Getting Water When Living Off-Grid

Water — the necessary elixir of life. Without it, we are not able to survive. I can say that my favorite modern convenience is having running hot water to wash with.

Growing up, I don’t remember having running water, except for one year when we rented a “modern” house so we would be allowed to take an elderly friend, Art, out of a nursing home in order for him to live his final few months in peace. I will be writing an article about all the different types of places we lived in (some were tent camping sites, covered wagon — two- then four-wheeled — a 16-by-32 surplus army tent, truck camper, old barn, old school bus, old army bus with wooden roof, and an abandoned house with horses), but most of them were one step up from camping or how the pioneers lived without modern conveniences.

tent 1

I do want to point out that having running water now is wonderful. However, I still utilize the "Living Off-Grid, Really!?" mentality of not wasting it, as I remember the labor involved in acquiring water growing up.

Harvesting Surface Water

I do remember once, in 1989-1990, when we were traveling through the remote desert of Southern Utah — a long stretch of nothing, traveling a slow 20-30 miles a day — over to Grand Junction, Colorado, that we hauled barrels of water for the horses in our cart behind the wagon. It was interesting that the horses seemed to know that we didn’t have much water and just sipped it. We did run out of water as that stretch of road had nothing until we came across a gully/arroyo that had signs of a recent flash flood. We climbed down into the ditch and dug down about two feet to give the horses all they could drink and fill up our barrels.

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