How to find Water in the Wilderness

How to find Water in the Wilderness

Water is an absolute necessity for survival and more so when one’s camping or hiking because while you’re out there in the wilderness, your body is working out, sweating and losing water. It is natural to become dehydrated unless one’s careful about the water intake-water loss balance.

The human body can go without food for days, but it’s the lack of water that can be fatal. The body cannot be expected to function normally for any more than 5 to 6 days without water. While adventure enthusiasts nearly never fall short of other camping gear, it is food and water that they often fall short of.

In this blog, we shall take a look at some practical and effective ways to find water in the wilderness. The quest for water never ends by simply locating a source of water. Water in the wilder is always contaminated and not fit for human consumption. It is imperative to distill or purify the water unless one wishes to court diseases. Here, we shall also discuss some easy ways to purify water in the wilder. The things which help to purify waters must always be included in the survival kit.


Tracking water bodies in the wilderness

There is more than one way to track water bodies in the wilderness. Once you have successfully located a water body, it would be great if you can set up your camping tent close to it. That way, it wouldn’t be cumbersome to fetch water everytime you need it. It’s a different story if you’re planning to be on the move constantly.

  1. Presence of animals:

The presence of life in abundance is an irrefutable sign of the presence of water. While in the wilderness, keep your eyes open and ears sharp to note excessive chirping of birds or presence of mosquitoes or bees. They cannot survive without water, and their presence could signify the presence of a water body nearby.

You can also follow trails left behind by animals, especially the shows a movement downhill across the terrain. This, however, possesses certain risks of encounters with wild animals. One must be prepared for self-defence and carry the necessary equipment in their hiking gear at all times.



  1. Collecting dew and water trapped in tree hollows:

To make either of these strategies work, it is essential to include an absorbent cloth and a stick (at least a foot long) into the survival gear. Dew collects on plant leaves early in the morn, and you can use an absorbent piece of cloth to soak up the water and bring it into a container.

Hollows in trees (especially dead trees) sometimes store up water. You can try looking for the same by poking it with a stick tied with an absorbent cloth. Mosquitoes moving in and out of a hollow are a good sign indicating the possible presence of moisture.

  1. Digging up groundwater

If you cannot sense the presence of a water body nearby, you can always dig up groundwater. Never forget to include equipment for digging in your hiking gear. The exercise of digging, however, can be exhausting and one must never undertake the endeavour when the sun’s high up in the sky. The ideal time is early mo turning for the groundwater is closest to the surface at the time to. Alternatively, one can try when the sun starts to go down.

Now coming to the procedure, dig a narrow hole of about 12 inches. If the ground seems to dampen, you’re on the right track. If the soil still seems dry, move onto another place - a place closer to vegetation. Once you’ve found the damp soil, broaden the area of the hole.

Leave the hole alone for a few hours and the let water collect. Once it starts to show up, soak it in with the absorbent cloth and move it to a container. You can also simply scoop it up if possible.

  1. Avoid water loss:

Some key survival strategies can make life easy in the wilderness. Your need for water would be notable reduce if you prevent yourself from losing too much water by sweating. Physical exercise is usually always a part of hiking, but it does good to stay away from the sun as much as possible. Try to set up your tents in the shade, and stay away from the sun during the hottest part of the day. If you need to be on the move, do it early with the sunrise when the sun begins to wane.

  1. Other ways of looking for water:

If you are near the sea, looking for fresh water beneath the sand in the tidal area could be rewarding. If you’re in the mountains, try probing the soil beneath huge rocks. Areas with thick vegetation are bound to have a source of water nearby and are an excellent place to set up the tent. You can try looking for canyons and the likes.

If nothing works, find yourself a high ground that would give you a clear view of the surrounding topography. In any case, digging up the groundwater stands as a solution.

Purifying water in the wilderness

It’s never enough to find the water. Do not make the mistake of consuming the water without filtering it first. Some of the natural ways are:

  1. Filtering kit:

Filtering straws are available for hikers; you can carry one alone and sip in the collected water that is purified while it passes through the filtering straw to your mouth. You can buy them online from sites like Adventure-Nature.

  1. Boil the water:

Your tent gear should most certainly be complemented with additional arrangements for setting up a fire. You’ll need it all the time to cook or boil things. Use the same to boil and purify the water before you drink.

  1. Iodine/ Chlorine drops and tablets:

They are easy to carry and make the water safe for drinking. They can make survival in the wilderness a lot easier.

Hope you found the blog helpful and informative. If you ever run out of water in the wilderness, try these and hopefully, you’ll be saved!