How to Survive Without Water

ThinkStock
ThinkStock

Stuck in the wilderness with nary a drop of water in your canteen? Don’t worry. You can survive this situation and live to tell an incredibly interesting tale.

1. Get Motivated

You can survive without water, but not for long. The average human can hold out for three to five days without a sip of water, but dehydration will set in and lead to all sorts of problems, like confusion, lethargy, and rapid heartbeat, well before then. You’re going to need to find some water, pronto.

2. Don’t Sweat It

Before you start searching for water, stop to consider an obvious conundrum. If you don’t have any new fluids to put in your body, you should be doing what you can to conserve what’s already in there. Try to limit any activities that will make you perspire, which will only speed up the dehydration process.

3. Break Into Snow Business

Short of finding a stream, river, or lake – try following animals or their tracks to one of these godsends – there’s no easier source of hydration than snow or freshwater ice. Don’t just start munching on snowballs, though. Eating water while it’s still frozen will lower your body temperature, which will actually increase your dehydration. Melt your frosty finds into liquid water, and you’ll be good to go.

4. Go Bananas

If you’re in the jungle, seek out a banana tree. With a little help from a knife – you didn’t venture into the jungle without a knife, did you? – a banana tree can become a personal water fountain. Hack away all but the bottom foot or so of the tree, and carve a bowl into the top of the remaining stump. The tree’s roots will draw fluids up into the trunk, and the bowl will fill with water.

5. Make Gravity Work for You

In a desert, water can be tougher to find, but if you’re lucky, gravity will have done some of the heavy lifting for you. Water flows downhill, so walk downhill whenever you can to search for fluids in valleys or crevices. If that doesn’t work – and if you happen to be toting a machete – hack your way into a cactus and squeeze the moisture out of the pulp. You can also put the pulp in your mouth and suck out the water, but be careful not to eat it.

Take Advantage of Amazon's Early Black Friday Deals on Tech, Kitchen Appliances, and More

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Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

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Apple/Amazon

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The Mental Floss Store's Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sale Is Live!

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The Mental Floss Store

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