Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

Don’t Drink The Water (Without Taking Precautions)

May 7, 2012 by  

Don’t Drink The Water (Without Taking Precautions)
Water is one of the most critical things that we need for survival.

A lot of folks believe that finding water in the wild is an easy thing to do, and it is in most of America’s climates.

I recently had a talk with Wallace Streete, Absolute Rights’ resident survival expert, about my trip to Cambodia a few years ago. He just got back from the same area and had a good laugh at me when I told him what I had done. I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation with Streete in which I didn’t learn something. This time was no different. After we finished talking, I wrote down what I learned because I knew I had to share it with you.

Where most people make mistakes is by both underestimating their environment and the way they purify what they need to drink. I certainly did, and I hope that you can learn from what I did.

As you know, water is one of the most critical things that we need for survival. The human body needs only 2 quarts a day to survive. That number might seem low, because we consume a lot of water and liquids in general all day long, but that is the baseline that we need to stay alive.

I personally suffered from dehydration and almost had heat stroke at one point in my life. On a trip to Cambodia just a few years ago, I was suffering through 110 degree weather and 100 percent humidity. I’m from Washington, D.C. We don’t get heat like that, and we have air conditioning to get relief on hot days.

But in Cambodia? Shocker! There wasn’t regular A/C.

I was drinking water at what I thought was a regular pace until I came down with flu-like symptoms. I was cold — that’s right, freezing cold in the middle of a 99-degree evening — and then I started to get dizzy.

Before I passed out, I chugged as much water as I could get my hands on, which I was told later saved me from heat stroke.

What I didn’t think about in the middle of that chugging — because, frankly, I wasn’t thinking — were all the bacteria and bugs in the water. I woke up in the morning feeling groggy from the dehydration, followed by an immediate sharp pain in my stomach.

Over the remaining two weeks of my trip, I ran to the bathroom constantly. You can go ahead and assume what was going through my body at that point; it wasn’t pretty. All in all, I lost about 12 pounds from the runs over the remainder of my trip. I wasn’t cured until I returned to the United States and took a very basic, and free, antibiotic that my doctor gave me.

I wanted to share that story with you to make three very important points:

  1. Always be prepared. I was not. I wasn’t drinking enough water to begin with, and I didn’t have a very basic antibiotic that cured what could have easily killed me. The kicker was that it was such a common antibiotic that it was literally free. If things head south, you may not have access to antibiotics like the one I was given. They certainly didn’t have them in Cambodia.
  2. Pay attention to your environment.I certainly didn’t. As Americans, we take a lot of things for granted, including air conditioning, a decent climate and clean water. I stupidly assumed that I was going to have these luxuries when I went to Cambodia. Yes, now I realize how stupid I was. It is critical that you know what you are getting into and where you are going to need to go in the case of an emergency. If you don’t, you’ll be in trouble like I was.
  3. Always make sure the water you drink is purified. I don’t want to recount the stern lecture I got from my doctor after my trip. I also don’t want to recount what I suffered through throughout my time in Southeast Asia. I literally would have died had I not had that basic prescription. I was losing 6 pounds a week. Now granted, it gave me that swimsuit body that I wanted, but I was on the way to the grave.

What’s the bottom line? If you drink bad water, you can die very quickly. You really can’t trust any of the sources of water in the wild that you’ll have. It is critical that you purify whatever water you put into your body. And it’s easy. There are kits for that. Even if you don’t have a kit, you can boil your water to quickly kill any bacteria and bugs that may be in it.

Did I say boil? You don’t even have to do that. In actuality, most bacteria in water are killed off at lower-than-boiling temperatures. But I’ll tell you right now, after what I went through, I will always boil water before I drink it in those conditions again.

The take-away here is simple: Be safe and in the best condition you can be if a crisis occurs, even if it’s self-inflicted. Don’t be unprepared like I was in Cambodia. Know what the conditions are where you are headed; get your supplies in hand and your protocol in order. And be smarter than they think you are.

–Tim Young
Managing Editor, Absolute Rights


Tim Young

is the Managing Editor at Absolute Rights and has been featured on Fox News, Forbes, and The London Daily Telegraph. You can see Tim's latest work by clicking here.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Don’t Drink The Water (Without Taking Precautions)”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at

  • Cliff

    What antibiotic should you have had?

    • noncommit

      Cliff, here’s your best bet, Had one of these distillers for 20 years and have never suffered from anything you could get out of water. My husband was stubborn and would still drink from the spikot and got Parkinson’s from the local water and died after 18 years from antibiotics that were too strong for him. Get a Distiller, only answer for pure water.
      Anderson Pure Water Service
      Sales and Repair
      Pure & Secure, LLC – Distillation Equipment
      Phone: 301-663-1816 Cell: 301-748-1108
      Distillers; produce 99.9% Pure Drinking & Cooking Water Free of Bacteria & Contaminates
      Manufacturers of High Quality Distilled Drinking Water Systems
      Get rid of bacteria, metals, chemicals,
      toxic substances found in water.

      I sure wouldn’t get rid of mine

    • Randy131

      You’re right, he never did mention the name of the antibiotic that was so plentiful here in the USA, that is very cheap or free. So what is it we’re suppose to stock up on to be prepared? What should we take with us on a trip to a country that may not have this antibiotic readily available? Guess he wants to keep it a secret, so he can sell us the information later.

    • Tim Young

      The antibiotic was a generic, antibiotic pill. This was a few years ago and I do not remember the name.


    • Katy

      since no one has answered this I will tell u what my doctor gave me for my trip to Mexico. Get some Cipro. We took 1 tablet daily and didn’t get sick at all.i am sure there are others out there but not sure what they are. I hope this helps!

  • John DiCenzo

    Glaring omission ….. name the antibiotic!!!

  • CJ

    Tim, yours was an experience many ‘people of privileges’ fall victim to. I don’t mean rich, but the benefits most in the US take for granted daily. They falsely assume their life experiences are like everybody else. The poorest in the US are better off than over half of the rest of the world. Things that are abundant are taken for granted, like your clean water example. When the time comes, and it’s coming, when the luxuries are gone, many will demand the government provide them. Those who are not prepared will not survive long.

    • eddie47d

      Water is more precious than oil yet we are willing to fight wars for oil. The world allows all water resources to become contaminated and seldom think about the after effects of doing so. Pollution,feces,chemicals and oil itself are taking a toll on fresh water resources so this story is a good tail of caution. The overuse of antibotics has also harmed the human race and changed our DNA which now makes us more susceptible to diseases like diabetes. So it would indeed be important to know which antibiotic to take and how much if any. Even clean water in the wilderness isn’t always safe and stories of pioneers taking buckets of water out of the stream (Little House on the Prairie)makes it look so easy. I feel extremely lucky to live in the USA and especially in Denver Colorado. We have the best water in the country and one good reason is because of American Water Works Association. They are only five blocks from my house and next to the main Denver treatment plant. AWWA is on top of every water problem imaginable throughout the world so we benefit even more by having them as our neighbor.

  • Pete0097

    We need to stop drinking water that is over purified. We need to start adapting to water that has a few critters in it. That way, if the worst thing happens, we will survive. I was at a school summer camp in college and every Wed. people had stomach problems. Everyone at the camp got sick except for the people that grew up using well water. There was something in the food that the city dewellers didn’t have, but we did. Now raw sewage is kind of over kill, but, we need to get more in touch with nature.

    • CardinalMo

      pete0097 I think you may have a point here. The thing I would be very concerned about would be parisites. But, yes I think there may be immunities we do not have when we go to another nation and drink their water. We have a tendency to Overkill. e.g., hand sanitizers.. just wash your hands, don’t put hands to nose, face, mouth. People who are hacking away during flu season should stay home…but they don’t.

    • box-bb-car

      Have had similar issues when going from water of varying levels of sulfur content. I grew up on well water with a fair amount of sulfur, but have had issues going to a higher sulfur content. Freinds who grew up on city water had worst issues then myself however. It is worth it to know how to build a rudimentary filter. It may not stop all contaminants, but will reduce the risk. Will have to know how to make charchol (not what you use for your bbq!) or have a stash of activated charchol. Sand and river gravel are the other ingredients as I recall. Should be plans on-line

      • independant thinker

        The old fashioned lump charcoal should work for filtering. While it is not as common as briqets you can still buy it. Small quantaties of charcoal are fairly easy to make at home but larger quantities would require some practice.

  • jim

    Drinking safe water is required & one of the most overlooked aids to this is a swimming pool test kit, not the test strips. The one with the red & yellow bottles in it. Having a large bottle of unscented bleach & a pool test kit I can prepare 1 to 10,000 gal of drinking safe water. You can also go on line to get the proper amount of chlorine to add but check your water afterwards. Check your tap water first to see what your normal city water is chlorinated to, this should be your guide when checking your water you prepare. Also buy extra bottles of red & yellow test chemicals for your pool test kit, these are inexpensive & have no shelf life I know of. Putting to much chlorine in your water is a disaster for your system & the results of drinking it are not nice !

  • wahoo

    google water purifiers…I have a small hand held that is expensive but woth its weight in gold…have always used backpacking…

  • 45caliber

    There are several ways to purify water.

    There are iodine tables that can purify a quart of water at a time. There are filters of various types, some you can buy or some you can make. Worse comes to worst, you can boil it to kill the bacteria – remember to stir if vigorously afterwards if you want it to taste like water.

    But never ever simply drink. You never know who or what might have urinated or died in the water just upstream from you.

  • JoeInAR

    I had the same experience in Cambodia in the 90′s, but I was drinking bottled water from vendors out of China, who news reports said were not sterilizing the plastic bottles they were recycling! Also I ate local food, available in an open-air cafe. One of the two gave me the same problem. The solution came from a local resident who thumped my belly and knew what was happening. We bought Bactrim for one USD in the market and I used a shot glass to alternatively drink salt water and sugar water (also available in the market). I bought a pot and little submersion heater to boil water and had no problems (after recovery) for the remaining month in SEA.

  • Katy

    The antibiotic we take to Mexico with us s Cipro. It works great , we take 1 pill a day and have never had any problems.

  • raw

    I, too, grew up on well water. The added minerals have a way of cleansing cholesterol from your arteries, too.
    Unable to boil water? Letting water sit out in the sun for 6 hours is enough to kill off most bacteria.
    Got parasites? You can chew on charcoal to get rid of them – 60% of the world’s population has parasites & most don’t even know it.
    Don’t have antibiotics? You can use colloidal silver, but who’s got that laying around, right?

    • FreedomFighter

      I have it, colloidal silver is great stuff. It can be made cheaply as compared to buying.

      Boiling water:
      Stainless Steel Kelly Kettle Large Base Camp Stove – BUNDLE UNIT works exceptionally well, very fast, uses little fuel packs well.

      ProPur Water Purification Systems with its new carbon domed filters are stronger and last longer than anything currently on the market.
      Big Burky and a bit of bleach

      Katadyn Pocket Water Filter. $369.95 Price: Expensive but if you are on the move, this is the unit I want.

      When all this fails I will chew charcoal.

      Laus Deo
      Semper Fi

  • Julie

    Another excellent alternative is oil of oregano. A drop or two will purify water. Oil of oregano is a natural antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal, which also kills yeast and parasites(including giardia which is very hard to kill). O of O is a natural antibiotic — far safer, cheaper and more effective than cipro or any other manmade chemical. A great product to have on hand for daily use or emergency.

    • Christin


      Where do you purchase the ‘oil of oregano’?

      • Julie

        health food stores or online –wherever herbs, essential oils and suppplements are sold

  • joel

    Agree with Julie so far as alternative methods, another natural alternative is Grapefruit Seed Oil, which is very comparable to O of O and I use it to soak my produce, which believe it or not, then lasts longer without wilting.When I lived in India, I was using the Grapefruit Seed Oil as a maintenance for my digestive and imuno systems, believe it or not, I was the only one in our group, which included native hindi’s, that did not for six months have any form of gastro-intestinal problems. I don’t completely agree with distilled water (too low pH and agresive).

  • FreedomFighter

    The top ten “scientific” projects threatening the survival of the human race right now
    #1) Nuclear power (Fukushima in particular)
    #2) GMOs (self-replicating genetic pollution)
    #3) Nanotechnology (self-replicating microscopic machines)
    #4) Bioweapons (self-replicating microscopic weapons)
    #5) Atmospheric experiments (HAARP and high-altitude spraying)
    #6) Artificial Intelligence (AI, when coupled with killer drone hardware)
    #7) Particle accelerator physics experiments (Large Hadron Collider)
    #8) Pollinator disruption chemicals (synthetic pesticides that destroy honey bee colonies)
    #9) Nuclear weapons
    #10) Weaponized vaccines (live cross-species viral material being injected into human targets)

    Learn more:

    • CardinalMo

      FreedomFighter you are right about you list of 10 immediate risks to humanity. Nanotec include more than nano machines. It will be… is being involved in biology, medicine. They are already spraying nano particles in the chem trails…so these particals eventually get into the food chain. Even without the GMO factor to deal with we will soon have very little to consume that isn’t contaminated in some manner.

      So humanity really is at war. It is just a different was than people are used to fighting. The battles we are fighting take expertise, whistleblowers, independent scientists, government officials who haven’t been bought. and we the people to constantly back them up. It is a great challenge. It is a challenge to sort the distortions of truth.

      Everyday I question my conclusions. Is it really evil intent or just lack of wisdom and a high greed level? What ever it is it is going to take everyone pulling together to stop it. It doesn’t matter what our beliefs our we’re all being shot at.

  • FreedomFighter

    The “Morlocks” of modern science are upon us and the “Eloy” in America are ripe for the slaughter, just as pictured in HG Wells novel, The Time Machine.–Steve Quayle

    Laus Deo
    Semper Fi

  • Frank G

    Purifying water and have no filters, no destiller, no pills, only water? Yes, there is a method that is being used all over the world today. See it at, go down to the middle of the page.

    • Henry

      Frank it uses plastic bottles, which all so have a limited life to say nothing of other possible problems.

  • Dorthy

    After I initially commented I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a
    comment is added I get four emails with the same comment.

    There has to be a way you can remove me from that service?
    Appreciate it!

    • Moderator


      When you receive an e-mail notification, this will appear at the end of it:
      Want less email? Modify your Subscription Options.
      If you click on Subscription Options, it will take you to a page that shows what articles you are following. If you float your mouse under the article title, a delete option will appear. If you click the delete option, you will no longer receive those e-mail notifications. I am unable to do this for you. Please let me know if you need further assistance.

      Have a wonderful day,


  • Zoe

    If you wish for to get much from this post then you have
    to apply such strategies to your won weblog.


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.