Surviving alone in the woods – Searching for water

The task of surviving is a difficult one. Many people take life as granted and fail to plan their survival in advance. One of the toughest terrains that we might be forced to overcome is the woods. The woods can be characterized by a lack of water, food, direction, uncontrolled climatic conditions and predator threats.

In this blog, we give guidelines in how you can find water in the woods.

Search for water: Looking for water should be your first priority when you get lost. Whilst human beings can last up to 3 weeks without food, we can only survive for about 3 days without water. Our bodies comprise of 60% water, and it is used for several purposes such as blood flow and body temperature regulation. Without water, our bodies will dehydrate and pushed exhaustion. This exhaustion will not allow us to think and act properly, thus hindering our survival.

In order to overcome this problem, you could search for existing water sources like streams, springs, rivers, and lakes. Streams and springs are better choices due to their movement as the water is less likely to contain microbes. Polluted water will cause you to experience “legionnaires” disease. A word of warning: rivers are often contaminated, and lakes and other motionless forms of water should be your last option.

In case you cannot instantly find a water source, there are some tricks you could use to find one. First, remain still and listen for any sounds of running water. If that doesn’t work, check for animal trails and follow them. Animals also need water, hence almost always they will lead you to water.
Second, wall downhill to lower grounds. Water naturally flows downwards, so there are more chances for you to discover a stream in a valley or canyon than in a high or flat area.

Thirdly, gathering water from rain is a very good way to obtain drinking water. Prepare any containers you may have or tie a canvas or cape between trees and let the rain water accumulate. You can also gather droplets from plants by soaking it up with a cloth and then drenching it out.

Fourthly, you can try digging a well. In places where there is green vegetation, you have many chances finding water underground in just a few feet.

Fifth, in case you are lost in winter, snow can be used as a good source of water. However, ensure that it doesn’t have a yellowish color! Melt it before drinking, preferably boiling it if possible. Eating something cold like snow, can decrease your body temperature enough to cause hypothermia.

It doesn’t play a role which method you use to collect water, it should always be disinfected before drinking. The best way is to boil it for 5 minutes. If at a height above 2,000 meters it should be boiled for 10-15 minutes. Other means include exposing water directly to the sun over a period of 24 hours. The sun’s UV rays will kill many of the bacteria.

Finally, make a filter using cloth to filter out hard particulate substances. Of course, this time-consuming process and difficult work could be easily avoided. If you simply purchase our ultimate survival bag, you will be able to effortlessly use our water filtration straw to filter dirty water.