What is it?
Distilled water is water that has had many of its impurities (dissolved minerals and biological matter) removed through distillation. Distillation involves boiling the water and then condensing the steam into a clean container.
Firstly lets dispel a HUGE myth. It is not unsafe to drink.
It doesn’t strip minerals from the body, it just doesn’t supply them.
Some call these important trace elements ‘electrolytes” and they are easily topped up using with a commercial powder mix, by making oral rehydration drinks, or by eating the correct foods.
An example of a common field expedient ‘mix’
1/2 teaspoon of TABLE or SEA salt, (Not salt substitutes)
6 teaspoons of sugar (Not sweeteners), and
A liter of water.
If possible, add 1/2 cup orange juice or some mashed banana to add some potassium.
You can also keep your electrolyte balance up by eating the correct foods i.e.
Sports drinks, milk, nuts, and many fruits and vegetables (whole or juiced).
Plus my favorite, bananas.
What is it used for in survival? That would be everything!
If made and stored correctly, it remains pure and sterile.
So that’s good for wound and eye wash, mixing powdered medicines, drinking and washing. As vehicle coolant, battery top ups, and it makes a better cup of tea and coffee!
Outwardly it’s simple to produce.
Boil it, condense the steam, and there you go, distilled water.
EXCEPT IN A CBRN scenario.
Some water-soluble chemicals have lower boiling points than water.
So you making “steam” may contain the very chemicals you are trying to filter out.
Biologicals aren’t a problem and boiling the suckers usually does the trick.
Yet radiological material is difficult to deal with when dissolved in water.
Take Cesium-137 that boils at 28.4 Celsius.
Way lower than the temperature of boiling water.
Anyway here’s a thought.
Providing there are NO airborne contaminates, rain is distilled water.
So provided you can collect it without it touching anything contaminated, pure H2O is what you’ll get. Which brings about an interesting question.
If the skeptics say drinking distilled water is bad for you, what’s their position on rain?
Finally, a quick cartoon of DIY distilled water machinery.
One billy with lid, a mug, fire, and yueky water. Enjoy!
Water gets hot, steam hits the lid, drips down the handle, into the mug.
It helps if you stand something cold in the lid, only don’t let it over flow!
It will also help to let things cool down before you try to extract the water filled mug.
Funny enough the water (and mug) will be hot!
Practical Notes (from when I got it wrong).
That crackling spitting tinny sound you might hear?
The REALLY hot smell and sizzling / frying noise.
That’s no more water left in the billy and it’s melting!