10 unusual places to find water
Finding water should be a priority if you are either bugging out, lost, trekking or anywhere in he outdoors for any period, and especially in warm to hot environments! We established in our prepping basics post that water is one of the fundamental building blocks of life, and not having it is extremely dangerous. The good news is though, in the majority of environments you will be able to find water (deserts and salt lakes are pretty obvious places where there is a lack of water).
This post will look past the obvious choice such as streams, rivers and rain collection amongst other things. 1) because you should already know about them. 2) What happens if the obvious isn’t an option?
Although we aren’t going to cover it in this post, it’s also important to note that once you find water you should always purify it if you can! Luckily we have a good range of purification methods that won’t break the bank.
Now where can you find this water?
1) Dew. You see it covering the grass early in the mornings, yet it’s often overlooked as a source of drinkable water. How can you get it then? Tie some cloth or rags around your ankles (cotton is best as absorbs water). Then you simply walk through the grasses and the water will absorb into the rags. As they do so periodically stop to wring the water out into a container. This should be good quality water (as long as the cloth is clean) and you will actually be able to absorb a fair amount, especially in a big field. Do remember though just because the water may look clean, it’s still worth purifying!
2) Cracks and Crevices. Bees or ants going into a hole in a tree may point to a water-filled crack or crevice. You can access this water with either an improvised scoop (such as a strong leaf) or using some sort of tubing to siphon out the water. This method is unlikely to yield litres of water; however, some water is better than no water! Always sterilise this water!
These cracks and crevices can be found in many places from in walls to rocks and trees. Never underestimate the places that water can end up.
3) Green bamboo thickets are an excellent source of fresh water (not hugely common though in the northern hemisphere, but that’s not to say you can’t find it in some places like in North America). Water from green bamboo is clear and odourless, which is always a good start. In order to get the water, bend a green bamboo stalk, tie it down and cut off the top. The water will drip freely during the night; just remember to get a good sized container underneath so you don’t waste any! Even older and cracked bamboo can still contain water so don’t rule out using them. With this method purification isn’t essential but well advised still.
4) Wherever you find Banana or Plantain trees, you can get water (they absorb litres of the stuff). How can you get the water out of them? Firstly you will need to cut down the tree, but remember to leave about a 30-centimeter stump. Once you have done that, you will want to scoop out the centre of the stump, which will create a bowl shape. Water will continue to be drawn up from the roots and will start to fill the hollow (pretty quickly you should see this).
Most people often find that the water given can be very bitter initially, however this should fade after the first 2/3 times the bowl is filled, after that the water should become more palatable. The stump will supply water for up to three to four days depending on the environment and the size of trees. In order to maintain the integrity and quality of the water try and cover up the hollowed out stump, this will hopefully keep out insects and other animals.
5) If you are in a very humid country, you’ll want to consider some tropical vines, which can give water (not all though). To get this water you simply cut a notch in the vine as high as you can reach, once done you should then cut the vine off close to the ground. Catch the dropping liquid in a container or in your mouth. Much like with bamboo, it’s not essential to purify this water but it’s still recommended. DO NOT drink this liquid though if it is sticky or milky (this will only end badly for you).
6) Coconuts. In hot countries you’ll likely find some coconut trees. The milk from the green (unripe) coconuts is a good thirst quencher and doesn’t taste half bad. However, the milk that you’ll find in the more mature coconuts contains a certain type of oil which acts as a laxative to humans. This obviously isn’t ideal so drink in moderation!
7) Flowering plants. Much like rocks and crevices you probably won’t get litres of water from this method, but some is better than none. There are a good number of plants which are designed to store and hold water in their leaves. This is easily accessible water, but it’s also open to insects and definitely worth purifying first! These plants are found in loads of different places from growing on living and dead trees to growing by themselves on the woodland/forest floor.
8) Plants with pulpy centres. To get this water you should cut off a section of the plant and squeeze or smash the pulp so that the moisture runs out (this water will usually be a green colour due to the chlorophyll in the leaves). Simply pour the water into your container and drink, this water again though will likely be a bit bitter and bitty.
9) Plant roots may provide water. Dig or pry the roots out of the ground, cut them into short pieces and smash the pulp so that the moisture runs out. Once again pour the water into your container and you’re good to drink. It’s still advisable to always sterilise the water first prior to drinking.
10) Normal plants. For this method you will need a plastic bag and a bit of rope. Wrap the bag around the branch or leaf system you want, and secure it with the rope or similar tying equipment. The tighter and more air tight the seal the better. Also ensure that a section of the bag is lower than where the big is secured on (as water will run to the lowest point. After a number of hours you will get about a cup or two of clean water (this depends on the plant and environment). The water forms due to water vapour from the plant condensing on the plastic bag forming water droplets.