How To Build A Salt Water Distiller | Survival Life Guide

How would you like to make your own salt water distiller from the simplest materials? The human body can’t survive without water for too long, which means this skill might just keep you alive in the toughest of situations.

Salt Water Distiller | Make Your Own Improvised Version

When you’re in the middle of nowhere and waiting for rescue to arrive, you always have to prepare for the worst possibilities in order to survive. The human body can last three weeks without food but only a few days without water. The worst case scenario is you only have sea water available and no resources to boil it. Your best bet is to make an improvised salt water distiller to extract pure H20 from sea water. Below, you’ll find out how it’s done — using only very minimal resources and the sheer will to survive.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 bottles of water
  • A pair of metal trays
  • Homemade rocket stove
  • Beach sand

Your body is constantly losing water. Wilderness Survival Skills | 7 Unique Ways To Find Water In The Wild https://t.co/cc5pYhmhmg

— Survival Life (@SurvivalLF) August 2, 2017

Step 1: Set up the metal trays

Set up the metal trays | How To Build A Salt Water Distiller | Survival Life Guide
Position the metal trays in such a way that the two bottles rest mouth to mouth. Cut a notch on one side of both trays, so the neck of the bottles can sit a little lower in the pan. Suspend one of the bottles over a heat source. For example, here a homemade rocket stove is shown.

Step 2: Fill the trays with sand

Fill the trays with sand | How To Build A Salt Water Distiller | Survival Life Guide
Secure the trays in place and fill them with sand. The sand will allow the trays to act more efficiently as the heat sinks. The first tray is for cooling one of the bottles, while the other tray evenly heats the other bottle, so it doesn’t shatter from too much heat on one side.

Step 3: Position the bottles evenly mouth to mouth

Position the bottles evenly mouth to mouth | How To Build A Salt Water Distiller | Survival Life Guide
Press the bottles firmly into the sand to give them good thermal contact and allow for evenly distributed heat. Make sure the bottles meet up as steadily as possible to prevent water vapor from escaping. Fill up one bottle with just enough volume of sea water so it doesn’t spill when turned sideways.

Step 4: Wet the sand surrounding the receiving bottle

Wet the sand surrounding the receiving bottle | How To Build A Salt Water Distiller | Survival Life Guide
As an additional measure to keep the cold half of this setup, wet the sand on the receiving bottle’s end to allow evaporative cooling to take place. You can cover the entire bottle with more wet sand or a wet towel as an alternative.

Step 5: Fire up the heat source

Fire up the heat source | How To Build A Salt Water Distiller | Survival Life Guide
It’s time to fire up the heat source. The quantity of sand on the tray may delay the water from reaching its boiling point immediately. But once the sand is heated enough, it stays hot for a long time. As the water boils dry, simply refill it to continue with the distillation process as long as you want.

You’re done! It’s time to taste your distilled water!

It's time to taste your distilled water! | How To Build A Salt Water Distiller | Survival Life Guide
It’s time to test if your newly distilled water is good for hydration and no longer has a salty taste. You can do the same process all over again until you have a large enough water supply to keep everyone hydrated in a survival situation.

Here’s the full video of this simple distillation process from NightHawkinLight:

For the purpose of this tutorial, the metal trays hold both bottles firmly in place. While you probably won’t have trays ready in a survival situation, you can substitute them with a pile of sand and bury one of the bottles at the very top of the pile with its mouth sticking out. Then, you can build your fire on top of the mound. As for the bottles, sadly, human trash has gone everywhere and plastic bottles usually wash up on beach shores, so they won’t be hard to find.

Have you tried making a simple salt water distiller? Share your experience in the comments below!

UP NEXT: Wilderness Survival Skills | 7 Unique Ways To Find Water In The Wild

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