Outdoor Survival- Finding Water
If you ever find yourself in an outdoor survival emergency finding drinkable water should be your first priority. We will assume for the sake of this article you have found yourself in an outdoor survival situation. You need to plan to survive until you can reach help, or help can reach you.
Realistically, you need water to survive. Of everything that makes up your body, approximately 75% of that stuff is water. You can approximate your water loss as about a half gallon per day through urination and sweat. This obviously increases when you sweat due to excessive heat or activity. That means you need to replace those lost fluids through hydration. The easiest way to do that is through finding a source of drinkable water.
It is easy to understand why water is so crucial to survival. You can go for an extended period of time without food. However, you won’t last more than about three days without water. For this reason alone it is a good idea to keep an extra water on hand in case of an emergency.
However, even if you have some water with you in your survival kit you most likely aren’t carrying around gallons of water. Water weighs about 8lbs per gallon. How many gallons could you comfortably carry into the wilderness on top of all the other items you are carrying? That’s why it is important to locate water quickly if you are stranded for a period of time out in the wilderness. Depending on the length of the situation you may need more water to drink. It is never too early to plan ahead and search for water in case you are stranded for longer than you think you will be.
When fluids that are lost are not replaced, dehydration occurs. Symptoms of dehydration include weakness and loss of mental capacity. Dehydration can not only be serious but can be fatal if not addressed quickly. Finding water is crucial for outdoor survival. This is a skill that must be learned in order to survive. Once you begin to become dehydrated and you begin losing your mental faculties you may be unable to think straight enough to search for water.
Although the search for food is a part of your survival plan, you shouldn’t make that your first priority. Many people have been lost in survival situations because they made the search for food the first priority and waited until it was too late to search for water. Never wait until you are out of water to decide it is time to look for something to drink. Finding water can be tricky and takes time. Also, remember that the water you find must be safe to drink. If it isn’t safe to drink it must be made that way through some means such as filtration or boiling and condensation. This task uses up your valuable time. Keep in mind, that your body is continuously losing water that must be replaced.
While you look for water, it is important to avoid dehydration. To prevent water loss, stay cool. Rest whenever possible. Overexertion will only add to the amount of water your body is losing. Find shade and avoid direct sunlight. Avoid alcohol and fatty foods. This simply wastes the water your body has on hand.
Be advised that all water is not the same. Even though your body needs water to survive, unhealthy drinking water can cause serious health issues. An intestinal infection from unhealthy water can give you diarrhea, which leads to even more water loss. Learn about what types of water are considered safe and which may be dangerous. Learning how to properly treat water is a life-saving skill for outdoor survival. Carrying a bottle of water treatment tablets or a small amount of chlorine can help to treat water. There are other methods such as filtration that can work in combination with water treatment to remove dangerous solids from water. Technology also now makes it possible to filter water with lightweight straws or even slightly larger pump filtration devices that can easily be carried in a backpack.
It is wise to make sure that your outdoor survival kit contains the tools you will need to treat water and make it suitable for consumption. You should know how to use the products in the event of an emergency. Simply having the tools to purify water is not enough. It is imperative that you learn how to properly use these items to make the water safe to drink.
Water is crucial to life and survival. People who know where to locate water in survival situations are much more likely to succeed in such emergencies. Learning about healthy water sources will provide you with the tools you need to survive the situation until help arrives.