Archive for December, 2012

Need Water? Try this Emergency Water Purification System

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Nothing ruins a camping trip like a waterborne illness.  While there are store bought water purification kits, it is good to know how to purify your water without these kits or fire. Or at least carry a portable water softener.  Below is a simple way to filter your water but only do this as a last resort as this technique will not remove germs, and always remember to have hydrogen water tablets when traveling, it is a very useful tip. 

The water softening process is accomplished by a chemical cation exchange that replaces the calcium and magnesium in your water with a equivalent number of sodium or potassium ions. During the softening process, your household water passes through the resin bed, and the magnesium and calcium contained in the water are removed. A given sized resin bed has a fixed capacity to remove hardness before it needs to be regenerated to full capacity in order to continue to provide softened water. When the resin bed is nearing exhaustion, the control valve washes the resin bed, and draws salt containing solution from the brine tank through the resin. As the salt contacts the resin bed, the process of ion exchange occurs, and the magnesium and calcium (hardness) that was collected in the bed during operation is washed to drain. After a final rinse to remove the excess salt, the resin bed is again ready to provide softened water. You will get the detail idea here water purified vs distilled, the proper guide is here.

Softeners replace the calcium and magnesium contents in hard water by sodium. Sodium does not accumulate in pipes and also does not react to soap. This means hard water effects are eliminated. The principle of the softener system is easy to understand. Hard water is allowed to enter the water softener. It contains a layer of plastic beads and in some instances, the material used is called Zeolite. The layer of materials inside the water softener is soaked with sodium ions. Sodium is exchanged with the contents of the hard water, calcium, and magnesium. When water comes out of the softener, the water is said to be of the soft water type. Planning Your Installation. Always observe the water bylaws. Ensure there is only one water main supply, that you have allowed adequate space for access to the unit for salt filling and possible maintenance at a later stage. Check the water pressure, locate the main water supply stop cock, a drain facility and a power supply to connect the unit to.

Water softeners work by removing positively charged magnesium and calcium ions from the water to restore a natural chemical balance. Scale deposits will not form in the absence of calcium and magnesium. Special systems that aim to prevent the build-up of scale can transform calcium ions into crystals, and these cannot bind to surfaces like pipes.

Tree Bark Water Purification System


Tree bark that is easily bendable such as birch





String or vine


  1. Cut a 14 inch horizontal line into the bark of a tree.  Make second cut 14-inches below the first cut and slice another 14-inch horizontal line.
  2. At the end of these two cuts, make a vertical cut on both ends.  Now, peel the bark away from the tree.  You should now have a piece of bark that is 14-inches square.
  3. Slowly begin to create a funnel shape by bending the bark inward so that only a small opening is at the bottom.
  4. Secure the funnel shape with string or vine.  Please note:  if you are using a vine make sure it is not poison ivy.
  5. Place a few stones in the bottom of the funnel.  You will need enough stones to hold your filter material in.  This step may take a little trial and error to get the right amount of stones.
  6. Layer with grass, then sand and finally charcoal.  Repeat with these layers until you reach the top of the cone.
  7. Now, place your funnel over a cup and pour water into the funnel.  Continue to do this until you filter the amount of water needed.

Some things to keep in mind when using this type of water filter system.  First, only remove bark from a living tree as a last resort.  This removal will eventually cause the death of the tree.  Next, keep in mind that this type of filter will remove solids only and will not prevent waterborne illnesses.  Also, just like any other type of filter, the filtering material will need to be changed often.

So this year, if you run out of iodine tablets, your campers under the sink system purification system breaks or you cannot build a fire, do not resort to drinking unfiltered water.  Instead, build your own water filter system out of materials from the world’s largest superstore we call nature.

The quality of water we have at home also depends on plumbing which is why we trust Pascoe’s Plumbing with our homes plumbing work, as they have been with us since we constructed our house and have always helped us regardless of the time. The pipes in the house should be repaired on a regular basis, and replaced, if necessary. Read an excellent article about frozen pipe repair as you never know what emergency can happen with your pipes next winter.

Cooking a Fast Food Favorite-Dutch Oven Pizza

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Every parent knows the magic of pizza.  It is quick, tasty and easy to prepare but you do not need to order out if you are camping.  A delicious deep dish pizza can be made in a Dutch oven.  Below is a recipe that can be changed to your liking.  Prior to getting the ingredients together, make sure to fire up your charcoal. 

Dutch Oven Pizza


12-inch Dutch oven with lid and lid lifter

26 charcoal briquettes

Optional, charcoal table

18 frozen dinner rolls, slightly thawed or two large tubes of refrigerated biscuits

Scissors or knife

Your favorite precooked meat topping, cut into bite size pieces

1 cup tomato or pasta sauce

Seasonings which include garlic powder, Italian seasoning, onion powder, and dried basil

1 cup shredded cheese

Cooking spray

Heavy-duty gloves or heat proof gloves

Chopped onions, olives, peppers, or any other vegetables you would like on your pizza

  1. Lay out the briquettes on the ground or in a charcoal table and light.  Allow them to heat up until white
  2. Coat the inside of the Dutch oven with cooking spray.
  3. Cut rolls or biscuits into fourths using scissors or knife and place in the Dutch oven.
  4. Pour the tomato/pasta sauce on top of the “dough” and top with your choice of seasonings.  Sprinkle the meat on top and mix together.  Add vegetables if desired.
  5. Place the lid on and let the dough rise until it is double in size.  This will take about 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. Sort out the briquettes so that there are 15 on the ground or nonflammable surface.  After the dough has rose, move the Dutch oven to where the briquettes are located.  Place the Dutch oven on the 15 briquettes, and place the remaining 9 briquettes on the lid so that they are evenly spaced.
  7. Allow to cook for 25 minutes without peeking.  After the time has passed, lift the lid and check the doneness.  If the pizza is not quite done, continue to cook at 5 minutes intervals.

Once done to your taste, remove the briquettes from the lid with heavy gloves and take off the coals.  Take the lid off and run a knife around the outer edge of the pizza.  Then turn the Dutch oven upside down on a clean surface.  Upright and top with shredded cheese.  Let the cheese melt and then serve.

Learn How to Use a Flint and Steel

Monday, December 3rd, 2012