Survival Friday: Excerpt from The Green Beret Survival Guide SurvivalFinal

Almost any environment has water present to some degree. Figure 6-1 lists possible sources of water in various environments. It also provides information on how to make the water potable.

Note: If you do not have a canteen, a cup, a can, or other type of container, improvise one from plastic or water-resistant cloth. Shape the plastic or cloth into a bowl by pleating it. Use pins or other suitable items—even your hands—to hold the pleats.

Figure6-1

If you do not have a reliable source to replenish your water supply, stay alert for ways in which your environment can help you.

 

CAUTION

DO NO SUBSTITUTE THE FLUIDS LISTED IN FIGURE 6-2 FOR WATER  (Really, don’t.  There are a lot of misconceptions put out in fiction about what can and can’t be used instead of water.  Remember, you’re not a vampire.)

Figure6-2

(“Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.”  You don’t want to be the poor Ancient Mariner)

 

Heavy dew can provide water. Tie rags or tufts of fine grass around your ankles and walk through dew-covered grass before sunrise. As the rags or grass tufts absorb the dew, wring the water into a container. Repeat the process until you have a supply of water or until the dew is gone. Australian natives sometimes mop up as much as a liter an hour this way.

Bees or ants going into a hole in a tree may point to a water-filled hole. Siphon the water with plastic tubing or scoop it up with an improvised dipper. You can also stuff cloth in the hole to absorb the water and then wring it from the cloth.

Water sometimes gathers in tree crotches or rock crevices. Use the above procedures to get the water. In arid areas, bird droppings around a crack in the rocks may indicate water in or near the crack.

Green bamboo thickets are an excellent source of fresh water. Water from green bamboo is clear and odorless. To get the water, bend a green bamboo stalk, tie it down, and cut off the top (Figure 6-3). The water will drip freely during the night. Old, cracked bamboo may contain water.  (Bamboo is a lot more common than you realize.  When you do your area study, this is something you should look for:  all the sources of water that you might not have considered before.)