Collecting Water in the Wild
Are you planning on going hiking? Camping? Canoeing? Every year, people are doing just these things, and end up getting lost without a clue as to were they are, or how to get home.
If you get lost in the wilderness for more than a day, there are four important things that you will need in order to stay alive: Food, water, shelter, and a positive attitude. Other than the positive attitude, the most important aspect of survival is water, luckily, its also one of the easiest to obtain.
Of course, you can find water in rivers and streams, but this takes searching, and needs to be purified before drinking it. actually though, water is all around you, in the air. You just have to know how to collect it.
If your in an area with many trees or small shrubs, you can collect water from the dew that collects on plants. All you need is a rubber band (Optional), and a plastic bag of any size (Most plastic shopping bags are a good size, and collect a decent amount of water as well). Place the paper bag over a branch of any living tree or shrub, as long as its not poisonous or sprayed with any pesticides, with one corner of the bag being lower than the rest, to collect the water in. Now secure the ends of the bag with the rubber band so its air tight. If you don't have a rubber band, you can use any form of string or rope, as long as no air can get in. Wait for about a five hours, and depending on conditions, the type of tree, etc, you should be able to take off the rubber band and enjoy about a cup full of water!
If your somewhere were there are few shrubs but lots of sunlight, you can build a solar still! Look for any kind of depression, or low point in the ground were rainwater might collect. In the depression, dig out a small pit, about 5 ft. wide, and 3 ft. deep, and in the middle of that hole, dig out an even smaller hole, and place a cup or bowl in it. Cover up the hole with a sheet of plastic, making sure no moisture can escape, and place rocks at the sides to weigh it down. Place one more rock in the center of the plastic, over the cup or bowl, so it droops down, allowing the water to collect on the underside of the plastic, and flow down into the cup. After a few hours, there should be enough water for you to drink. If were you are is especially dry, you can try placing a vegetable, such as a carrot inside the still in order to increase the amount of water collected.
So if you get lost, and need water, you'll know the second smartest and safest way of getting hydrated! The smartest way to stay hydrated though, is to not get lost in the first place, so be careful any time when your out in the wilderness, especially by yourself.
(Primary Photo Credit: iStockphoto/K Kurhan)