February 2015

A Water Pump That Works - and keeps working

Good hunters know, animals come to water. Water plays a critical role in animals daily behavior, and hunters who take that into consideration usually hunt better.

But hunters need water too. For us, with a large group, that means bringing the water with us. In campers and camp trailers, it is a no-brainer - until the pump fails, or the water tanks spring a leak - or worse - freeze in cold weather.

A solution that has served us well is to bring a couple of 55 gallon drums full of fresh water. That will last a group of 35+ about four days. Unless the pump fails.

We had one of those cheap siphon pumps that they sell everywhere the drums are sold. These must be a high volume item, since 55 gallon drums and those $12 pumps are even sold at Walmart. Maybe the pumps are a high-volume item because they fail so often and must be replaced.

The cheap pumps take a lot of pumping, and then the flow is not that great. We tried to get the kids to pump the water, to use up their excess energy and to “strengthen their arms”. That was ok until a kid came and said “no water is coming out”. After an impressive demonstration of pumping by me - with nothing coming out - I realized that the pump had failed.

Do you know how hard it is to tip a 55 gallon drum to pour water from it, without the whole thing crashing on its side and splashing water everywhere? Try it. It works ok after you have lost most of the water.

After trying to pour water from drums for a couple of days, I committed myself to finding a better water pump. It turns out that there a lot of other kinds of pumps out there. And they might be suited for pumping water for animals. Animals probably don’t mind if there are little rubber bits in the water from the rubber vanes in the rotary-type pumps. They may not mind the “metal taste” in some of those industrial pumps. And they won’t mind the work involved with the old fashioned lever pumps, as long as you are doing the pumping.

Thanks to the internet, I finally found the ideal pump - in New Zealand. They make an all-plastic water pump with no parts that wear - so no wear residue and no metal taste in the water. The pump spews water on both the up and down strokes. And it is so easy to use that it won’t build any muscles on even little kids. The flow is better than my kitchen faucet. (You have to actually try this pump to believe how much water it pumps with so little effort. It is a patented process.)

I imported some of these pumps. But 10 years later, we are still using the very original pump for our camps. It pumps the same today as it did then; there really is no wear. It has never failed. And most important to me, it pumps pure, clean water. Even if the animals don’t care, I do.

You don’t have to import yours by the case. You can get a single pump at
www.better-outdoors.com. It will last you for many years of camping. And for us, it is also our emergency preparedness water supply pump, since it requires no electricity and not very much work. We have a stored water supply in our 55 gallon drums when we are not camping that is always there if we need it.

Dry-Flush Toilet means no pump-out

What to you like to do after a hunt or camp out?

I paid my nephew to pump out the camp trailer after my last trip. It’s the last thing I wanted to do after an otherwise great trip.

My brother paid a few thousand dollars to put a new holding tank under his camp trailer. It had cracked and was leaking. It either cracked from getting frozen on a trip. Or it cracked from hitting bottom on a very rough road. Or it just wore out. He is going to spend money to heat his new tank, so it won’t freeze again.

Last summer, we had a pitcher of water in our camp toilet, to flush stuff down the drain. The regular flush was no longer working and we didn’t have the parts to fix the toilet, up in the mountains.

But what can you do? When you gotta go, you gotta go.

Can you believe there actually is a better camp toilet? No pumping out ever. No stink and no flies. No water to freeze. In fact no water to carry for flushing at all. No plumbing to fail. Blessedly, you don’t even have to clean the toilet bowl between uses, or ever. The bowl is perfectly clean every time.

And no, I am not talking about permanent constipation.

It is called a “dry-flush” toilet. You do your thing, push a button and it wraps up everything in an odor-free bag, and presents a whole new, clean bowl. When it finally fills itself up, you lift out a black garbage bag, and throw the thing in the trash. Put a new clean cartridge into the toilet and you are literally ready to go.

The toilet installs anywhere because there is no plumbing. You just sit the bowl where you want, indoors or out, and it is ready to work. It runs on a battery that needs to be recharged occasionally.

One of my brothers removed the perfectly working flush toilet from his travel trailer and put in a dry-flush toilet. He no longer hauls waste water anywhere. He is also putting a dry-flush toilet on his pontoon boat. He got the canvas cover from Cabelas, where they sell them to cover porta-potties. But he will never have to clean and empty a porta-potty. He always was better at taking care of business.

Dry flush means that after a great hunt, you never have to poop-out your camper again. You never have to fix your camper plumbing or holding tanks again. The toilet can’t freeze on a winter hunt. And it is way less stinky. Check out the sanitation tab on www.better-outdoors.com.

dry-flush toilet Poop-out-free Toilet
June 2020
January 2019
August 2018
February 2015