Suppose you are on winter vacation and a big snowstorm hits. The electricity in your cabin goes off. You have a wood stove to keep you warm but you have no water because the well has an electric pump. You were hoping to make instant hot cocoa. Where can you get the water for cocoa and how can you boil it?

Expert Answers

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Since there is no electricity, the electrical pump cannot be used for lifting water out of the well. There is no other source of water, except for the snow from the snowstorm. The only way to get water is to collect some snow from outside and boil it on the woodstove (assuming you still have some dry wood to feed the woodstove). Once the boiling water is available from the wood stove, one can make hot cocoa.

Use of snow to get drinking water is not unheard of. High altitude climbers and soldiers on mountaintops commonly use snow and boil it to obtain drinking water for their daily needs.

Mountain snow or snow from a snowstorm would be as pure as rain water and hence can be used after boiling. Just remember that any leftover water could freeze pretty soon unless consumed or kept in a warm environment.

Hope this helps.  

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