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Bushcraft Tips for Finding Water

Staying hydrated is one of the most important parts of survival. In day to day life, we drink without thinking about it, and we rarely spare a thought to where the water we are drinking comes from.

Every day, we will lose about 1.5 liters of water through sweat, respiration and feces, and another 1.5 liters per day through urine. This rate of loss is increased if we are physically active. We replace that water through drinking, and also through the water found in our food.

It’s easy to stay hydrated when you’re in a civilized area; you can simply buy a drink at the store or drink water from the tap. In the wilds, however, it takes a little more thought and skill.

Usually, it’s easy to find water in the woods, but if you’re in an area with a permeable rock surface, it might be hard to find safe standing groundwater. One way to collect water is to dig a well in a damp area, and collect water from the surrounding, hopefully, saturated, soil collect in the well. Another option is to collect rainwater – dig a pit, and line it with a plastic bag or piece of tarp, and let the water build up there. You can similarly collect morning dew.

In dry parts of the world, you may struggle to locate water. Look for birds – especially pigeons and game birds. These have a dry diet, so need to drink frequently. Wasps, bees, and pigs also rarely stray far from water. Follow them, and you will likely find a waterhole. If you can’t see any animals around, try to head downhill, because water flows downhill, so you’ll have a better chance of heading in the right direction.