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  • Hey BrainStuff, Jonathan here.

  • Lots of situations can leave you stranded in the wild without supplies: Camping miscommunications,

  • unexpected side quests, alien abductions with imprecise return drops, and so on.

  • Whatever the reason you find yourself out there, you'll need to find water.

  • A minimum of two quarts per day to maintain good healththat is, to keep your blood

  • circulating.

  • Which you want to do.

  • And that brings us to today's question: How do you find water in the wild?

  • But first, I should mention that this information is for your education only.

  • Legally speaking, I can't recommend that you do anything I say.

  • Let's assume that you can't find any large sources of fresh water: There's not a raincloud

  • in the sky, and no streams, rivers, or lakes nearby.

  • You can dig a well.

  • Look for mud, or damp soil in a dry riverbed -- there may be groundwater near the surface.

  • Dig a hole about a foot wide and a foot deep.

  • If there's water, your well will start filling up.

  • Even in the desert, you can try digging at the low point between dunes, near vegetation.

  • Put rocks in the bottom of your well to keep sediment from stirring up into the water,

  • and line the sides with wood to prevent the walls from caving in.

  • Well water needs to be purified before you drink it.

  • Give it a boil for 10 minutes.

  • Even water that looks clean can harbor nasty microbes that will make you sicker than I

  • get after I have shrimp.

  • But if your wells turn up dry, you can create structures to collect water from thin air.

  • Like a solar still.

  • You'll need some plastic sheeting, a container to collect the water, and a rock.

  • Having a length of tubing or some definitely-non-poisonous vegetation would be a bonus.

  • Choose a damp bit of ground that gets sunlight for most of the day.

  • Dig a bowl-shaped hole about 3 feet across and 2 feet deep.

  • In the bottom, dig out enough space to place your container.

  • If you have a tube, place one end at the bottom of the container and secure the other end

  • on the surface outside the hole.

  • If you have some leaves or other greenery that you know for sure are not toxic, tear

  • them up and add them to the walls of the bowl.

  • Place the plastic loosely over the hole and hold down the edges with rocks.

  • But, not the one you've put aside.

  • That one, you want to put in the center of the sheet so that it sags in a little more

  • than a foot, directly over the container.

  • Add more rocks and soil to the edges of the sheet for stability.

  • The heat of the sun will evaporate moisture in the ground, producing condensation on the

  • plastic.

  • It'll drip and collect in your container, and you can either sip it directly through

  • your tube or retrieve the container at sunset.

  • If your energy is low, you'll want to avoid all that digging.

  • The transpiration technique yields less water, but all it requires is tying a knot in a plastic

  • bag.

  • Find a definitely-non-poisonous leafy tree or shrub that will be in the sun for most

  • of the day.

  • Tie the bag around a branch.

  • Over the course of the day, the plant will 'exhale' (or transpire) water vapor that'll

  • collect at the bottom of the bag.

  • Untie it or poke a hole in it to collect the water, then tie it off again and reuse the

  • bag.

  • Plants transpire a lotabout 10 percent of the moisture in our air comes from transpiration.

  • Water you get from a solar still or transpiration should be safe to drink, but it never hurts

  • to give it a boil.

  • But hey, have you ever been in a survival situation?

  • What other survival how-tos would you like us to cover?

  • Let us know, and to learn lots more, head to our home planet: HowStuffWorks.com.

Hey BrainStuff, Jonathan here.

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How Do You Find Water In The Wild?

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    Sandra posted on 2021/10/29
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