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How To Build A Salt Water Distiller


How would you like to make your own salt water distiller from the simplest materials? When you’re in the middle of nowhere and waiting for rescue to arrive, you always have to prepare for the worst possibilities to survive. Below, you’ll find out how survival desalination is done — using only very minimal resources and the sheer will to survive.

Salt Water Distiller | Make Your Own Improvised Version

 

 What You’ll Need:

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

 

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Step 1: Set up the Metal Trays

Set up the metal trays | How To Build A Salt Water Distiller | Survival Life Guide
Photo by NightHawkInLight / CC BY

To start with your salt water purifier, 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
Photo by NightHawkInLight / CC BY

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
Photo by NightHawkInLight / CC BY

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 seawater so it doesn’t spill when turned sideways.

Related:  15 New Pieces of Survival Gear We Can't Live Without

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
Photo by NightHawkInLight / CC BY

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
Photo by NightHawkInLight / CC BY

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
Photo by NightHawkInLight / CC BY

There you have it! Now, you have your DIY water distiller. Now that you know how to remove salt from water without boiling, it’s time to test if your newly distilled water is good for hydration and no longer has a salty taste. You can do this desalination of seawater for drinking 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.

Related:  21 Things Your Burglar Won't Tell You

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

Up Next: Wilderness Survival Skills | 7 Unique Ways To Find Water In The Wild

 

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.

 

Editor’s Note – This post was originally published in September 2017 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

 

How To Build A Salt Water Distiller | Survival Life Guide

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