How To Find Water In The Desert – Survival Tips

More Awesome Tech Insider Vids- …Deserts are areas that receive less than 10 inches (250 mm) of precipitation a year. They are hot and dry during the day and cold at night. The most important thing you need in a desert is water. The dry, hot temperatures will dehydrate you quickly, especially if you can’t escape the sun and physical exertion.

Slow your rate of water loss. Exercise and sun exposure will speed up dehydration. Be smart about when you search for water. If possible, spend the hottest parts of the day in a shady location away from wind. Keep your skin covered to reduce water loss from sweat evaporation.

Follow wildlife. A group of animals almost always means water is nearby. Look for the following signs:
Listen for birdsong and watch the sky for circling birds.
If you encounter swarms of flies or mosquitoes, look nearby for water. Bees often fly in straight lines between water sources and the hive. Keep an eye out for animal tracks or trails, especially ones leading downhill.

Look for vegetation. Dense vegetation and most trees cannot survive without a steady water source.
If you are unfamiliar with local vegetation, aim for the greenest plants you can see. Deciduous and wide-leafed trees are typically a better sign than pine trees, as they tend to require more water.
In North America, look for cottonwoods, willows, sycamores, hackberry, salt cedar, arrow weed, and cattails.
In Australia, look for desert kurrajong, needle-bush, desert oak, or water bush. Keep an eye out for mallee eucalypts, or eucalypts that grow with multiple stems emerging outward from the same underground tuber.

Search up canyons and valleys. Your best bet is a canyon that stays shaded during the hot afternoon, upstream of the mouth. This means a north-facing canyon if you are in the Northern Hemisphere, or a south-facing canyon in the Southern Hemisphere. Find these with a topographical map if you have one, or eyeball the surrounding landscape.
Snow or rainfall is more likely to be retained in these cooler canyons, sometimes for months after a major rainstorm.

Find dry stream or river beds. Sometimes you can find water just under the surface. The best place to look is at a bend in the river, on the outside edge. The flowing water may have eroded this area down, creating a depression that catches the last dregs of water.

Find high ground if you see no other options. A hike to the high ground gives you the best vantage point to look for the features mentioned above.
When the sun is low in the sky, look for the glare of a reflection on the ground. This may be a body of water. If you are in an area used for cattle, you may see artificial water collection features at the base of gently sloping ground.

At the base of sloping rock features.
Near dense vegetation pockets, especially where bulges and cracks may indicate tree roots.
Anywhere the surface soil feels damp, or at least more clay-like than sandy.

Groundwater tends to be closest to the surface in the early morning, especially in areas with vegetation.

Look for moisture about a foot under the surface. Dig a narrow hole about 1 ft (30 cm) deep. If the ground is still dry, move on to a different spot. If you notice damp soil, move on to the next step.

Enlarge the hole. Expand the hole until it is about 1 ft (30 cm) in diameter. You may notice water seeping in from the sides, but finish digging even if you don’t.

Wait for water to collect. Return to your hole after a few hours, or at the end of the day. If there was water in the soil, it should collect at the base of your hole.

If the water is difficult to gather, soak it up with a cloth and squeeze it into a container. Collect all the water right away, using makeshift containers if necessary. Water holes can empty fast in the desert.

Disinfect the water. Whenever possible, purify the water before drinking it. Boiling the water, using iodine tablets, or pouring it through an anti-microbial filter will remove almost all biological contaminants.
Collect dew. Look for dew drops on vegetation before dawn. To gather it, pass an absorbent cloth over the dew, then squeeze it into a container.
If you don’t have absorbent cloth, form a clump of grass into a ball and use that instead.

Eat cactus fruit. These juicy fruits are safe to eat and contain enough moisture to supplement other sources. Roast them in a fire for 30–60 seconds to burn off the spines and hairs.
You can eat prickly pear cactus pads as well. Best eaten when young in the spring and cooked. In other seasons they may be tough and hard to eat.

Music: From Scales To Feathers (Thirsty Lizard Mix)
by Dhruva Aliman

Video “How To Find Water In The Desert – Survival Tips” Author: Wise Wanderer