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Survival Skills: 7 Ways to Find Water in the Wild

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Only a very few people can survive the wild these days without the modern convenience, such as electricity and electronic gadgets, mobile devices. Although some can still survive without this modern equipment, nobody can survive without water.

Needless to say, water is highly essential for survival. Yes, you can package some water along with you to the wild; they cannot sustain you if you plan to spend a considerable period of time. If you want to spend more time in the wild, then you need to devise some ways to find water in the wild.

Start With the Obvious: Streams, Rivers, and Lakes

Streams, rivers, and lakes are the most obvious source of water in the wild. These sources of water offer clean, clear flowing water which is the best option you can ever think of. Generally, flowing water does not allow bacteria to fester. Small streams are what you should first look for once you get to the wild. You can also consider rivers as a second choice after stream. Larger rivers often have a higher percentage of pollution. If this is this only option available, you should consider purifying the water consumption. Lakes and ponds are also okay but they are stagnant and hence, a high rate of bacteria.

So, how do you find these sources of water? First, you should conduct a research on the location of rivers and streams before you embark on the journey in cases where possible. In the wild, you need to use your senses. If you stand still and silent, you should be able to hear the sound of flowing water. More so, If you stand at a sloppy ground, you should know that there is a flowing river or stream at the extreme base.

Another way to locate rivers or streams is by tracing animal footpaths which can lead to water. Insect swarms, although annoying, is another sign of water proximity. Another way to locate rivers or streams is by following the birds swarm early in the morning or late in the evening.

Collect Rainwater

Rainwater is one of the safest ways to get drinkable water without the fear of bacterial infections. If you are lucky to find yourself in a wild in the tropical region during the rainy season, you wouldn’t have to worry about water all through your stay in the wild.

There are basically 2 ways of collecting rainwater. The first is to place as many containers as you have in the rain. In cases where you have little or no container, then you can try this second method. Tarp around trees a few millimeters off the ground or tie the corners of a poncho, place a small piece of stone at the center to create depression and watch the water collect in it.

Collect Heavy Morning Dew

Heavy morning dew is another source of water in the wild. You can get up to 1 liter of water per hour from morning dew. To do this, tie some absorbent clothes around your ankles take a workout early in the morning before sunrise. When your cloth gets saturated, wring out the water and repeat the process over and over again.


You should not underestimate the amount of water you can derive from plants. Plant fruits, roots, vegetables, fleshy plants, and other plants have a lot of water embedded in it. Collect EDIBLE plants, place them into a container, and smash them with a piece of stone or rock. Although it may be a very tedious process, it can be very useful in desperate situations.  Try my Leaf Condensation trick.

Collect Plant Transpiration

You can also get some water by trapping the plant’s transpiration. Transpiration is a process whereby water is translocated from the root to the underside of the leaf before it is eventually released to the atmosphere. So, the trick here is to catch the water before it escapes to the sky.

First in the morning, tie a bag or anything that can be mold into a bed around the leafy green area of a shrub. Place a small piece of rock in the bag in order to create a depression and weigh it down a bit for easy water collection. Instead of the vapor to escape to the atmosphere, the water will be collected and retained in the bed. However, do not try this with a poisonous plant.

Tree Crotches/Rock Crevices

Tree crotches and rock crevices are another good sources of water, just like the fruit and vegetation. Although the process can be stressful and demanding, it is a good alternative, especially in difficult situations. To collect water from tree crotches or rock crevices, dip a cloth inside the hole, allow it to soak, and wring it out. Repeat this process as much as possible to get enough water.

Dig an Underground Still

This method is a relatively reliable source of water compared to other ways. It is a good option if you or your team is camping in the wild for a considerable long period of time. The process of digging well is very common which you are surely aware of. Although the process is tasking, the outcome always worth the energy invested. However, make sure you site your well or still close to a reputable water source or riverine area.


While you can survive without electricity or electronic gadgets in the wild, it is quite impossible to survive without water. Getting water in the wild may first sound difficult to you. However, we hope this guide on ways to find water will help you a lot.

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