Kahola Preppers

Well, I survived my first week back to work. I don't know that my survival was ever in doubt, but some may have questioned my ability to actually do something productive for 8 hours a day. After five years of engineering prior to the sabbatical, much like the proverbial bike, it was a bit wobbly for the first couple days, but then it was back to business as usual. It helps that I'm picking up on all the same projects that I left off on 7 months ago. And I'll probably still be working on them 7 months from now. Yes, things go slowly in the development world. Now we've only yet to see if Lauren will survive her first week. Something tells me she will.

Regardless of our inevitable return to working life, the sabbatical seems only half over. We went straight back out to the cabin this last weekend after work on Friday. It felt as if we just needed to get some business done in town over the week and were getting back to our real lives for the weekend. The only difference at the cabin this time is that I didn't have any projects to work on, so we actually just relaxed the whole weekend. The water filter was flowing, the stone pathway was built, solar shower running, and all of the other little things were taken care of.

My biggest goal was realized out there in the form of a self-sustaining drinking water supply from a system that I built myself. The biosand filter worked wonders on the lake water. Only rarely could you smell even a hint of fishiness, and you could never taste anything off. I had to start using the lake water because the small spring on our property dried up on us after a month without rain. However, I came to like the lake water more (considering how much improved it was through the filter) because the spring water was extremely hard water, which is something no water filter can change. It sometimes tasted like I was hanging drywall--liquid chalk. I don't think I could build a reverse-osmosis filter myself for under $50...

I combined the biosand filter with solar disinfection, and for the last three weeks of being out there, that is all the water we needed for drinking, cooking, dishes, and showering. For the two of us, that equated to about 10 gallons of water a day, or about 300 gallons a month. If we were doing more laundry out there, I imagine that might have doubled that number to 600 gallons a month. Considering the average American household consumes more than 10,000 gallons a month, I would say that we're doing pretty good. You start to really understand how much water you use when you have to manually filter all of your water yourself, and carry it around your property instead of having it piped. However, except for the manpower involved in carrying water around, there wasn't any external power source needed for the purification process. Our Prepper street cred must have surely ticked up a couple notches. Now we just need to get our booby traps installed...


  1. when the world ends, we're moving in with you guys.

  2. Booby traps... is there something you should tell us before we come back to Kansas?!?