You’re on your annual backpacking trip with all your best friends, excited to be out in nature taking in all the beauty the outdoors has to offer. You just got back to your campsite after a long strenuous hike and go to take a sip of water, only to realize you’re on your very last bottle for the entire trip. Panic starts to take over and you fear that you won’t be able to make it through the backpacking trip.
Times like these can really ruin a trip and even make you fear for your own life. Thankfully, we were able to gather 5 of the best ways to get yourself water when you run low in the outdoors!
Collect Morning Dew
In the morning time, take a piece of absorbent clothing with you on a walk. You can either tie the clothing around your ankles while walking through tall grass or you can take the clothing and rub it over any wet grass you see. Make sure you are not collecting water from any poisonous plants. After your piece of clothing is full from collecting water, wring it out in a water bottle and filter through a piece of clothing to get out any debris inside.
Get Water From Plants
Plants are a perfect source for water whenever you find yourself dehydrated out in nature. Just wrap a large plastic bag around a leafy nonpoisonous branch in the sun (heat helps to speed up the process.) Make sure that the plastic bag is hanging lower than the branch so the water can collect at the bottom of the bag. If the bag is angled higher than the branch, you can take attach a rock to help weigh the branch down. From there you can then tie a piece of string around the branch to secure the plastic bag so no water vapor escapes during the process. Before you attach the plastic bag, be sure to shake the branch so you can get any loose debris or bugs off that might be on the branch.
This process will take a few hours, but the plant will eventually transpire into the bag giving you water. Don’t forget to filter it through clothing afterwards to get any leftover sediment out of the water.
Purify Salt Water
Things you will need:
Rope or Cord
If you are near the ocean and find yourself without water - try purifying the ocean’s salt water. Fill the large container with salt water and put the small container in the center of the large container without getting water inside of it. From there you will cover the top of the containers with the plastic bag and using the cord to keep the bag in place. Then place the rock on top of the plastic bag over the smaller container. This will make it so the water inside the bag will conspire into the smaller container on top - leaving the salt behind and making it safe to drink!
Find Edible Plants
Eating might be the last thing you want to do when dehydrated, but try to locate any fruit or vegetables growing nearby. Sometimes it might even seem impossible to find any plants around you that grow anything edible, but if you run into any - take a bite! They have a significant amount of water in them and will hydrate you until you are able to find a nearby water source or get to your car.
Make sure you check any fruits or vegetables you are eating to ensure that they are safe to eat. According to survivalfrog.com - melon, squash, cacti, dandelions, and vines are the most hydrating plants to find out in nature.
Many vines are safe to eat, but there are still some out there that shouldn’t be consumed. A way to check and see if a vine is edible is to cut the vine open and see what color liquid seeps out. If the liquid looks milky or smells “off” - then it is unsafe to eat, but if the liquid is clear and doesn’t smell, you’re good to eat it.
Although berries are very hydrating, I suggest not eating them in the wild unless you take all the precautionary steps to make sure they are completely safe to eat. There are many ways to tell if a berry is safe to eat by examining the size, shape, and color of the berry. As well as examining the leave’s color, size, shape, and the number of leaves on one of the branches. Remember to ALWAYS stay away from berries that are white or yellow.
Dig A Seep
Another way to find a source of water outdoors is to dig a seep - also known as a hole. You can dig a seep to collect water near any moist or damp area you are able to find. Try starting in lower areas since water flows downward. From there you can start to dig a large hole that is around 2-3 feet in diameter and 1 foot deep. Find any nearby rocks and line the hole with them to try to avoid any sediment from flowing into your water. Once the hole starts to fill up - scoop out any muddy water from and let the water settle so that whatever sediment is found in the hole can fall to the bottom. When the water looks clear and safe to drink, start scooping it out and filter it through any clean clothes you have to be sure there are no leftover sediment floating in it. Be sure to boil it before drinking!
Before you set out on an adventure, make sure that you are prepared for anything that could happen. You never want to find yourself without water during a hike or camping trip. Always remember to bring more water than you think you may need and have a plan to collect clean water if deemed necessary. and Always make sure you are filtering the water through a clean piece of clothing into a water bottle to get any bug or debris out. Followed by boiling the water to kill any bacteria or parasites.
Hopefully with these 5 tips you are able to plan accordingly for your next adventure!