Introduction: Find Water in the Wilderness

Water, shelter, warmth and food are all crucial to survival, but often clean water can be very difficult to locate. The average human can survive roughly 3 days without water, and this can vary depending on physical fitness, temperature and the level of activity being carried out. This guide will teach you what you should and shouldn't do regarding water in a survival situation, how to extract water from plants and how to build a solar still; after reading this you should be able to stay hydrated in a hostile environment.

Step 1: How It's Lost:

As an adult you will need 2-3 litres of water a day to function healthily, but you will become dehydrated through:

  • Perspiration- Don't become hot and fatigued.
  • Respiration- Keep talking to a minimum and breathe through the nose.
  • Vomiting- Make sure water is free of pathogens.
  • Diarrhoea- Make sure water is free of pathogens.
  • Digestion- Digestion uses up water, especially for fats.

Step 2: How to Find It:

The obvious sources of water are streams, rivers, lakes, springs and snow & ice (in colder regions).

However where bodies of water cannot be found look for the following:

  • Vegetation- Dig below it, you may find water.
  • Dried up streams- Water may also lay underground.
  • Dew- A large container can be used to collect it.
  • Mammals, birds and insects- Water should be found nearby.

Step 3: Collect It From Vegetation:

Here I show how to collect moisture from trees or plants, which would otherwise be unobtainable. This method is great because it allows you to collect water while doing something else.

  1. Locate healthy foliage.
  2. Tie a plastic bag around it.
  3. Return later to find condensation.

TIP: Have one edge of the bag at a low point so water drips into a smaller area making it easier to drink. Also make sure the bag will not blow or fall off the foliage.

You should attach more than one bag at once to collect as much water as possible.

Step 4: Collect It From the Ground (Solar Still):

A solar still is an excellent way of collecting water, and can be created if you have a watertight container. It works by using plastic to magnify sunlight into a hole, this causes water to evaporate from the ground and condensate on the plastic. It then drips off the plastic, into a container.

  1. Dig a hole in the ground.
  2. Put a watertight container inside.
  3. Cover the hole with clear plastic that droops downwards.
  4. Return later to collect water.

Step 5: Rules and Tips:

  • Never drink sea water, it leads to further dehydration due to its high salt content.
  • Dark urine indicates dehydration, find water as soon as possible.
  • Move at night time to avoid loss of moisture through perspiration.
  • It is better to drink water in small quantities frequently, than large amounts occasionally.
  • Only eat when you have water to accompany it.

Finally, harness all water available and waste nothing!

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