Water Sources For Survival


Water will be one of your most urgent needs during a survival situation. Believe it or not, you cannot survive much beyond a few days without any water whatsoever, especially in a hot environment where you are losing water rapidly through perspiration. Even in a cold environment, you need a minimum of 2 liters (about 1/2-gallon) of water each day to maintain some efficiency.

More than 3/4 of your body is composed of fluids. Your body loses fluid as a result of heat, cold, stress, and exertion. To function effectively, you must replace the fluid your body loses.

A general rule-of-thumb is for 1 gallon of water per day at a minimum for survival needs.


So, one of your early priorities (along with those of your immediate safety and well-being) during a survival situation is to find and obtain an adequate supply of water to keep you alive.

The following is a list of ideas how to get water for survival:



Almost any environment has water present to some extent.


Water Source: Snow and Ice

Method: Melt and purify. Do not eat without melting. Eating snow and ice can reduce body temperature and will lead to more dehydration. Snow and ice are no purer than the water they came from.


Water Source: Sea Ice

Method: Sea ice that is gray in color or opaque is salty – do not use it without desalting it. Sea ice that is crystalline with a bluish cast has little salt in it.


Water Source: At Sea

Method: Use desalter kit. Do not drink seawater without desalting.


Water Source: Rain

Method: Catch rain in tarps or other water holding material or containers.


Water Source: Beach

Method: Dig hole deep enough to allow water to seep in. Obtain rocks, build fire, and heat rocks. Drop hot rocks in water, hold cloth over hole to absorb steam, wring water from cloth. If container is available, fill container with seawater, build fire and boil water to produce steam, hold cloth over container to absorb steam, wring water from cloth.


Water Source: Ground

Method: Water can be found in valleys and low areas; at the foot of concave banks of dry river beds; at the foot of cliffs or rock outcrops; at the first depression behind the first sand dune of dry desert lakes; wherever you find damp surface sand; wherever you find green vegetation.

Dig holes deep enough to allow water to seep in.


Water Source: Holes and Fissures In Rocks

Method: Periodic rainfall may collect in pools, seep into fissures, or collect in holes in rocks. Insert flexible tubing and siphon water.


Water Source: Condensation On Metal

Method: Use cloth to absorb water, then wring water from the cloth. Extreme temperature variations between night and day may cause condensation on metal surfaces.


Water Source: Trails

Method: All trails lead to water. You should follow in the direction in which the trails converge. Signs of camps, animal droppings, and trampled terrain may mark trails.


Water Source: Birds

Method: Flocks of birds will circle over water holes. Some birds fly to water holes at dawn and sunset. Their flight at these times are generally fast and close to the ground. Bird tracks or chirping sounds in the evening or early morning sometimes indicate that water is nearby.

Share your ideas – leave a comment…

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  1. Duncan 03/26/2014 1:10 PM
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