Finding water

finding water
Finding water is a top priority in the wild. An adult can survive only a few days without water, but many weeks without food.


About 3/4 of the human body is water. Your body loses 0.5-1 gallon (2-3 liters) of water each day through sweating and urination, more if you are hot, exerting a lot of energy or are at high altitudes. This water must be replaced. Therefore, drink often.

Finding water is critical, if not, dehydration will inevitably occur. The symptoms you will face are thirst, weakness, decreased mental capacity, nausea, no appetite and dark colored urine.

To prevent water loss, rest, keep cool, stay in the shade, and seek shelter. Do not wait until you run out of water before you look for more. Your body doesn't only get water from drinking water. Lots of foods contain water, good examples are fruit and vegetables, and any non-water fluid. However, avoid fatty foods, caffeinated beverages and alcohol as they trigger digestion to use up the fluids.

Waterborne contaminants

waterborne contaminants
In most parts of the world, surface water is seldom pure. There are five basic waterborne contaminants: turbidity, toxic chemicals, bacteria, viruses and parasitic worms.

Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness of the water. Dangerous and toxic chemicals include, among others, pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers from agricultural land. Bacteria and viruses can cause very serious illnesses, such as diarrhea and dysentery.

A common parasite is Giardia lamblia. It is found worldwide and within every region of the United States and has become recognized as one of the most common causes of waterborne diseases. Giardia lamblia causes diarrhea, which leads to dehydration.

Water purification

There are three ways to treat suspected water: filtration, boiling and chemical water purification.

· Filtering water doesn't purify it, but it reduces particles and sediment and makes the water taste better. Learn how to make a water filter.

· Boiling is the most certain way of killing all microorganisms. However, boiling will NOT neutralize chemical pollutants.

· To purify water with chemicals, use water purification tablets that should be included in your survival kit.

Purification filters

There are microbial purification filters available that not only removes parasites as Giardia, but also kill waterborne bacteria and viruses. This type of water purifier filter makes your water even safer.

Indicators of water

Finding water is possible in most wilderness environments. However, to be successful, you need to understand different indicators of water (read more here).

Tips how to find water

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The Wilderness Survival Blog keeps you up-to-date with all additions and changes to this web site.

survival without water