I think WaterBricks are a game-changer for many, especially for people prepping in urban areas. The great things about WaterBricks are some of their other uses beyond compact and mobile water storage and transport. They are incredibly designed and provide the prepper with a tremendous utility that you can’t get from other water, food, or ammo storage methods. Some of their different uses are why so many governments and NGO’s turn to them for solutions ranging from instant bunkers to something they can drop from a plane into remote areas. From war zones to the harshest of environments, WaterBricks are a quick solution to many problems. WaterBricks are, of course, an ideal solution for those who need to store water, and you absolutely should be doing that as a prepper. They provide a stackable, portable, safe alternative to 55-gallon drums that would easily weigh 450lbs when full. If you’d like to check these out, you can see them on the site here: WaterBricks. Here we will look at five other uses for the WaterBrick besides storing water, food, or ammo.
A survival cache is a secret hiding place for a valuable, emergency stockpile needed to survive when you have no other options. A survival cache should contain the basics of what you would need to survive, and you should hide or bury it for retrieval later. Things you might include in your survival cache are: lighters and firestarters, a windbreaker, maps, emergency blanket, ammo, knife, vacuum-sealed dried foods with a ten or more year shelf life, paracord, first aid kit, canned or bottled water, water filter, compass, tarp. Add in any other survival basic you can jam in there. Do not use canned food or anything else that can go bad over a short period of time.
The reason I like WaterBricks for this purpose is that they are small with a large opening. They are small in profile but offer good storage inside with nine by eighteen by six-inch dimensions and a three and ¼ inch opening. They are made of rugged, high-density polyethylene that is 3/32nds of an inch thick, and they’re easily mobile. They have been tested at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. It took a 500-pound bear working on one of these WaterBricks for a half-hour before he could get to the food inside. That’s very solid, and I am confident these can weather the most extreme conditions and hold up well when buried for an extended period.
If you don’t have at least one survival cache buried out there, you probably should consider it. If you’d like to check out a more detailed video on this subject, I’ll post a link in the cards above. What you need to know now is that these WaterBricks are probably better than an ammo box for your survival cache, as they won’t rust, and they won’t trigger metal detectors.
You don’t usually come across a water storage product that can act as a life-saving structure, but these WaterBricks fit that dual purpose. Stacked three high, they’re two feet tall. If you have ever built with Legos, you can build with these. The same principles of construction apply.
If you paint one side black, it will increase heat absorption. Even without painting, an equatorial facing wall of these stacked WaterBricks will absorb the sun’s infrared heat during the day. The water, air, and water vapor inside the WaterBrick will warm during the day and continue to release that warmth through the night. A thermal wall on even one side of your structure, the side that receives the most direct sunlight, will create a steady heat source through the cold night and easily keep the interior of your structure a few degrees warmer than the outside. When building your survival structure, stack the bricks so your WaterBrick wall has maximum daytime exposure to the sun.
Even in freezing climates, the frozen contents of a WaterBrick will provide some insulative protection. A solid wall of bricks will also protect from freezing winds. If you follow an excellent cold weather structure design by building your sleeping and heating area above the entrance with a small vent in the roof, you will have one of the most solid igloos you can imagine. If you fill empty containers with clean snow, you will have fresh water when it melts in warmer times, but the snow will provide you a more outstanding insulative quality than ice. New snow is composed of a high percentage of air trapped among the accumulated snow crystals. Since the air can barely move, heat transfer is significantly reduced. Fresh, uncompacted snow typically is 90 to 95 percent trapped air. When you pack it in a WaterBrick, you will force out some of that trapped air, but you will still have excellent insulation. For this reason, you also must understand that even a well-packed snow WaterBrick will not yield the equivalent amount of water when fully melted. As a general rule, 10 inches of snow will yield 1 inch of water. A 3.5-gallon WaterBrick hand-packed tightly with snow will yield around 1.5 gallons of fresh water when melted.
Because of their design with two interior conical reinforcement columns in the center, you can overlap them like in regular mason working techniques and secure them with a pole anchored in the ground through the center. They interlock using their male and female connectors. Cross stack them for added strength. This creates a very sturdy wall to support your structures. In theory, you could build a small, secure, stable structure for 1 or 2 people with just a few hundred bricks. If you think of them like Legos, you could easily build a prototype with that toy to figure out how many it would take to build a structure for yourself. I have seen people make room partitions, walls, structures, even coffee tables, and bed frames out of these bricks, so many possibilities exist. For safety reasons, WaterBrick recommends stacking no higher than 4 feet tall. That would be a wall six bricks high.
You can completely freeze the WaterBrick for a contained block of ice. Anytime you do this, don’t fill the WaterBrick completely to avoid bulging in the freezing process. Frozen WaterBricks can be placed in the refrigerator or ice chest to extend the life of perishable foods or medications in case of a power outage. A frozen block of ice will last longer than ice cubes or chips because there is no air circulating within it. On that note, if you boil the water before putting it in the WaterBrick when cool, then freeze it, the ice will be more transparent and last slightly longer. When the ice melts in the WaterBrick container, you’ll have a fresh, clean supply of emergency water on hand. Place several in your chest freezer, and when the power goes out, your food will stay cold longer. You can quickly grab them frozen and bug out with them, as well. With 3.5 gallons of frozen water in each large brick, the ice at average room temperature would take well over two days to completely melt. When the frozen blocks are stored together, the ones in the center will take even longer to melt completely.
Keeping your food and medicine cold after a prolonged power outage is essential. The solid block of ice contained neatly in a WaterBrick can do just that. When it melts, you also have a freshwater source. With the wide opening at the top, if you freeze in a two-step process, you can also store essential survival items within the block of ice, so long as those items are stored in double-layered ziplock bags and can withstand the freezing temperatures and pressure. For this purpose, don’t think of anything larger than a mini-survival kit, but it provides you an extra means to distribute and preserve your survival supplies where most would not think of looking.
If you ever find yourself needing to build a raft, this is what you would want to use. When many are securely fastened together, you have an instant raft. You can even interlace your full containers to distribute weight across the entire area of buoyancy. The two holes through each WaterBrick allow you to lash together a raft or makeshift safety device easily. The airtight and watertight seal of the WaterBrick makes for an incredible buoyant force. For non-physicists and non-engineers out there, the buoyant force is the upward force exerted by a fluid on any partially or wholly immersed body placed in it.
I am not an engineer, but taking the interior measurements of a sealed WaterBrick, I calculate that two would provide 312 Newtons of Buoyant Force. That’s enough to keep afloat even very large people with an in-water weight above one hundred pounds. If the WaterBrick has even a little air within, it will float, but its buoyant force will be reduced. If it goes overboard without you, it won’t sink to the bottom but will float for later retrieval. Many kayakers and boaters use them in rugged outdoor conditions for this reason.
If you think your bug out or bug in scenario could involve flooding or open water, you absolutely should have some WaterBricks on hand for this purpose. It can be a lifesaver by storing water and a life preserver by keeping you afloat.
When filled with sand, dirt, or small rocks and pebbles, the WaterBrick provides some ballistic barrier protection. There are too many types of ammo, weapons, and fill mediums to tell you how much protection they afford, as it will vary. While I haven’t tried the WaterBricks ability to stop a bullet with different caliber weapons, I might have to do that some afternoon and let you know how it goes. On the WaterBrick site, they say,
“Filled completely with sand or pea gravel, WaterBricks went under a live-fire ballistics test and were successful in all tests, effectively stopping each of the full metal jacket military rounds and preventing the penetration of the backside wall of the brick.”
I would say it is at the very least stronger than a sandbag, though I could see a single layer suffering from perfectly placed bullets striking between the seams of the bricks. That all said, I would take a sandbag or higher protection from a projectile over nothing at all. Sandbags have been used since the late eighteenth century as a quick means of fortification, and I don’t think the WaterBrick is any weaker in this regard.
Note that when filled with sand, each WaterBrick will weigh about 50lbs. As a wall, when filled in this manner, you can also anchor and secure channels for water or build a more solid structure. In short, a sand-filled WaterBrick is essentially a hardened brick. Anything you can use a brick for, you can use the WaterBrick for in the same way. The plus with the WaterBrick, though, is that, unlike a brick, it can quickly be emptied, cleaned, and repurposed.
Even though it is called a WaterBrick, it has several other uses beyond efficient and portable water storage. You can probably think of a few more purposes beyond what I have covered in this video. If you know how to build a fish trap or you have ever done any trapping, you can imagine another reliable use for it I did not cover in this video. What is your idea for other uses of the WaterBrick, and what’s your experience with them? Let the community know in the comments below. If you’d like to check these out, you can see them on the site here: WaterBricks.
As always, please stay safe out there.