Water in Wilderness Survival

Water in Wilderness Survival

Do you know where to find water in the wild? Can you make an expedient filter in the outdoors? Would you risk your life by drinking saltwater? We can point you the right way, but you will be the chooser of your own destiny. Gain wilderness survival skills to improve your chances with water in wilderness survival.

Water in Wilderness Survival
Know what to do when water disappears

Continuing our series of posts on water we talk about to find this precious necessity.


Drink a lot of water when in the wild. Pale yellow pee means your adequately hydrated.

  • Stay calm and safe!
    • Exertion, heat, injuries, and illnesses increase water loss.
  • For your own safety, even in case of an emergency, do not drink:
    • Urine
    • The milky sap from any vegetation
    • fish juices
    • blood,
    • seawater,
    • Booze (Alcohol),

The Environment

Arctic, Snow, and Ice

Old Sea Ice New Sea Ice
Bluish or blackish Milky or grey
Shatters easily Does not break easily
Rounded corners Sharp edges
Tastes relatively salt-free Tastes extremely salty
  • Do not drink melted water from new sea ice
  • Do not eat ice or snow
  • Melt ice or snow with fire or body heat (not next to the skin though)

Deserts and Arid Areas

  • Learn to make and use solar stills
  • Have and use a transpiration bag


  • Dig a seepage basin (hole) from 3 to 9 feet from shore
  • Seepage basin will fill with relatively cleaner water than swamp

Water At Sea

Ocean Beaches

  • Create a beach well (yes, a hole) behind the first dune away from the ocean
Water in Wilderness Survival
The wild will test you.

The Biome


  • Use the presence and behavior of animals as water indicators.
    • Learn said ‘behavior’ of animals.
  • Game trails usually intersect at an angle toward the water, follow downhill.


  • Avoid the milky sap from any vegetation


Solar Stills

In open, damp place use a 6′ x 6′ clear plastic sheet over hole, sealed edges, rock center weight, bucket collects water evaporated from ground, add vegetation pieces, urine. Output varies.


Be smarter than usual when you are low on water in an emergency. If all comes down to it, and the water cannot be purified, get water from a clear, cold, clean, and fast running source.
(2) Put in clear container and expose to the sun’s ultraviolet
rays to kill bacteria.