Hands Free Water Station




About: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.
Here is a simple way to wash your hands with the help of gravity. It works like this. The jug of water is suspended from a tree or something alike. A section of vinyl hose is connected to the spout at one end and on a pivoting arm on the other. When the hose is brought lower then the water level in the jug, gravity forces the water out. When the hose is brought back above that level, the water stops flowing.

Green points of interest: It's refillable. You waste less water compared to having some one pour water on your hands. It's recycles a water bottle.

You’ll need:
Nylon cord
Duct tape
3/8 Vinyl tubing
¼" x 1/8" brass fitting
2.5 gallon water jug
Water bottle
Epoxy putty
2, 3/4"x 3' Wooden dowels

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Step 1: Make the Cradle

Many 2.5 gallon jugs have ribbed sides. These ribs are going to be used to help hold the cord cradle in place.

Take 10’ of cord and tie a knot with the ends so you have a large loop of cord. Form a larks foot at both ends and slip them over the ribs of the jug. To help keep the cord in place you can put duct tape over the ribs.

Attache a hook made from a strong piece of wire onto the handle of the cradle.

Step 2: Fit the Hose

Thread the brass fitting into the spout of the jug. Push the vinyl hose onto the fitting. Use epoxy putty to seal the fitting onto the spout. The putty I’m using is called “water weld” and is designed for wet applications. It is safe for drinking water.  

You can find it in the same isle they sell glue. If not check the automotive section. 

Step 3: Make the Counter-weight

Fill a water bottle with sand. Place a 3/4" wooden dowel into the bottle. Secure it in place with a piece of duct tape. For the hands free part you'll need to tie a section of cord to the end of the second dowel.  

Step 4: Set Up

While your out in the wilderness you can use a tree branch but, for demonstration purposes, we'll hang this from the rain gutter of my house.

Make another 10' loop of cord. Throw this over a tree branch so half of it is on each side. Now you should have two loops hanging down. Make a larks foot with both loops and place the dowel with the water bottle through it.

Fill the jug up with water and snap the spout back into place. Hang the jug (in it's cradle) onto the larks foot by the wire hook. At this point if you let the hose dangle you’ll start spilling water. So make sure to keep the hose above the water line.

Since you may hang this from a different height every time you camp, the “pedal” has to be adjustable. Here’s how you do that. Take the loose end of hose together with the free end of the counter weighted dowel and lower it past the bottom of the jug. Take the other dowel, with the cord tied to one end, and lay it flat on the ground. Pull the slack out of the cord and wrap it around the hose and upper dowel. When you let go the counter weight should pull the lower dowel or “pedal” off the ground.

When you step on the dowel pedal the hose will lower past the water line and start flowing. If you need to adjust the location of the counter-weight simply slide the upper dowel in or out of the larks foot until you get it just right.

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    25 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    great idea u could also use a water pump and a bucket at the bottem so you dont ever run out of water

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    thats unhygienic. i wouldnt want to wash my hands with the same water that everyone uses. but still, the idea is feasible. maybe reuse the water for washing very dirty things. i.e. tools, soiled boots(in case you go tropical jungle trekking)


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I like this...I view this project as a survival tool for climate change or disaster areas as governments care less about the people...I will keep this simple design in mind for when it will be needed...

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    NO SH****...I so agree...bad thing is no one will ever remember to do this when it happens.. on he will and we will all have to hunt him down cause he rocks.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I go camping out on the islands here. So I've already got to bring quite a bit of water just to live. I use saltwater for washing pots and moist wipes for my hands. After all if I'm backpacking with 30lb of water just to live why should I bring another 20lb just to wash up.


    8 years ago on Step 4

    The fixed jug spigot is a water waster. On the other hand taking all this extra gear into the wild is not necessary. Just take the flex tube and loop it unto a branch higher than the waterline in the suspended jug and you're done. Or snap off a small branch, whittle a taper on the end and stick the free end of the tube on that taper, keep the wind from blowing the tube down and losing all the water.
    Again, great idea... just make it simpler, think hassle free implementation.
    I catch the waste water with an inverted frisbee, handwashing, shaving is done from it and if it rains out, that water is captured for gray water use.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I would simply like to point out this designed is geared for sterilization technique, not the wilderness survival ( for it would be a waste and impediment) . I think its a fantastic idea and would love to see a homemade design.

    I completely agree Macleish on this one. Simplicity is the key to effectiveness.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    You should make a larger more "permanent" version: rope (not cord) for the suspending, an oil drum for the water, a hose in place of the tubing, and a cinder block for a counter weight plus maybe a metal pipe?


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Nice. A MUCH improved version of what we used when i was still a boyscout.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I happened to look at this on the home page and didn't think it would be too terribly exciting, but I have to say, that is pretty awesome.