How to find water in extreme situations


The man is made up of about 60% of water, and normally must take from 2 to 3 liters per day. It should be borne in mind that the demand for water increases, in the presence of hot or humid climate and fatigue, even up to 5-8 liters per day.

In case of survival it is essential to be able to drink at least 1 liter of water a day, rationing it and drinking it in small sips, first wetting the lips to make the most of every drop.

Water is synonymous with life if you can resist without eating even up to 40 days, without water you can only last a couple of days in conditions of rest.


Even if you are in extreme survival situations, NEVER EVER DRINK:

  1. Alcoholic beverages: In cold weather, drinking alcohol can give a sense of warmth at first, but then you have a more intense body cooling than you had before drinking.
  2. In hot weather, however, dehydrates the body. Drinking alcohol also decreases mental and motor skills as well.
  3. Urine: Containing waste from our body is seriously discouraged to drink their own urine or that of animals.
  4. Blood: can cause diarrhea, infections, gastro-intestinal problems or other metabolic problems.
  5. Sea water: contains too much salt, in case of lack of water you can resist longer without drinking or drinking sea water because salt water dehydrates and causes kidney damage.
  6. Gasoline or chemical compounds (such as diluents, detergents …)
  7. Stagnant water of ponds, pools …
  8. Ice or snow (we would consume unnecessary heat of our body, better dissolve it in a saucepan or in the absence of fire put it in a dark container)
  9. Whitish liquid, milky sap of some plants (particularly bright and bitter in color, it could be poisonous).
  10. Dirty water with foam and bubbles and nauseating smell.
  11. Water where there are dead animals inside.
  12. Water of strange color or where the surrounding vegetation is dead or missing.


Never drink cold water if the body is hot..

NOT SMOKING! Smoke removes liquids and vitamins from the body.

The urine is formed with the waste substances of the body, but in extreme situations, if no water source is found, it can be drunk. However, consider urine as a last resort.

Water can transmit all sorts of viruses and microbes.

Symptoms resulting from the contamination of contaminated water are: dysentery, severe and prolonged bloody diarrhea, fever, weakness, viruses and diseases (typhus, cholera, etc.) or the presence of parasites in the body.



With limited water, start drinking after 12 or 24 hours to make the most of the water in our body.


You can collect rainwater in clean containers (the more you have more water you can collect). You can use as a container anything that is able to retain water (bark or large leaves, coconuts, plastic bags, waterproof clothing and so on …). If the collected water is dirty it is necessary to boil it or purify it before drinking it.

To collect rainwater, you can tie a t-shirt or piece of cloth to a tree, so that the end of the cloth slopes towards any type of container.

You can attach an absorbent cloth just above the shoes to collect rainwater in the grass.

You can build a canopy with bamboo, placing a horizontal channel to collect water in a small pot.

You can make a hole and spread a large waterproof cloth over it, creating a basin to collect rain water.

Or you can dab a wet surface with a cloth and then wring the contents in a saucepan.

The dew present on plants and stones can be collected with a garment.


To find rivers, lakes and streams you have to follow the points where the vegetation is greener or for example follow the animals (birds, mammals, bees, ants, a path recently beaten by the animals or the presence of excrement near a crack).
If you are surrounded by a mountain range, water usually collects in the less inclined base as the flow is less rapid.
The caves are created of water, inspecting them to the bottom you can find water streams.
Gorge and narrow crevasses can give life to small springs.
AVOID to dig into porous and crumbly soils as the water accumulates too deep in those cases.


Digging in certain places (beds of dry rivers, dry lakes, valleys, wetlands, green areas …) you could be able to accumulate water inside holes or be able to concentrate small streams of water; in these cases, however, it is necessary to boil or purify the water.

There are some plants that love water such as willows, elders, reeds, water lilies. You can try an excavation in their vicinity to find water.

In the greenest and brightest grassy areas where the stalks are tall and fleshy, you can try a digging for sure the soil is wet and there is the possibility of finding water. Fresh water can often be found behind the sand dunes along the sea.


Leave the mud to stand for half a day and then boil it for 10 minutes or alternatively filter with the filtering technique (explained later in the article).
Where to dig in a swamp?

You can get water from many plants, fruits, legumes, and plants.

For example coconut, watermelon contain a lot of water, but also the fruits of edible plants contain a good percentage of water (lemon, mango, avocado, pineapple, kiwi, oranges, and so on …).

Some plants store both water internally and externally (the top of a cactus can be cleaned and squeezed).

The green bamboo canes if bent can provide water.


You can use a cloth or a bag to drink condensed water on surfaces such as glass, metal, plant leaves.


Put a plastic bag around a green tree branch (see photo), seal and hang a stone or a wood at the base to drain the water, obtained through condensation, downwards.

Mount the breathable bag in the morning and collect the water at the end of the day.

Use a different bush every day.



With this system in 24 hours you can get from 0.5 liters to 2 liters of water. Doing more holes even more.

Dig a hole deep and about 1 meter wide, place at the bottom a container with a tube coming out of the excavation (the straw will serve to avoid disassembling all the equipment every time you want to consume water, however if you do not have a little tube can be done even less).

Fill the bottom of the hole with vegetation rich in water content (wet leaves …). Cover with a sheet (about 2X2 m) in nylon or plastic, blocking the sides with soil and stones so as not to allow air to pass.

Finally, a concave shape is made to the cloth by placing a stone in the center.

The purifier works both day and night and produces distilled water as the temperature inside the hole rises and the steam produced by the vegetation sticks to the sheet which is colder and the condensation slips into the container in the form of droplets.



Never drink sea water directly, the salt it contains, in the long run, can even lead us to death; it is however possible to boil it and collect the steam generated by boiling with your clothes and then wring them out with a waterproof cloth or a plastic bag; however there are substances suitable for desalting sea water.

Solar energy desalinator: Link

Another method to purify salt water is to fill a hole of seawater and throw in hot stones, the steam produced must be collected with a garment or cloth, and then squeezed into a container to be drunk.

INFO: Distilled water has no taste. Transfer it from one container to another or mix quickly to enrich it with oxygen and make it tastier.


Use substances such as iodine or chlorine (2% iodine tincture: 5 drops in a liter of clear water, 10 drops in dark water, with this method wait at least 30 minutes before drinking; potable tablets or tablets: 1 tablet for clear water , 2 for dark water). Tablets or tablets to

Boil in a saucepan for 10 minutes. (CLASSICAL METHOD)
With the hot rocks: (see video)

Use the filtering method (ie, to filter the water through several layers) before watering the water to clean it from dirt and other impurities.

Inside a container pierced at the bottom there are several layers (starting from the bottom) of gravel or polished pebbles, pulverized vegetal carbon obtained from the combustion of wood, sand or earth, very fine and finally again gravel. If you do not own a container you can use three sheets tied to a 1 meter tripod made of 3 woods. On the towels put in this order (from above) gravel, coal and sand, or always in this order grass, sand, coal.

Then boil for 10 minutes.

In the absence of containers, a sock can be used. Fill it with charcoal, soil and fine sand. After filtering, a drop of urine can be added and the mixture stirred. Once the water has been filtered out of impurities, boil it to make it drinkable.

Purify water with solar energy:
-Solar water Disinfection (also known as SODIS): Link
– There is also a recent invention: Solarball.

Principle of Inverse Osmosis: Link

With ultraviolet rays:
It is a small tool that can be truly providential. It works thanks to ultraviolet rays (UV) that in a short time can purify the water.

It is a small tool that can be truly providential. It works thanks to ultraviolet rays (UV) that in a short time can purify the water.

Principle of silver ions with a pocket ceramic filter: Link


Where the animals drink, the water is certainly harmless even if there is no safety that it is drinkable.
By chewing on a blade of grass or sucking a wet pebble, you can relieve your thirst for a while.
If you do not have at least one liter of water a day in a hot climate do not eat, this serves to save the body’s water reserves.
In the open sea the dehydration of the body takes place more quickly (the causes are: wind, saltiness and sunlight that reflect on the sea).
In addition to fatigue, the arid, humid, torrid or windy climate, stress and fear also contribute to sweating a lot and thus dehydrating the body.
To limit the consumption of water in the wet and humid areas to march in the less hot hours (sunrise, sunset, night) and at a regular pace.
If you have little water, ration it like this:

DAY 1: do not drink.
FROM THE SECOND DAY TO THE FIFTH: drink at least 400 ml
FROM THE FIFTH DAY: from 55 to 225 ml depending on how much water you still have and the climate.