Survival 101: Gather water like a pro with rain catches
12/28/2019 / By Grace Olson / Comments
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Survival 101: Gather water like a pro with rain catches

When you’re out in the wild, one of the first things to secure is water. There are multiple options to get water, but if you’re in an area where it’s likely to rain, a rain catch comes in handy. (h/t to

A rain catch is a modified funnel attached to a water container or a hose that connects to your water storage. It is easy to use, easy to carry and easy to make. Here is a quick video on how to make your own rain catch:


Most of these items can be found online or in your local equipment store.

  • Funnel – Look for a durable funnel to pack in your bug-out bag. The opening should at least be five inches in diameter for gathering water. Make sure to buy a funnel where you can attach bottles or garden hoses to its smaller hole.
  • Cordage – This will be used to hang the funnel on trees. It should at least be a foot long. Make sure that it can withstand a lot of weight in case of heavy rain.
  • Hose washer with screen – This should be bigger than the small opening of the funnel. If you’re buying online, make sure to compare its size to the funnel’s dimensions.
  • Medical grade super glue – It will be used to stick the hose washer to the funnel. Look for a brand that can withstand a lot of water when dried.
  • Sanding tool – Having a belt sander is ideal, but a Dremel bit works just as fine. If you don’t have access to this, a sharp cutter or knife may do the trick.
  • Safety goggles – This will protect your eyes from the pieces of rubber flying while using the sanding tool. A handkerchief also comes in handy if you want to cover your nose and mouth.
  • Paint – After building your rain catch, you can paint the outer side of the funnel to make it blend in with the surroundings. Choose earthy colors like brown or dark green, depending on where you’re going to use it.


  1. Using the sanding tool, slowly chip away the excess rubber surrounding the hose washer. The amount of rubber should be enough to cover the smaller hole of the funnel. Sand it at a 45-degree angle. Make sure to wear safety goggles with an optional handkerchief.
  2. After removing the excess rubber, glue the hose washer onto the funnel. Attach from the inside of the funnel in an upside-down position, where the upward curve of the washer is facing the entrance of the funnel.
  3. Let the glue dry completely.
  4. Attach the cordage on the funnel. You can drill some holes on opposite sides of the funnel to use. If the funnel has a hook or holder on the side, use those instead.
  5. You can paint the outside of the funnel of a color of your choice. Do not paint the inside where the water is collected. Paint may leach into the water and contaminate it, making it undrinkable. (Related: Water is life: 10 Ways to purify water when SHTF.)

How to use it

  1. Attach a water container – like a water bottle – to the funnel. Secure it tightly.
  2. Hang the funnel on a strong branch of a tree. Choose a spot where not a lot of branches are hanging over it. This helps ensure that the rain falls directly into the funnel.
  3. Come back once in a while and check if the container is full. If it is, replace it with another container.
  4. If you have multiple funnels and hoses, you can connect them all to a large water container if you’re planning a longer stay in the area.

Make the most out of the rain and make your portable rain catch to gather water. After collecting water, make sure to purify it first before drinking.

Sources include:

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