Fresh rain water can be an excellent drinking resource during an emergency or after a disaster, so long as that disaster wasn’t nuclear or chemical where the air would be polluted with contaminates. Being able to catch rain water for consumption and growing plant could be a lifesaver.
There are several ways to collect rain water, and the most common one I have seen is to collect it from a gutter downspout into a barrel around the house or tool shed. I use such a system at my house and it works great. However, for this blog we will focus on a more portable system for collecting rain water. All you will need is a 5 x 8 foot tarp in your prepping supplies, some rope or para cord, and some containers to collect the rain water. Smaller tarps work great for a bug out bag, or even an extra rain poncho or two could also be utilized in the same way and save on using space in your bug out bag. To get an idea of what kind of water you can collect, a single 5 x 8 tarp setup to collect rain water will harvest as much as twenty-five gallons from a one inch rain fall.
Setting up is pretty simple. Tie up two adjacent corners of the tarp to trees or poles. Then fix the other two tarp corners tappered towards the ground, so that there is a little sag in the middle of the tarp. Place your container or bucket under the lowest point in the tarp, and then pray for rain.
An inch of rain over one square foot will give you .6 gallons of water. That’s a lot of water from a small space. And whether it’s your roof running into gutters that empty into a couple of barrels, or tarps that can provide both shelter and water, you can use that number, the total square foot area you are using to collect water, and a rain gauge to make a fairly accurate guess about the amount of water that you could harvest.
Every prepper should be able to catch rain water. There are many different ways to do it, and some work better in certain climates. So do some reasearch and add to your bag of prepper skills the ability to find and collect water.