To Survive Without Water: Guide for Lost Tourists

Thousands of outdoor enthusiasts go away from civilization to the forests, mountains and other remote areas every summer. Unfortunately, sometimes they can’t find the way back, and in this case, the main enemy is dehydration. How to use simple gadgets in extreme conditions, drink water and hold it in the body? Read our tips – maybe one day they will be useful!

To find and to stock up

So, after hours of useless wandering, attempts to navigate by the sun, moss and other tweaks you have made a clear conclusion – you were lost. Most importantly, don’t panic. You should start of course, with finding water. Our body can live pretty long without food, but you have maximum a few days with no moisture.

001Fortunately, we have not so many deserts and often tourists get lost in the woods or in the mountains. There is enough moisture, but it is not easy to be obtained. In the forest, if the terrain is hilly, come down: there is a high probability of finding a river, stream, lake or swamp. Well, if a saving rain begins, just tie the cleanest piece of clothing around the tree trunk, and then press it into the prepared container.

002If you manage to get lost in the mountains, remember the main rule – do not eat snow! It is composed of too much air, so, trying to quench your thirst, you will eat a snowdrift and you’ll have the risk of catching a cold. But agree, it is not the preferred option in the wild. It is best to put clean snow into the container and melt it.

To get and to keep

Assume that near you there is nothing even remotely resembling the life-giving source. Then you should think about gravity: water flows down, so look for it in the lowlands, at the bottom of the shallow ravines, gullies or hollows. Even if you found the stream channel is dry, the moisture could just go under the ground. In addition, water is life, and even the thorns will not grow at the lack of water. Search for animal tracks, birds, different plants – all this indicates that there is water nearby. If it does not appear on the surface, it is always possible to get it out of the wet soil by digging a hole.

003If the ground is wet, it will sooner or later meet a sufficient amount of water. The downside is that it will need to be filtered. If the soil is dry, place the container in the middle of the pit, and drag a plastic bag or any piece of water-repellent polymer on the top, so that it is slightly slack (you can put a small pebble on the top). The moisture evaporating from the soil will condense on the foil, and drain through it into the vessel. During the day, a simple device can give you up to one and a half liters of clean water!

004Purity is the guarantee of health

Even flowing water is better to be drunk purified, not to mention the standing one, from small puddles or swamps. The best way is boiling. But the refractory pot is not always at a hand, and you cannot make fire in any circumstances. In this case, you can use suitable means (which you should think about at the stage of preparation for a campaign):

  • Clean sand, wrapped in a cloth or covered in tin foil with pre-punched small holes in the bottom, will serve as a good filter.
  • Use contents of first aid kits. The bandage is almost always impregnated with a germicidal composition, so parts of harmful substances and microorganisms can be eliminated when you filter through it. Wrap crushed tablets of activated charcoal on several layers of bandage and thread the water (preferably several times) through it. Further, 8-10 iodine drops per water liter should be added in the container.
  • Special drugs will significantly help to facilitate the process of disinfection. There are of two types – iodine (for example, “Potable Aqua”) and chlorine (Akvabriz, Akvatabs or Pantotsid). Throw them into the water, according to instructions, and that’s all – you can drink.

If you are extremely far-sighted traveler, you should think about purchasing an individual water filter. A small tube weighing less than a pound will be definitely not a burden to your backpack, and will be extremely useful in an emergency situation, clearing the water from almost any small particulate matter and bacteria.

005It costs not much, and the only downside is that cleanup takes a while.

To slow down the dehydration

The body loses water even at low air temperatures, in fact, moving in warm clothes, it is very easy to sweat. It is impossible to prevent dehydration completely, but it’s quite real to slow it down.

  • Maximum take cover from direct sunlight. If you are in the parking, make semblance of the tent and try to sit underneath it. With vigorous movement it is not necessary to completely wrap up, but hats and clothing with long sleeves and trousers are better not to be neglected. Hands and feet accumulate and transfer heat fairly rapidly, so try to cool them periodically – it must blunt the feeling of thirst.
  • Plentifully moisten with water clothes and the hat. So the moisture will evaporate from the cloth, but not from the surface of the body, cooling it but not leading to dehydration.
  • Follow the example of the TV “survivalist” and drink the fluids secreted by the body’s own, in extreme cases only! They contain not the most useful salts and decomposition products, and with each re-use, the composition is only getting worse.
  • Try to limit your food intake, even if it contains a large amount of water. The body expends precious water on digestion. And remember – smoking is harmful! And in terms of dewatering, this bad habit is doubly dangerous – tobacco smoke dries the mucous membrane of the mouth, and the thirst is felt a lot stronger.


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