Crystal Clear

What you do when you run out of water in the wilderness.

If I'm lost, what do I need first, food or water?

The first thing you should worry about if you are stranded in the wilderness is water. The body can go about three weeks without food, but only three to five days without water. The longest anyone has ever lived without food was 8 weeks. Obviously, water should be worried about more.

How much water do I need to drink every day?

That entirely depends on your location, but say your stranded on a tropical island, you would need about eight cups of water a day. That is a lot of water to have to find in the wild.

Well, what can I drink?

  1. Unless you are in a very bad situation, the only time you should drink non-treated water, is if it is rainwater. If it rains, make sure to collect as much as you can. You may have to improvise a bit. For instance, try using your rain poncho to catch water.
  2. If you see a stream, and the water looks clear you can probably drink it. Just to be on the safe side though, you should treat the water somehow.
  3. Morning dew is also a good source of water that you can drink without purification. Make sure that the dew you are getting is coming off of plants. To collect dew, use absorbent cloth and squeeze the water out of the cloth later.
  4. If you are really in a pinch, look for mud. If you dig a hole in the mud, it will most likely fill up with water. This water is drinkable, but you have to treat it somehow. A very makeshift treatment would be to filter it through some cloth.

Is there anything else I can use to filter water?

  1. The most popular way of purifying water is to boil it. This doesn't remove any of the dirt that may be in the water, so this only works on clean water. This also isn't guaranteed to kill off all the bacteria either.
  2. A plastic bag filter should get the job done if you have muddy water. To make one you put charcoal on the bottom, rocks on top of that, then a layer of sand, then another layer of rocks, and another layer of sand on top. By running water through that, you should have clear water. Make sure to boil the water afterwards to be extra cautious.

Was Bear Grylls lying to me?

Yes, never drink your own urine no matter how bad your situation might be. Other liquids to avoid are blood, alcohol, and sea water.