Picture of Extract Clean, Drinkable Water From Plants
Water is the most important thing if you are stuck in the wilderness. Sure, food is important too, but you can live for a while without it; you can't survive more than a few days without water. Unfortunately, in many environments there is either a lack of water, or the water is unsafe to drink. Fortunately, there are often plants. When plants absorb water from the ground they filter out many impurities, and you can extract this clean water from them. Plants transpire water, meaning that water vapor evaporates from the leaves, and this water can be collected. The great thing is, this process doesn't harm the plant and can be repeated over and over again on different branches, and works relatively quickly.

Thanks to everyone who voted for me in the Great Outdoors Contest!

Step 1: What You Need:

Picture of What You Need:
- A plastic bag, preferably clear (check the bag beforehand to make sure it is free of holes. If not, seal them with tape.)
- String
- A plant (I will go over what types of plants work best in the next step)
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jimwi2 years ago
You should be careful what plants you use. Because some plant and there leaves contain toxins like arsenic and cyanide.So be very careful.
tkjtkj jimwi2 years ago
that's an interesting point .. Logic suggests both points of view might be true:
1) arsenic, eg, existing in nature as a salt, doesn't evaporate , and/or :
2) 'transpiration' is different from 'evaporation .. and who kNOWS what a plant will decide to do! .. afterall, each instance of noise from a smokey lawn-mower is reason enough for aNY plant to extract revenge .. and what could be more poetic than to extract it while we are extracting what we might think as healthy water!

and remember, all too often it's our own doing that could be our uNdoing .. adding pesticides, etc ..

So, I here request that anyone having access to a chromatograph or spectrograph do a lil testing ... and fill us in !

At same time, this clever device could be life-saving in emergency circumstances .. and costs really nothing in weight/energy/etc to include bags in one's backpack (or watch-pocket!) .. One could even eliminate the weight of the string by tying the end of the bag around the branch in some clever way ...

I like this 'structable!! I'm especially drawn to 'clever simplicity' .. a.k.a. 'exemplified by the paperclip'

Thanks for this one!
M3G (author)  jimwi2 years ago
Good point. Thank you.
kenneth k24 days ago

Great survival tip. Thanks

gaieb3 months ago

Lets see, you said

You should get at least 1/3 a cup of water after 4 hours. So to get the required 8 glasses a day you would need twenty four of the bags for four hours or twelve if you did each twice during eight hours, I think I need to find a better method of getting water,

p.s. you have the same problem with the hole in the ground covered with plastic, the energy you expend digging the hole will cause you to lose more water than you will gain in a day or two. Ideas that look good until you analyze them better.

elpayo3 months ago

excelent !!

Sonnodeldrago8 months ago

I've seen this technique before but never saw instruction on how it works. Great post :) And yes, you must be careful of which plant you use. As for the danger of BPA, this water maker device is used to stay alive in an emergency survival situation. So, even if some BPA does leach I to the water, it cannot hurt you as much as dying of thirst. :)

Won't this be toxic? A chemical known as BPA would be released from plastic bags, so it would poison the water? Otherwise, great idea!
M3G (author)  The1andonlyDaniel9 months ago
It shouldn't be toxic; the time the water would be in the bag probably wouldn't be enough for much BPA to be released. Also, BPA is not used in all types of plastic, so it may not even be present. According to an FDA assessment released in March 2013 BPA is safe at the very low levels that occur in some foods (Wikipedia).
Ok then, thanks
M3G (author)  The1andonlyDaniel9 months ago
No problem!
smart one. think about it with choosing mangrove plants or trees :)
pertamax111 year ago

This 'ible might become a life saving in emergency cases. Thanks, and Favorited this.

M3G (author)  pertamax111 year ago
Thanks for the kind words!
Southpaw691 year ago

A plentiful, easily accessible source for bags that are perfect for this is the produce aisle at the grocery store!

Get the plastic bags they have on a roll for putting fruits & vegetables in. They are perfect for this. They're a good size, clear, and strong.

M3G (author)  Southpaw691 year ago
Great idea, thanks!
If I put a bag over a hop plant will I get beer?
No, but hop flowers are used to flavour beer, so you might get a beer-flavoured water drink!
bajablue1 year ago
This is a FANTASTIC idea! Thanks for sharing... and congrats!!!
M3G (author)  bajablue1 year ago
Thank you!
a fantastic but simple instructable as well as being a good recycling idea.
M3G (author)  radicalmart1 year ago
Simple, cheap, effective. BRAVO!
M3G (author)  monterreymachito1 year ago
amazing!! definitely life-saving knowledge! I would have never thought of it. THANKS!
poofrabbit2 years ago
Just wanted to say congratulations on being a finalists in the Great Outdoors Contest! Good luck!
M3G (author)  poofrabbit1 year ago
Thank you very much!
It's interesting how you cherry-pick replying to the comments with the most praise. Heh.
Tin Man2 years ago
It may sound silly, but if you are out in the sticks, give the plant a good shake to get rid of poisonous insects, spiders, 'guano', etc.
Venomous* :D Poisonous suggests eating them would cause poisoning. Venomous means they can bite or sting you with venom.
Poisonous bugs are also handy to avoid, in case they fall into, and contaminate, the water.
M3G (author)  Tin Man2 years ago
Good point.
jackreiter2 years ago
can you do this with tree leaves
M3G (author)  jackreiter2 years ago
Yes, that would work great.
M3G (author)  jackreiter2 years ago
Yes, that would work great.
would poison ivy work or would only the water come out
M3G (author)  LaffyDuck1872 years ago
Poison ivy would be a bad idea, since it would probably release toxins as well.
simayanan2 years ago
Thank you for this. I have posted the link on Facebook and Pinned it, too. This could save many lives, especially in disaster areas.
Nice to know!!! I'm curious though, would sucking on the leaves also give you hydration? Like sage leaves, for instance?
M3G (author)  Picturerazzi2 years ago
I have no idea.
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