There are two sources of water for the camp – the non-potable water barrels which are stored in the truck, and the potable drinking water in one-gallon containers.
The non-potable water is for showering, washing up etc.
Do not dip your hands/muddy vegetables/feet in the barrels unless you want to go to your grave clean.
Use the scoop, and transfer water to a pan/bowl etc.
Don’t open a new barrel until the last one is finished.
Replace the lid on the barrel every time you use it.
Make sure nothing else falls into the water barrels. We don't want a repeat of what happened a couple of years ago, when someone spilt an ashtray into the water barrel, and we had to shower with bits of tobacco dribbling over us.
Non-potable water should be disposed of into the greywater barrels/tank by the kitchen, and we will either pay for this to be removed on-site, or pack this water back out with us to be disposed of into the public sewer system in Reno. And yes, you’re right, that job is every bit as gross as it sounds.
Potable (drinking) water
We bring enough potable water for everyone. It will either be in the storage tent or in the big truck. It’s in one gallon containers, and you need to be drinking at least one-and-a-half of these every day (we take more like three gallons per person per day).The best way to do this is to bring a Camelbak or a water bottle that will hold at least a litre and attach it to your person with a strap. During daylight hours, especially if you’re building or exerting yourself in any way, you need to be drinking water constantly. And yes, you need to be visiting the loo just as often.
Don’t leave empty water containers lying around. Stamp them flat and put them in the appropriate recycling place. They can also be re-used. They make excellent footbaths, scoops for water barrels and with the addition of a couple of cable ties you can fashion an extremely stylish bicycle basket, hat, mask or bikini top. There will be spot prizes for the most inspired re-use of a water container.
If your urine begins to darken in colour you are already badly dehydrated. Don’t forget that the desert is so dry that you can even dehydrate at night. Don’t leave the camp without water. If you do run out, ask - someone will give you some. Keep an unopened gallon of water in your tent or RV just in case the kitchen is locked.
More liquid issues
As well as water you should also bring your own supply of soft drinks, since the camp does not provide these – sugar is important to help you absorb water. It’s also useful to mix with rum. And vodka. Pre-prepared Gatorade is very good for staying hydrated and you should aim to drink at least two standard bottles a day. Gatorade is also a brilliant hangover cure. Just try not to look at the colours. Wrong, in so many ways. The author’s favourite is the lilac coloured one, with blue a close second.
You should also bring a supply of rehydration powders. It’s best to buy these in the UK as they can be tricky to find in the US. Yes, they taste every bit as disgusting as you might imagine a mixture of sugar, salt and artificial flavouring to taste. They might also be the only thing between you, a drip at the med centre or a med-evac to Reno. Miso does a similar if less effective job, but is easier to keep down.