Wilderness Survival Skills | 7 Unique Ways To Find Water In The Wild

Water, water everywhere… but not a drop to drink…

In a crisis, whether you’re in the heart of the concrete jungle or deep in the backwoods, knowing how and where to find water no matter where you are is an absolute life saver. So what do you do when turning the taps is not an option?

Wilderness Survival Skills: 7 Sources of Water Outdoors

Failure to find water has massive and compounding effects on both your health and your mind. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just warmth that you need to worry about. Your body is in a constant state of losing water regardless of the outside temperature. Suffice it to say, if you find yourself in a survival situation, finding water should be one of your top priorities. But where do you start? We’ve compiled a list of 7 easiest and best places to find water in the wild. Learn these skills and actively practice them… They could save your life.:

1. Rain

Rain | Wilderness Survival Skills | Where To Find Water In The Wild
Rain is the easiest way to get clean water quickly – unfortunately, it’s also the least predictable. It is the simplest and safest source of water outdoors because it has less risk of bacterial infection. You can use bottles, cans, tarps and rain jackets to collect water. Boiling is always the best option before drinking any non-treated water source, but if you are forced into a situation where that isn’t an option… rain water is the safest bet.

2. Rivers, Lakes, Streams

Rivers, Lakes, Streams | Wilderness Survival Skills | Where To Find Water In The Wild
Rivers, lakes, streams, or any other bodies of water will be one of the most obvious sources of water in the wild. Look for clear flowing water to ensure bacteria hasn’t built up. Follow game trails and look for flying birds in the early morning and early evening as they will typically fly towards bodies of water. While these may be the most common sources they are also the most susceptible to contamination… never drink from these sources with out filtering, treating, or boiling it first.

3. Morning Dew

Morning Dew | Wilderness Survival Skills | Where To Find Water In The Wild
You can collect water from morning dew by tying a clean absorbent cloth or tufts of fine grass around your ankles and walk before sunrise through tall grass or meadows. However, you must avoid poisonous plants along the way and avoid areas, like farms or ranches, that may be treated heavily with pesticides. Collect the water from the cloth by squeezing it in a container. You have to do this quite often so you can collect enough to last you throughout the day. This is a great option in areas where rainfall isn’t likely.

What happens when you go without water?

What happens when you're dehydrated
Image courtesy of hydration.net.au

4. Fruits and Vegetation

Fruits and Vegetation | Wilderness Survival Skills | Where To Find Water In The Wild
Fruits, vegetables, and plants contain lots of water. You can use this method when you are in a tropical environment. Coconut is an excellent source of hydration it’s considered as Mother Nature’s Gatorade. Be sure that you understand the edible fruits around your area and know exactly how to prepare them for consumption. Some plants, while full of water, can cause massive intestinal issues.

5. Plant Transpiration

Plant Transpiration | Wilderness Survival Skills | Where To Find Water In The Wild
Transpiration is when the moisture is carried from the plants’ roots to the underside of its leaves. Tying a plastic bag into the whole branch of leaves will trap water and fall into your collecting bag or canister. The water vapor will get trapped and then turn into moisture, giving you clean and crisp water. Again be cautious and avoid collecting water from poisonous plants such as poison ivy, oak, or sumac.

6. Digging A Solar Still

Underground Stills | Wilderness Survival Skills | Where To Find Water In The Wild
Since there is moisture underground, digging your way to the water source is very efficient but it does take time. You can gather up to 5 liters of water per day using a still. Dig a hole 3 by 2 ft then dig a smaller hole where your canister could fit easily, place the plastic and keep it in place with some rocks. Then, place a small rock or weight in the middle of the plastic to create an inverted cone over the container to collect water. Below is one method of making a solar still that allows you to drink from it without disturbing it.

digging a water still
3 different methods for using a solar still – Image courtesy of bushcraftspirit.com

7. Tree Forks or Rock Crevices

Tree Crotch or Rock Crevice | Wilderness Survival Skills | Where To Find Water In The Wild
Tree forks or rock crevices might not be the best source of plentiful water, but it is better than going without any water at all. The forks of tree limbs or rock crevices can collect a small amount of water, due to its concave shape. Use clean clothing like a sock or bandana to soak the moisture or water in and wring it out.

Remember, you’re not the only one looking for water out there… Always, always, always, boil or treat water when you get the chance! Never drink from an untrusted source, you never know whats around the bend.

Watch this video to know some wilderness survival skills you need to know:

There are many different ways to find a water source in the wild; you just have to know where to look. Having the ability to find water outdoors is one of the most important wilderness survival skills you can have. After finding a water source, knowing how to purify the water you’ve collected to ensure it’s not contaminated is the second most important skill to have.

What’s the most important wilderness survival skill for you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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