Staying hydrated is essential in any kind of survival situation, especially when you’re out in the wild. With the right knowledge and preparation, camping, hiking, or any other outdoor activity can be safe and enjoyable. Knowing how to stay hydrated is a key component of being prepared for any outdoor activity. In this article, we will discuss some of the best ways to stay hydrated when you find yourself in a survival situation.
The Importance of Staying Hydrated in a Survival Situation
Staying hydrated is a critically important factor to consider in a survival situation. Keeping the body supplied with enough water helps maintain normal physiological and metabolic processes, which are essential for survival. Without hydration, the body begins to rapidly deplete its storage of water and can result in poor physical performance, fatigue, heat exhaustion, and even death. Therefore, keeping hydrated is fundamental to your preparedness when faced with a crisis or extreme living conditions. Whenever possible, try to stay hydrated by drinking enough clean water each day and taking extra precautions when faced with limited resources and extreme weather.
Finding Water in the Wilderness
Surviving in the wilderness, or in any survival scenario, starts with a single essential thing - access to water. Knowing the best ways to find water is key to survival and luckily there are several easy methods you can employ.
1. Fruit and Vegetation
In the wilderness, knowing which types of plants and fruits have access to reliable water sources is vital when it comes to sourcing water for yourself.
To determine if a plant is suitable, examine any potential sources closely by looking for moisture-laden leaves, stems with swollen nodes full of water, and tubers or bulbs where water is stored. The size, shape and color of a plant can all help determine which species should be investigated further as possible sources of clean drinking water - especially if you’re familiar with the native flora of an area. Keep in mind that some plants may require special preparation before safe consumption, so basic survival and plant identification skills are essential when collecting water from safe plants.
Berries, melons, grapes, apples and citrus fruits are all excellent options for replenishing lost fluids due to their high moisture content. Not only can fruit provide you with valuable hydration, but they are also an important source of nutrition. In addition to fruit, edible vegetation such as moss or grasses can also be used as a form of hydration by squeezing the liquid out of them into a container or directly into your mouth.
Tree tapping is one of the most effective ways to find clean drinking water in the wild, and can often be done to any tree with edible sap. Birch and maple trees are good go-to options, as they typically have high levels of sweet sap and can provide drinkable water in just a few minutes. Walnut trees provide an alternate option but should be used more as a last resort due to its difficult sap extraction process and riskier factors associated with its makeup.
3. Flowing Streams
For those looking to source a reliable, clean supply of water for survival hydration, flowing streams and rivers can provide a great opportunity. The flowing water source allows the bacteria levels to remain lower than if the water was not flowing. It also gives you an easily traceable path for finding a new water source when your current one dries up. However, it is important to use caution when choosing which flowing water sources to use; you must be careful to identify cleanliness factors such as clarity and lack of animal or human waste in the area. With proper safety precautions taken into account, drinking from flowing streams and rivers can be an invaluable resource for survival hydration.
Alternatively, if it is the winter season or you’re up in the mountains where there is snow through the summer, you can collect snow and ice (avoiding the yellow snow or gray ice). Be sure to melt it first so that it’s not too cold, otherwise you might get dehydrated.
4. Collect Rain
In a survival situation, collecting rainwater can be an invaluable resource for drinking and cleaning. While rain is generally considered to be clean, it’s important to take steps to ensure that none of the pollutants or bacteria in rainwater are consumed. Fortunately, there are various techniques you can use to collect rainwater in a safe manner. One of the easiest ways is to simply set out multiple containers - such as barrels, buckets or other vessels - where rain falls so it can be stored until needed. Alternatively, waterproof tarps and sheets can be used strategically around camp to collect rain before it hits the ground so no matter how heavy the rain, you still have access to clean water. Whether you’re alpine climbing or facing an unexpected crisis in your hometown, knowing how to properly collect rainwater can be key for survival.
How to Purify Water so it's Safe to Drink
Accessing clean water can be a difficult task, especially when in a wilderness or survival environment. Purifying water is a vital step to ensure that it remains safe for humans to drink and avoid health hazards. There are several methods of purification available depending on the situation, such as boiling, using purification tablets, filtering through activated charcoal, and UV purification.
Boiling is an effective way of purifying water. By straining the water and then bringing it to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute the heat can destroy bacteria and protozoa, making the liquid safe for consumption. Purification tablets are easy to transport and can quickly purify large quantities of water; just add a tablet per 1-2 liters of water (approximately) and wait 30 minutes before drinking. Activated charcoal filters can remove organic compounds like unpleasant tastes or odors from the water, while UV purification emits dangerous radiation that effectively kills bacteria in minutes. No matter what purification method is chosen, it's essential to make sure that any kind of unsafe drinking water sources are purified properly before drinking!
Tips for carrying enough water with you on your journey
Carrying enough water is one of the most important things to consider when preparing for any kind of journey. Fortunately, there are some simple tips that can help ensure you have enough clean water to drink and use in a survival situation.
The first step is understanding how much water you'll need. This will depend on several factors including climate, terrain, duration of your trip and physical activity level. Generally speaking it's recommended that you carry around 1 liter for every 2 hours of hiking, taking into account the weather, altitude or if you're trekking over difficult terrain.
If you know that you’ll be going near, or past, a water source then you can always aim to fill up there with the Survivor Filter Squeeze Kit. The kit includes 2 collapsible canteens and a filter straw, making the load lighter and the trip less stressful. The canteens have built in handles that have carabiners attached which allow them to be clipped onto your backpack for belt- requiring practically no extra space.
With these helpful tips in mind, you will never have to worry about running out of fresh drinking water during your explorations.
Before going on any outdoor adventure we recommend doing research of the area you’ll be visiting, to find out where the nearest water sources are, any surrounding houses or areas nearby, and what to do in emergency situations in that specific area. Have a plan of action in case anything goes wrong, and ultimately try to remember to stay calm.