Wilderness Survival Tips:
How To Find Fresh Drinking Water
Getting lost in the woods can happen to anybody. You might not have the equipment you need to figure out your location. You might be alone. The sun might begin to set. An afternoon or night could easily turn into a full day, and the water supply you have could dwindle. Getting lost in the woods isn't as terrifying as it would be to get lost in the desert, but it can still be fairly difficult to find water if you don't know where to look. Check out these basic survival tips to help you track down fresh drinking water in the outdoors.
Go Low And Listen
Getting lost isn't the only time you'll need to find fresh drinking water. If you're camping for an extended period of time or accidentally deplete your water source on a hike, it's crucial to have the know-how to find what you need. The good news is you don't have to be a pro tracker to find water. Since knowing exactly what to look for might not be obvious, it's better to start with a simple direction. Heading downhill is the most logical place to begin. Water sources are going to be at a lower elevation. If finding the low ground isn't obvious, there are always other clues.
Follow The Footprints
Animals and insects need water just as much as humans. With so much life crawling around the woods, it's one of the best places to start when trying to track down water sources. Pinpointing animal tracks, especially a collection of animal tracks heading in a single direction is guaranteed to lead you closer to water. Just be wary of the type of tracks to make sure they're not the signs of dangerous wildlife. If you're not comfortable identifying the difference between the paws of potential predators or prey, follow the insects. Mosquitoes and ants are almost always positive signs of water being nearby. Many insects don't stray from the same water source their entire lives.
Look To the Sky
When looking for water, the only time most people would look to the sky is to check whether or not the clouds are ready to start leaking. Trying to recall long-forgotten astronomy lessons from the Scouts can be as useful as fashionable crochet boot cuffs when you're lost in the wilderness searching for a drink. Sometimes downhill doesn't seem to exist and animals or insects aren't in sight. In these rare cases it's useful to turn your attention to the sky. Look for some birds. Flocks of birds, preferably, not single birds that might be predators. You won't be able to keep up with the flock, but note the direction of its flight path, especially if multiple flocks are flying the same way.
The cleanest water you will find is in rivers or streams. The faster flowing the water source, the better. The faster the water flow, the less likely the water will be contaminated. Stillwater is an unreliable source because bacteria can infiltrate and take root much easier. However, if you're forced to fill up at a lake or desperate enough to dig into damp soil to extract moisture, filtering water is an important skill. If you don't have any tools, an easy alternative is to create a seep. Dig a hole within a short stride of the water source that's capable of holding a couple gallons and wait for the water to seep up through the soil. It's cleaner than scooping the water right out of the lake. Line with rocks and filter through fabric to increase the cleanliness.
No matter how prepared you are, going into the wilderness isn't safe without knowing some basic survival skills. Preparation is essential for camping, hiking or any kind of outdoor adventure. Get started on your wilderness preparation with The Lakeside Collection, and explore items that can prevent home essentials from getting lost, like dog toy storage.