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How to Build a Homemade Portable Water Heater for Your Camping Adventures

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camping-by-ishikawa-ken-via-flickr

Mix one part necessity and one part ingenuity and the human brain can solve just about anything—or at the very least, make something that already exists even better.

Most of us would never think that the process by which we heat water can be improved upon and yet the technology responsible for doing just that is improving all the time (just take a look at the efficiencies afforded by the tankless water heater).

When it comes to the great outdoors and spending time within it with family and friends, creating the type of gadgets that will make the experience as comfortable as possible is big business—a statement that is indelibly supported by the proliferation of specialty stores that offer all the intelligently designed and diminutively built camping accessories that you’ll ever need.

And while you may be forced to shell out your hard-earned money on things like a compass or portable water filtration system (though to be fair, both of these items can be readily made in the wild by a knowledgeable outdoors person), you just might have it within yourself to build your very own portable water heater—meaning you’ll never need to go without a muscle soothing shower after an arduous hike ever again.

First Thing’s First—What Can You Buy?

For those who are roughing it, a solar shower bag is a relatively inexpensive way to heat water so that taking an outdoor shower does not become synonymous with some sort of inhumane cold-water torture.

How it works: A dark coloured bag (usually black so that it absorbs the greatest amount of solar energy) is fitted with a hose and nozzle. The sun heats the water, and gravity does the rest. On the whole, this product is easy to store and is lightweight (two things that go hand in hand with camping), but there are some drawbacks. The first, and it’s not much of one, is that it must be hung from a tree otherwise the user must hold the bag up while showering (making it very difficult to lather and rinse). The second issue is that it relies exclusively on the sun to heat the water—on cloudy days or if camping in thick bush, it will be near impossible to heat the water. No sun, no warm shower.

What You Can Build Yourself

The solar powered shower bag is a nifty idea, to be sure—but what if you could make something yourself that could not only use the sun’s solar energy to passively heat water, it could also be placed on a fire to heat water quickly? Surprisingly, you can—and while the solution may not offer the compatible qualities of a solar shower bag, it is much more versatile than a typical store bought portable water heater.

What You’ll Need

To create your own DIY portable water heater, you’ll need the following:

– Weed sprayer (made of metal, and NEW—don’t repurpose a used weed sprayer no matter how vigorously it’s been cleaned)
– 1/4” x 1/2” MPT fitting
– Proper shower hose
– Shower wand
– Trickle valve (to turn the water on and off)
– Low flow shower head (used to maximize the water supply)

Step 1: The tank. Again, it’s highly recommended that you purchase a new tank and one that is made of metal. If you can find one painted black, great; otherwise purchase a can of spray paint and paint it black so that it will absorb more of the sun’s solar energy.

Cut the weed sprayer’s existing hose, leaving about 1 inch (2.5cm).

Step 2: Assembly. Insert the MPT fitting (available at any hardware store) into the hose. This threaded piece will allow you to attach the shower hose. If you plan on heating the tank with a fire, it’s probably better that the shower hose be made of metal. Then:

– Attach the shower wand
– Trickle valve
– Shower head

That’s all there is to it. You now have a portable water heater/shower that you can take with you anywhere, one that can use both the energy from the sun and a fire to heat the water.

Even if you’d rather not place the tank directly on the fire, you can boil water using a separate receptacle then pour the hot water into the tank. For a nice warm shower, try to observe a 2 to 1 ratio—fill the tank up two thirds of the way with cold water, then add your hot water.

The long lose (a typical shower hose is about 5 feet long) allows you to place the tank on the ground, meaning you won’t need to rely on a tree to keep it aloft—and by pumping the tank to build pressure, you also won’t need to rely on gravity to make the water come out.

 

 

Environment

Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage

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water conserving

While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.

If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.

Repair and Maintain Appliances

Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.

Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.

When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.

Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full

It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.

The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.

Recycle Water in Your Yard

Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.

You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.

Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants

Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.

Install Water-Saving Features

The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.

There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.

Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City

Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.

If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.

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Environment

Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism

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When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.

After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.

How was it started?

It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.

How to go about it?

So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.

If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.

What can be learned?

Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .

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