Rainwater is great for watering indoor plants, and it’s a good emergency water source in some locations. You can build an emergency water collector using three folding chairs, an umbrella, and a pot or bowl of some sort. Ideally you should also have a few bricks to keep the pot or bowl in place, some tent stakes, and some long pieces of string.
How to make one:
Saw some holes in the bottom fabric bit of an umbrella. I used a serrated kitchen knife. Poor umbrella.
Get 3 folding chairs, a big pot to collect the water in, and some string to tie down the umbrella.
Here is how it’s set up.
It hasn’t rained here yet, so I’ll take a picture of this thing in action when it does and add it to the post. Also, you may notice that the umbrella spokes aren’t tied to the chair backs like they should be to prevent the umbrella from flying off. I’ll be doing that when it rains. And needless to say, unless you have some good tent stakes and long rope to tie down with, if there is substantial wind to go with that rain, you can kiss your umbrella goodbye…
Rainwater isn’t very pure in most places. And don’t even think about trying to drink water collected in this way in a major metropolis like NYC or Chicago. In other locations, if you intend to drink the rainwater, bring it to a full rolling boil for 1 full minute before consumption. Also, it’s a good idea to filter the cooled, boiled water through at least one kind of filter, such as a pitcher filter like Brita or Pur, or even a Berkey.
If there was some kind of problem with water infrastructure and you needed clean water, you might try experimenting with distilling rainwater collected in this way. I’ll be explaining how to distill water in a later post.