Finding Water & Hydration
|Before proceeding, please review Important
Disclaimers about the information, resources & links contained in
this website. The information provided below is for basic reference only
and is not intended to be professional instruction.
Water can be found in virtually any outdoor
environment. If you dig deep enough and in the right place, you can find
the water table. In deciding where to dig, use common sense. Shaded areas,
muddy ground, low spots and vegetation-rich areas are more likely to
contain water than dried out, high-spots with little or no plant life.
Look for water in the following places:
- Muddy or damp ground.
- Shaded sand dunes, especially large and steep
- Areas with water-craving vegetation such as willows, cottonwoods,
sycamores, salt grass and elderberries.
- Base of cliffs with moderate or dense vegetation.
Other places to find and gather water:
- Morning dew from plants and rocks (mop up with a towel or
- Rain water collected in sandstone ridges, canyon and rock pockets
(generally exists on higher ground).
- Animal tracks or circling birds leading to a water hole.
suspect water before drinking.
Things to avoid:
- DO NOT assume that a water source is
- DO NOT extract water from poisonous
- DO NOT drink blood or
- DO NOT drink salt
- DO NOT over-conserve water in a
- DO NOT eat more than a minimal amount of food,
as the act of digestion depletes body fluid.
- DO NOT unnecessarily exert
- DO NOT sit in the sunlight.
Other things to avoid:
- Dew on poisonous
- Stagnant water with little or no signs of
- Water holes with skeletal animal remains nearby.
For more detailed information about water procurement, see
6 ("Water Procurement") of the U.S. Army Survival
Importance of hydration:
The importance of hydration in a survival situation cannot be
A special thanks to Emma (Girl Scout) who discovered this
helpful resource on the medical importance of hydration: