Maybe you’ve heard it before. In your supplies for an emergency, or on a camping trip, we recommend 1 gallon of water per person per day.
In emergency preparedness land, water can mean two very different things- flooding or a vital supply that is extremely important for drinking, sanitation, and cooking. As much as it might be counter intuitive to stock up on your emergency water supplies during the rains, it’s actually the best time to check those H2O supplies. Especially with flooding, SF sewer systems can cause problems that could require a boil water warning and if you already have some back up water stored away, it is one less thing to worry about.
Recently, we had a chance to test out this recommendation of having a gallon of water/person/day (yes, that’s 3 gallons for one person for 72 hours that all preparedness genius’ store away) on a winter camping trip.
Things to think about when using those 3 gallons of water:
- Water is heavy! 3 gallons of water can weigh around 25 lbs and for two people closer to 50 lbs. Carrying and storing water means you have a to have a secure place that it won’t leak or destroy other items in your emergency kit (or camping supplies).
- You might think that there is no way I’m going to drink a gallon/day, but when it comes to sanitation, washing dishes, cleaning yourself (e.g., brushing your teeth, showering), etc. it goes very quickly.
- If it’s cold outside you might end up consuming more hot liquids and thus boiling more water to stay warm (think tea and coffee). Obviously, boiling water causes it to condense down.
- Cooking- making pasta or something else that needs to be cooked? A lot of that water will be used up here especially when it comes to cooking with prepacked shelf-stable foods like ramen or oatmeal (great for camping by the way).
The last thing you want to worry about in an emergency or when you are relaxing on a camping trip is “am I running out of water?” The one gallon per person per day rule is actually a comfortable and safe amount of water to store. If you have pets or a special condition storing more makes sense.