situation, I have stored 75 gallons of potable water; 100 gallons of non-potable water for cleaning/flushing; I have bottles of bleach for purifying water if necessary and I could boil water. So, assuming one gallon per day used and no rainfall to resupply, I could theoretically make out alone and on my own for a bit over 5 months.

    More realistically, I have the benefit of family who live close and would come to get me (and my prepper supplies) to stay with them. Or if family could not get to me, my small rural Southern neighbors would not likely let me or any of our elderlies die of thirst. Hmmm….even now, I still believe in the basic goodness of most folks. Plus at my age, and as a Christian, I’m mentally and emotionally okay with whatever each day brings. 🙂

  • #22259


    There is a pond about half a mile north of us, and a natural stream 3 miles south.  Our town has a lot of old homes with capped wells, which  might be accessible in a long term situation (including the house on either side of us)

  • #22267


    I live less than a mile from a reservoir. Plan A I could drive there & fill containers (easy way) or if for some reason driving was not possible walk & carry back much less (guess I should buy a wagon since my wheel barrel is hard for me to maneuver). Plan B walk heavily armed & carry some in containers in a back pack.

  • #22268


    First off we have a small creek that runs through our city park which is about 1/2 from our house if we walk straight down the street but if we have to stay sort of hidden, we could go a round about way and stay in the tree line.

    We would use our back packs that have bladders, if we need more than that we could use a wheeled cart.

    We also have Sawyer filters on hand to make sure it is drinkable.

  • #22271


    first of all use hand pump.


    There is a creek running by about a city block away from the house if I go the road way.  For stealth I would go the back way.  Not fun to carry water very far but at least its always there.  Could use an atv or garden cart or back pack for most stealth.  In winter the yard would be full of snow to melt.  We get so much we need to shovel the roof off but inlaws always used the hand pump even in winter just made sure everyone kept handle in right position.

    I am surprised so many people here had water on property.  We also have springs where water is clear and doesn’t need to be treated.  Nearest one is about a mile or two away.  Woud be harder to get there especially in winter when road is closed.  Wouldn’t want to try snowshoeing from there with water on my back, but there are other sources.

  • #22272

    Jessee Jones

    There is a stream across the road at the end of my driveway. I also have rain barrels filled and two large plastic tanks which hold about 500 gallons each. There is a lot of containers which have water for drinking already stored and I have been working to store more this week. Situation A: Would take the wagon down the drive and fill the buckets. I have lids for the buckets. I have 4 different filtrations systems. Situation B: I am about as stealthy as a cow on stilts! So this would absolutely have to be done at night. I would take a  backpack and the bottles for this situation. I feel that I need to give the B situation a lot more thought and practice.

  • #22274

    3cats1dog Johnson

    We have 3 ponds within our neighborhood, the closest about 1/4 mile away. If my stock of numerous gallons, water bob and water bricks was depleting I could walk or ride my bike to one of the ponds, carrying a bucket with lid or empty bottles in backpack.

    if I had to hide my actions, I would use the backpack and go thru the wooded section as much as possible, wearing dark/camouflage.


  • #22279

    We live in the country and have several ponds on properties near us.  We have two yard carts with pneumatic tires and lots of lidded buckets.   We also have several rain barrels, a stock tank under where our roof runs off, and two tanks full of water.  We have a Kawasaki Mule that we leave grounded to a copper pipe in the ground when we are not driving it in case of an EMP so that if we do get an EMP it won’t hurt the circuitry in the Mule.  Then we could drive it to a nearby pond or creek.

  • #22285

    Mama T

    I am lucky, like a lot here, I have the resources right in my back yard.

  • #22286

    I live near the Ohio River and it is just down the street where boats can put in so we have a wagon to carry and 5 gallon and 3 gallons I also have a way to purify  it.

  • #22290


    Thankfully I have a pond across the road from my driveway, and a seasonal creek at the back of my property. We are at the end of a rural, private road with no street lights in either situation it’s not likely to be overly difficult to cross the road and fill jugs. Looking into water catchment and storage as a further back up.


  • #22297

    Lilac5 farm

    There is a small creek between 2 grain fields across the road from me but I can’t see myself using the water for anything but toilet flushing. It has to be contaminated with runoff from fields on both sides. My neighbor 1/4 of a mile away has an inground pool but that water is also treated. I am having a very hard time meeting this challenge. If I can use a generator to get water from my well, I’m fine but at age 70, with no clean water available, I’m stuck.

  • #22333


    We have a small pond, but planning on making it bigger as it just don’t hold water any more with when we get droughts around here. We also have a few ponds close to us that we could fill up water jugs or soda bottles that we have for water now. We could easily attach our wagon that we have for gardening to out bike and ride to the pond with a barrel and fill up using our water bottles.

  • #22334

    Prepper Urbano

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Sit. A: there’s a creek not far. Easy to get to in this situation. Would bring wheelbarrow and large containers.</p>
    Sit. B: there the creek one way and also a pond in the other direction, both would be impossible to get to without being seen. Would have to go at night for cover, using backpack with water bottles and/or water bladder. There’s some cover on route but lots of exposure. This is a great exercise – thanks for stimulating thought on this one!

  • #22387

    JD Darling

    Pond, it can’t be seen from off the property and can be covered from the house.

  • #22643

    Crusher 1

    We have a ditch along the road in front, and there’s also a ditch that runs through the woods at the back of our property.  We can drive our 50 gallon tank to the front ditch in the back of the truck.  We also have multiple neighbors that have ponds.  So far, we’ve met one of them and get along.  If the roads are safe, we’re about 15 minutes away from Lake Huron.  If we have to be stealthy, we’d have to go to the ponds through the woods at night using bottles in our backpacks.

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