Survival Without Water

Survival without water is an important skill to have in the event of a sudden disaster. Although people can survive weeks without food, they will live only a few days without water. You lose water through sweat and normal respiration. You also need water to process the food you eat and keep yourself healthy and well hydrated. Learning how to survive without an easily accessible source of clean water is one of the most vital things you can learn when preparing for unexpected disasters.

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Survival Time Without Water

The average length of time a person can live without water is between three and five days. In some instances people can survive only one day or in other instances, as long as two weeks without water depending on factors such as:

  • Your physical condition and health
  • The amount of water taken in beforehand
  • Your level of activity
  • The surrounding climate

The best way to live without water for the longest period is to avoid the sun and heat as much as possible as well as expending as little energy as possible.

Emergency Water Supply

The best thing to do if you are worried about surviving without water is to make sure to keep a supply of water specifically for emergencies. Experts suggest having at least one gallon of water per day per person.

People who are ill or injured, elderly, pregnant or nursing, or live in a very hot climate may need even more water. If you do not have access to an emergency water supply, survival without water is still possible, albeit difficult.

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Solar Stills

A solar still uses the sun and moisture in the ground to create water. To make a solar still, start by digging a hole in the ground and putting a tarp over it. Put a jar or other water container under the tarp. Seal off the edges of the tarp with rocks and then put a medium weight rock in the middle of the tarp. The heat of the sun will evaporate the ground's moisture, which will then condense on the tarp and drip into the container.

Getting Water from Plants

If you want to learn about survival without water and do not have an emergency water supply, you may be able to get water from plants. Two main ways are used to extract water from plants. The first way takes a little bit longer but does not harm the plant. You can put a plastic bag over a live plant branch and wait for the plant to transpire into the bag. It will take approximately four to five hours to collect enough water to drink.

The second way is a slightly more destructive method to get water from a plant. With this method, you can cut the stem and then collect the water in a container. This method is faster but it often kills the plant so it is not a good idea if plants are your only water source.

The best plants from which to get drinking water include shrubs that produce willow, berry and cottonwood. If you don't have those options, look for trees and plants with large leaves as they produce more moisture.

Water At Home

If you are still at home when disaster strikes but no longer have access to running water, you may be able to find some remaining water sources in your house. All houses have water stored in the pipes and the hot water tank. You may need to use a purifier to clean this water, but it will work in an emergency.

Water sources are in a number of unusual places. In the event of a disaster or apocalypse, survival without water is possible if you are creative, well prepared and willing to work hard.


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