This week's survival guide is all about finding water. Staying hydrated is critical when camping, hiking, or being stranded. You can only survive a day or two without water. Water helps regulate the body temperature and ensures the proper circulation of nutrients.
The Five Best Ways to Discover Water in Any Area
When you are outside and physical, you will need to drink at least a gallon of water a day. Each gallon of water weighs about eight pounds, which means carrying enough water for a multi-day trip becomes impossible.
So how do you navigate and find water sources?
Follow Animals to the Water
If you are looking for water, the easiest thing you can do is look for surface water such as: lakes, rivers, springs, and ponds. To find surface water it is easiest to look for animals or insects, as they tend to know where the best watering holes are.
Insects will stick around water and birds tend to circle water. Look for areas where other animal tracks converge and that will give you a good estimate of where surface water might be.
When looking for clean and safe drinking water, it is best to get your water from springs. The water in a lake or pond tends to be still, which means that it collects a lot of bacteria. You will need to filter the water or drink the water through a portable water filter
Water flows down due to gravity. If you are in a rugged area, water will often accumulate in valleys. If you are in a valley, look for vegetation that is seemingly flourishing in low-lying areas. Trees and small-shrubs tend to thrive in these areas.
This water will be much safer to drink. Although unless you are in an emergency, it is recommended that you boil the water to remove any possible contaminants.
Vegetation Indicates Ground Water
If there is anything that is green or alive, then there is a strong indicator that there is water below the surface. If you are stranded in a desert, this tends to be the only way you will find water.
Sometimes the water is so deep that it can make digging for it nearly impossible. There is no way to know how far down the water is unless you are familiar with a plant and its root system.
Rocks Can Collect Water
This method will not provide you with enough water to thrive, but it might just be enough to sustain you. Rain water typically collects in rock crevices and moisture is collected underneath rocks. If you've got a water filter, now would be the time to use it - as stagnated water can carry bacteria.
You may be able to find the bottom of a rock with enough condensation to provide a small drink of water. This is not an ideal method as the water is likely to be full of contaminants.
If you are in a place that rains, then you can collect the rainwater. Simply set up a container to capture the rainwater and then purify it if possible. You can always use leaves or sticks to build a container that will hold water long enough for you to drink it.
You should try to avoid putting yourself in a position where you need to find water. It is best if you go prepared. Always have enough water for your trip, but we know accidents can happen, so have a backup plan in the event you run out of water.
Source: How to find and purify water