If you find yourself lost in the woods and you have no more drinking water left.
You need to act quick and find some fast…
Because while you can go as much as 40 days without eating, dehydration can settle in as less as 3 days.
However, in order to understand how you can purify water, you first of all need to find some.
Exploring your environment
Exploring your environment is one of the key elements in finding water. If you find little drainages or rainwater drainages, you should know that most of the times they lead into creeks and creeks will generally lead into rivers. Therefore, to find a good source of water, all you need to do is to follow these drainages.
Pay attention to plants that like to grow near water though, such as cottonwood tree. They will generally lead you to finding water sources that you can use in order to survive. If you live in New Jersey, rock cliff faces are quite common and you’ll generally see that water seeps out of them and what’s special about this water is that it is safe to drink. To collect it though, you need some sort of container, like a plastic water bottle.
Finding water in the desert
There are situations when you can find yourself lost in the dessert and we all know that here it’s a bit more difficult to find water sources. Luckily, if you find canyons you can be sure that they have managed to store pretty large amounts of water throughout the years and all you have to do is collect it.
The deeper the canyon, the less chances for it to receive enough sunlight, so yes, they are usually filled with plenty of water you can use to survive. The same goes for trees that have rotten off and become a hollow. When it rains, the hollows fill with water and since they are not exposed to direct sunlight, water can be stored there for a very long time.
Wet terrain that is muddy is a great source of water and all you need to do to is dig down and find water underground. The best places to dig down for water are along rivers or creeks that face north. Since these sites barely get sunlight, there’s a lot of water trapped underground that you can quickly access.
Collecting the water
After you found a water source though, you have to be able to collect the water and my best advice for this is to use a stainless steel water bottle. After you’ve filled it with water, you can easily throw it in the fire so the water can boil and therefore become safe to drink.
If you live in North America though, you may very well know that there’s a lot of industrial farming going on here and this brings in a lot of contaminants into the nearby creeks and rivers. Some of the most common examples would be cryptosporidium and giardia. If you drink water that’s contaminated with them, then you’ll become a ticking clock.
Giardia and cryptosporidium generally cause gastrointestinal problems, so it’s best for you to only drink contaminated water if you have no other way of staying hydrated. At the end of the day, I think that this is better than just dying from dehydration.
I personally advise everyone to always carry some equipment with them, no matter if we’re talking about stainless steel bottles or water filtration systems. For instance, a water filter allows you to drink water directly from the source which does save you a lot of precious time that you’d otherwise have to spend to boil the water so it’s safe to drink.
When acquiring a filter, you need to ensure that it can filter very small particles. A tube filter can be inserted directly into the water source, but make sure it’s deep enough so it doesn’t suck out the sediments from the bottom. Such filters can last for a very long time and allow you to filter thousands of gallons of water.
While they are new in the US, they are generally used by people living in third world countries, where access to clean water is scarce. They were made for the indigent to be passed out as a really cheap filter. They are incredibly light. Because you can use The LifeStraw to drink water directly from the source, they can be very useful in critical situations where you don’t have the know-how of collecting and decontaminating water so it’s safe to drink.
The way The LifeStraw works is you just drink the water directly through The LifeStraw from the source. Or you can fill up a water bottle with contaminated water and drink out of that bottle. This is the only one that I recommend.
In some cases though, you may also want to go for water purification tablets, but I don’t recommend you use them long term. This is because they contain iodine which is not good for your health. Therefore, while filters are a much better solution for longer term situations, the pills do have their merits for short term campouts where portability is an issue.
Boiling water without a container
Sometimes you’ll find yourself in a situation where you need water badly, but don’t have a way of boiling it. To go around this, you need to find some rocks (make sure you don’t use porous rocks from river beds since they can contain water and put out your fire) and then put them in the fire for around 45 minutes. After that, you can put them in the container that you cannot put in the fire (for instance a bucket or maybe a wooden bowl you just carved out).
It’s very important that the rocks are super heated in order for this to work. How can you put them in the water that you want to boil though? Well, you can use a pair of tongs or make a pair from some sticks you find in the woods.
Lastly, keep in mind that prior to putting the rocks in the water, you should dip them in a separate container of water and take them out very quickly so you can put in the container with the water you want to purify. As a result, this will not cause your water to become ashy. Better yet, you can even put food in the container with the boiling water and make a nutritious soup.
My whole family has learned to use this water purification system with little or no effort at all!
If you want to learn how to use The LifeStraw to have delicious Life-giving water practically anywhere…click the link here to check out our The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter