This question has been asked countless times by unprepared adventurers from around the world who suddenly find themselves with little or no water left due to poor planning.
Before we explore the various potential sources of potable water in the wilderness, it’s important that we first discuss what you shouldn’t try to drink even if you’ve been thirsty for many, many hours already.
Don’t Drink These
Seawater will not quench your thirst nor will the body be able to separate the salt content from the H2O. Seawater is only useful for cooling down the skin and nothing else.
There is also the risk of contracting pathogens such as parasites (e.g. flatworms) and bacteria from drinking animal blood. This type of fluid is also naturally rich in fat and protein which requires even more water to metabolize. So you may be consuming a fluid but your body is not really being hydrated properly.
However, urine does contain salt and other byproducts of the body.
If you drink urine, the water that comes into the body again will only be expelled in a thicker and more toxic form. With this in mind, it is my belief that drinking urine will not be beneficial to someone who is already dehydrated.
Searching For Water
Now that you are aware of what you shouldn’t try to drink out in the wilderness, it’s time to explore your various options for locating potable water.
Take note that in a wilderness setting, it is not reasonable at all to expect the same level of water purity found at home.
Here are some ways that you can get water in the wilderness: