Life depends on having water. For us it means having clean water to drink. Familiarizing yourself with ways to find water in the wild will be very beneficial if you are caught in a bug out situation, or if you find yourself lost in the woods.
When you find yourself in a survival situation you have to think about your priorities. One of those foremost priorities will be to find a reliable water source, in the wilderness or otherwise. Your goal should be 2 quarts of good water per day in order to survive. Keep that in mind as you begin your search. Of course, you don’t need to hold yourself to only finding a water source that can provide enough to sustain life, take what you can get when you get it. If no water source is or can be located you have to rely on ingenuity and your ability to adapt to make a situation survivable.
Water sources, hidden or otherwise, can be located in all environments nature has to offer, knowing where to find them and how to utilize them is where you put your skill to the test. If you are fortunate you may indeed find a water source. Once you have found your source you will to need to ensure it is safe to drink with a reliable water filtration system. Water sources that seem to be clean and clear may hide millions of organisms in water that can make you sick if ingested. Your life and safety are not to be played with. Always err on the side of caution and purify all water sources you find.
Your Senses. Don’t try to over complicate locating a water source. Using your senses can be a simple and effective method for locating water that should not be taken for granted. Listening for nearby streams or rivers can always be one of your priorities and at the forefront of your mind when you need water. Also, looking and surveying the area around you can be invaluable. Following animal tracks can be and option to locate water sources. Please note you need to keep you head together before following game trails. There are few ways to know the path you have chosen to follow will lead to water and not just get you more lost. try to find some healthy green vegetation. It can be a very good indicator that water is nearby. There are some other options for locating water sources that although obscure should not be overlooked. Swarming insects and even the flight of birds can lead to water. They can also lead to their nests or migration paths that could take you miles from where you want to go. Use discretion and sound judgement.
Humidity. Dew can be a good source of fresh water and provide a person with good source of water. Dew settles on vegetation like grasses and tree limbs during shifts of warm to cool temperature, usually over the night. Try to make sure you always have a plastic bag of some kind (sandwich trash, grocery, Mylar) in your kit, cover the limbs of trees with the bag and add a rock to weight the limb. Fix to the limb and bag will collect moisture from the air. During the course of the day foliage will transpire, produce moisture and will collect at the low point where your rock is sitting. Do not make a hole in the bottom of the bag to collect the water. A hole in the bag can compromise its ability to efficiently collect moisture I If you find yourself in the forest among tall or heavy grass you can collect dew from it. When you collect water from grass or vegetation using this method it should be done early in the morning before the temperature evaporates the dew. Tie handkerchief or other absorbent cloth around your shins and simply take a stroll through the tall grass. Depending on the grass and the amount of dew you may want to stop regularly to wring the water out and drink it.
Subterranean Sources. These water sources can manifest themselves in a variety of ways. Try to locate and focus on muddy areas. When located you have a few options. Either you can collect the muddy water and filter it (may take a significant amount of time and effort) or you can dig and hole in the muddy region and wait for the surrounding water to fill the hole and the sediment sink to the bottom. The ground should provide a level of natural filtration to the water and although it may take some time for the hole to fill and settle, you will be able to you use this source again and again without additional effort.
Rainwater. Mother Nature can provide. In most uninhabited or rural areas, rainwater can be consumed without risk of bacterial, disease or illness. When and if it rains use everything at your disposal to collect the rainwater. Containers, rags, plastic bags and tent protectors. Try tying your Mylar blanket to a tree. It will assist in collecting a large amount of water. The additional benefit is you can direct the water to flow in the direction of a ready container to collect and drink it.
Snow. This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you’re around snow or ice, melt it and drink the water. Remember eating and drinking snow and ice can reduce your body temperature and lead to dehydration. To avoid this, take as extra step and melt the snow/ice then filter it to purify for drinking purposes. If you are melting the snow and ice with a fire and container, to purify it you can leave the melt water over the fire for a bit longer and wait for it to boil. Once boiled the water will be purified and potable.
Gathering Places. Basically, you are looking for any areas that might collect water. Low spots, hollowed logs and certain vegetation can all be great places to start. Look inside these areas and with a or absorbent cloth, soak up the water and filter it before drinking.
Solar stills. With this method you are utilizing the power of the sun to evaporate water from the ground, air and vegetation. The solar still distills the evaporated water and uses the air to cool the the liquid on a condenser film. Plastic and Mylar are good sources for the condenser film. You will want to use something non-absorbent for the condensed water to collect on and a low spot with a container for the water to collect in. Weight the plastic with a small stone above your container. The water will condense on the film and flow to the low spot just above your container. Then the water will drip down and collect.