Finding Water

Water can be in abundant supply or next to impossible to find when you need it most.

If you’re well-prepared and able to move to an optimal location after SHTF, make sure you pick one with a ready source of water.

Freshwater sources such as lakes, rivers, streams, and natural springs are obviously better. But if push comes to shove, brackish and saltwater locations are still better than settling down in the middle of a desert.

Precipitation – rain, dew, snow, sleet, hail, and ice – are all good emergency water sources. Depending on your location and the time of year, it can be difficult to collect enough water to survive this way. Bear in mind you’ll need 2 gallons of water per person per day for drinking, cooking, and nominal hygiene!

Finally, many plants offer a source of water in a pinch. Tapping maple and birch trees – especially in late winter – can actually provide a relatively abundant supply of water. Certain desert plants – notably cacti species – offer the same benefits.

No matter where you get your water, though, you’ll want to purify it before drinking. The rest of this course is dedicated to different ways of doing so.

Urban Survival Tip:

Many commercial buildings, hospitals, and schools have outside water taps on their buildings but don’t have a knob. To access freshwater from these sources, make sure your survival kit has a Sillcock Key, available online and at Home Depot and Lowes.