How To Find Water In The Desert

By on October 22, 2014
desert landscape

The desert is a land crawling with extreme conditions: dust storms and high temperatures in the daytime, as well as low temperatures which can onset hypothermia in the evenings; these conditions make it difficult to survive. It’s a dry area, lacking moisture.  Learning how to find water in the desert could one day save your life.

Finding water is crucial to preventing dehydration and when you’re in the desert, water is your most crucial need. Although water can be difficult to come-by, there are several survival tips you can use to track and find water in the desert.bird on boulder
One option is to look on top of granite boulders and examine the area for a “cup” containing water formed from natural indentations. Vegetation is also a good sign that there is water nearby. Look for wildlife as well since they, like the vegetation, will require a water source, and birds often circle over areas with water. If the earth underneath you is damp, you may be able to dig a hole and then water will seep through the dirt.

Another option is to collect plant condensation. Using a clear plastic bag and small paracord, tie the plastic bag around the end of a tree branch. With the bag sealed tightly, the plant inside the bag will transpire, and water will collect at the bottom of the bag. If you choose this option, wait until evening to remove the bag from the branch in order to collect as much water as possible.
With a lack of water available, make sure to walk slowly and stay cool to regulate your temperature. The best walking times are during the early morning and evenings when the temperatures are cooler; take a break to cool down during mid-day hours and extreme temperatures. Look for bees or flies as these insects seldom venture more than two-hundred yards from a water source. Insects are a good desert creeksign that there is water to be found nearby. Another simple tip is to turn over half-buried stones you find which may have dew formed on the surface, or look for water seepage in canyons. Although contaminated water may not be drinkable, it can be used to clean your clothing or help prevent water-loss by reducing perspiration.

As you walk, watch the surroundings in your environment; look for creek beds, shady areas, boulders and vegetation like cottonwood trees (cottonwood’s drink up to two-hundred gallons of water a day!). Practice your survival skills by reviewing various methods of finding water in the desert so that you can help yourself if you are ever found in that situation. Survival skills are truly beneficial to have for a myriad of reasons, and can even mean the difference between life and death. When you do to find water in the desert, don’t drink it all at once; ration your resources and take small sips throughout the day.

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