By Robert B – this is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest.
Whether for your home or your “Bug Out” location, you’re going to need water to survive, personal hygiene, washing clothing, etc. I’ve made a simple rain catch system at our bug out location that any one can build for less than $150.00.
Although there are many ways to build a rain catch system, we found this system to be simple to build in under thirty minutes. The items needed for this rain catch are:
- Rain catch barrel (50 Gallon) with an opening on top with a piece of mesh held by multiple screws
- Cement blocks to raise the barrel
- 8 X 6 water proof tarp
- At least 6 fence posts
- Paracord or similar rope
- Rocks and pebbles / gravel
Choose a location that has little or no trees that will cause pollen and leaves to clog the mesh on top of the barrel or your faucets. This will also minimize the contamination of your collected water.
The cement blocks raises the barrel so that you can use the bottom faucet more easily. You’ll thank yourself later.
Remove the plastic mesh to expose the hole on top of the barrel.
Next, center your tarp over the hole and cut a hole in your tarp to match the hole in your rain barrel.
Simply replace the mesh and screws, securing the tarp to your rain barrel.
We had a roll of window screening laying around so we cut a piece for additional filtering of contaminants. Obviously an optional step in the process.
Add gravel and some larger rocks to add weight as well as filtering water as it flows into the barrel.
This step was to help secure the tarp to the barrel on windy days. The added weight of the rocks and gravel also reduce the stress on the screws during high winds.
Drive your fence posts into the ground leaving room for adjustments as needed and attach the tarp (utilizing the eye holes in the tarp) to the posts slightly higher that the top of the barrel. Now, just sit back and wait for the rain.
We were worried about high winds damaging or destroying the tarp, but we had two days of over forty MPH winds and it came through right as rain, so to speak.
Our rain gauge at our bug out location showed that we received one inch of rain which was enough to fill the rain barrel.
Now you’ll have a renewable source of water. Keep in mind, it’s still best to boil and filter any bacteria and other contaminants that will inevitably get into your water.
When your rain barrel is full, it’s a good idea to harvest and save the water you’ve accumulated. We use cat litter containers which hold nearly three gallons of water.
Use your imagination to improve on this design and feel free to share your thoughts or ideas to help out other folks looking to complete such a project. Enjoy!!!!!