One of the biggest obstacles you’ll need to overcome when bugging out in the wilderness is getting access to fresh drinking water. Unlike bugging in at home where you’d have gallons and gallons of water stored in plastic drums, etc. in the wild, you’ll need to get your water from the water sources out there.
It’s best to bring as much water with you as you can when you evacuate your home and travel to the bug out location. Having 3 days of water supplies will give you time to look for lakes, streams, etc. where you’ll be able to find water.
You MUST be able to find places where you can get drinking water from. Do not wait for the last day when your supplies have run out before you start looking. Dehydration can set in quick.
Common signs of dehydration are nausea, headaches, dizziness, thirst, vagueness, absence of salivation, etc. Be aware of all these warning signs.
It’s best to scout for a bug out location where there are water sources way in advance before crisis strikes. At least then, you’ll have a solid plan to follow.
- Water purification
Have an ample supply of water purification tablets. You should also purchase a water filtration straw or a water filtration bottle for every member in your family. This will allow you to drink water from small stagnant pools and still be safe while the straw does all the work filtering the water.
If you have streams, etc. nearby, you can boil the water first, add in a purification tablet and drink the water through the filtration straw. This is one of the safest ways to drink the water.
Some books may advice you to boil the water for about 10 minutes before drinking, but if you only have a limited amount of water, boiling it too long will cause it to evaporate. Just boil it till the water starts bubbling and you should be safe.
- Dangers in the water
It’s important to note that the bacteria and parasites in the water can cause a lot of health issues. Hepatitis A, cholera, etc. can all be passed on through contaminated water.
When collecting water, it’s always best to get your water from fast moving streams instead of stagnant pools of water.
- Extreme measures
In the event where you find yourself unable to get water anywhere, you can wrap your feet with a towel and walk through the grass very early in the morning. The towel will absorb the dew from the leaves.
Wring the towel and collect the water. Keep repeating this until you have sufficient water to drink.
Another method that you can use is to make a solar still. This method will allow you to desalinate water and create drinking water out of sea water.
You’ll first need to dig a pit in the sand about 2 feet deep. It’s best to dig in a spot where the pit has direct exposure to the sun. Place an empty container in the center of the pit. This container will be used to collect the fresh water.
Pour whatever salt water or river water that you have found into the pit. Don’t get any into the container. You could even use fresh vegetation because leaves have water.
Now cover the pit with a piece of clear plastic. Use rocks or heavy objects to secure the plastic. Cover the edges of the sheet with sand so that it’s relatively airtight. The plastic should sag a little so that it points towards the plastic container.
The heat from the sun will cause the water in the pit to evaporate and condense of the sheet. After a while the condensation will form drops and roll down the sagging sheet and drip into the container. Voila! You have fresh drinking water.
The bad news is that if you’re at this stage, you’re better off getting into your car and finding another spot where there’s water, or going back home and taking the risk of bugging in. Resorting to such measures to get water is always a last resort. Dying from dehydration and thirst is a horrible way to go.
Act wisely and always remember that you can’t go for more than 2 or 3 days without water… especially when you’re outdoors.