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Urine can be very useful in survival situations. Two main uses can be as an emergency eyewash and a source of fertilizer for your plants.
Urine as it comes from the urethra is a sterile, (unless there exists a bladder, kidney or urinary tract infection), saline solution of about 6 pH (range 4.8-8.5). This makes a perfectly satisfactory eyewash in situations where water is unavailable or of questionable quality. Since urine contains nutrients that can support the growth of harmful organisms, the eye should be rinsed with a boric acid or other eyewash solution as soon as possible.
Urine output is about 600-1,600 ml./24 hours with around 55-70 gms./24 hrs of total solids. Typical electrolytes are (per 24 hours) Sodium
130-260 mEq Chloride
110-250 mEq Potassium
25-100 mEq Calcium
100-250 mg. Magnesium
15-300 mg. Phosphorus,inorganic .9-1.3 Gm.
Components that contain Nitrogen are (per 24 hours)
Ammonia 20- 70 mEq
Creatine 0-100 mg.
Creatnine .8-1.9 Gm.
Protein 10-150 mg.
Urea nitrogen 6 – 17 Gm.
Uric acid .25-.75 Gm.
That doesn’t sound like much, but take 1 quart of urine and add 3 or 4 quarts of water and pour that on a lawn, just one application, that hasn’t been fertilized and you will be amazed. Do not use urine undiluted since the heavy dose of nitrogen will “burn” the plants.
Since urine has so much nitrogen it could be added to a compost pile that is long on carbon but short on nitrogen.
In absolutely desparate conditions urine can used for a beverage if you are low on water and in danger of dehydration. This shouldn’t be taken to extremes, but there are religious sects in India that advocate drinking ones own urine once a day for mytiscal reasons and they do not seem to suffer from any ill effects. I doubt that you will benefit from the mystical advantages claimed for this, but it may keep you alive.
Needless to say, you can not rely solely on urine for fluids for an extended period of time since urine contains waste products. Urine can however be used to prevent dehydration in the same manner as seawater or other saline or contaminated waters. You can use the undrinkable water to cool your skin thereby reducing water loss from perspiration. Where dehydration is emminant, use the salty water to cool your skin and clothes. The phrase, “Ration your sweat, not your water.”, is the idea here. Every cup of water that you can prevent losing is just as good as an additional cup of water that you drink as far keeping yourself properly hydrated.
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