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(Mental Floss)   Headline: How to Survive Without Water. Step 1: You're going to need to find some water, pronto   ( mentalfloss.com) divider line
    More: Fail, tissue hydration, sip, headline, body temperatures, Dos Equis, drinking water, fissures  
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4590 clicks; posted to Geek » on 30 Aug 2013 at 3:41 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



65 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | » | Newest | Show all

 
2013-08-30 01:56:34 PM  
i.imgflip.com
 
2013-08-30 02:00:48 PM  
You can survive without water, but not for long. The average human can hold out for three to five days without a sip of water, but dehydration will set in and lead to all sorts of problems, like confusion, lethargy, and rapid heartbeat, well before then. You're going to need to find some water, pronto.

Try this in the desert. Go ahead. I'll wait.

If you're in the jungle, seek out a banana tree. With a little help from a knife - you didn't venture into the jungle without a knife, did you? - a banana tree can become a personal water fountain. Hack away all but the bottom foot or so of the tree, and carve a bowl into the top of the remaining stump. The tree's roots will draw fluids up into the trunk, and the bowl will fill with water.

What the f*ck am I reading?

In a desert, water can be tougher to find, but if you're lucky, gravity will have done some of the heavy lifting for you. Water flows downhill, so walk downhill whenever you can to search for fluids in valleys or crevices.

Ok, this isn't bad advice. But as most deserts are already at a low elevation, you aren't going to have a ton of success unless you happen to be at a high point.

If that doesn't work - and if you happen to be toting a machete - hack your way into a cactus and squeeze the moisture out of the pulp. You can also put the pulp in your mouth and suck out the water, but be careful not to eat it.

DON'T DO THIS.

Jesus f*ck.

mentalfloss.com

This should be presented by Carl's Jr and Brawndo.
 
2013-08-30 02:26:02 PM  
In a desert, water can be tougher to find

Slow down, I have to write this down...
 
2013-08-30 02:32:04 PM  

Nadie_AZ: You can survive without water, but not for long. The average human can hold out for three to five days without a sip of water, but dehydration will set in and lead to all sorts of problems, like confusion, lethargy, and rapid heartbeat, well before then. You're going to need to find some water, pronto.

Try this in the desert. Go ahead. I'll wait.

If you're in the jungle, seek out a banana tree. With a little help from a knife - you didn't venture into the jungle without a knife, did you? - a banana tree can become a personal water fountain. Hack away all but the bottom foot or so of the tree, and carve a bowl into the top of the remaining stump. The tree's roots will draw fluids up into the trunk, and the bowl will fill with water.

What the f*ck am I reading?

In a desert, water can be tougher to find, but if you're lucky, gravity will have done some of the heavy lifting for you. Water flows downhill, so walk downhill whenever you can to search for fluids in valleys or crevices.

Ok, this isn't bad advice. But as most deserts are already at a low elevation, you aren't going to have a ton of success unless you happen to be at a high point.

If that doesn't work - and if you happen to be toting a machete - hack your way into a cactus and squeeze the moisture out of the pulp. You can also put the pulp in your mouth and suck out the water, but be careful not to eat it.

DON'T DO THIS.

Jesus f*ck.

[mentalfloss.com image 217x30]

This should be presented by Carl's Jr and Brawndo.


Yeah, they missed some steps:

1. Dig a pit.

2. Place a container in the center to gather water.

3. Place any sources of moisture you can find (your own urine, cactus water, whatever) in the dirt around the container.

4. Place a sheet of plastic over the hole and secure it around the sides with rocks. It needs a little slack.

5. Place a small stone in the center of the plastic, over the container.

Sun heats the water-bearing-but-bad-for-you liquids in the dirt, water condenses on the plastic, and drips down into your container.

Making more than one is a good idea if you can.

If you're in something other than a desert, then you can probably just wrap the plastic around a tree branch with plenty of green leaves. Water should collect in there through normal transpiration. Secure it at the base of the branch, and let the water collect in the bottom of the bag.

Again, more than one is a good idea if you can.
 
2013-08-30 02:34:37 PM  
With a stillsuit in good working order, you won't lose more than a thimbleful of moisture a day.
 
2013-08-30 02:39:08 PM  
Water stills produce very little water.

DarwiOdrade: With a stillsuit in good working order, you won't lose more than a thimbleful of moisture a day.


I would *love* for these to exist. Well, except the whole body waste pumpy-thingie.
 
2013-08-30 02:52:49 PM  

Sid_6.7: Yeah, they missed some steps:

1. Dig a pit.

2. Place a container in the center to gather water.

3. Place any sources of moisture you can find (your own urine, cactus water, whatever) in the dirt around the container.

4. Place a sheet of plastic over the hole and secure it around the sides with rocks. It needs a little slack.

5. Place a small stone in the center of the plastic, over the container.

Sun heats the water-bearing-but-bad-for-you liquids in the dirt, water condenses on the plastic, and drips down into your container.

Making more than one is a good idea if you can.

If you're in something other than a desert, then you can probably just wrap the plastic around a tree branch with plenty of green leaves. Water should collect in there through normal transpiration. Secure it at the base of the branch, and let the water collect in the bottom of the bag.

Again, more than one is a good idea if you can.


what does a picture of this contraption look like?
 
2013-08-30 02:53:04 PM  

Sid_6.7: Nadie_AZ: You can survive without water, but not for long. The average human can hold out for three to five days without a sip of water, but dehydration will set in and lead to all sorts of problems, like confusion, lethargy, and rapid heartbeat, well before then. You're going to need to find some water, pronto.

Try this in the desert. Go ahead. I'll wait.

If you're in the jungle, seek out a banana tree. With a little help from a knife - you didn't venture into the jungle without a knife, did you? - a banana tree can become a personal water fountain. Hack away all but the bottom foot or so of the tree, and carve a bowl into the top of the remaining stump. The tree's roots will draw fluids up into the trunk, and the bowl will fill with water.

What the f*ck am I reading?

In a desert, water can be tougher to find, but if you're lucky, gravity will have done some of the heavy lifting for you. Water flows downhill, so walk downhill whenever you can to search for fluids in valleys or crevices.

Ok, this isn't bad advice. But as most deserts are already at a low elevation, you aren't going to have a ton of success unless you happen to be at a high point.

If that doesn't work - and if you happen to be toting a machete - hack your way into a cactus and squeeze the moisture out of the pulp. You can also put the pulp in your mouth and suck out the water, but be careful not to eat it.

DON'T DO THIS.

Jesus f*ck.

[mentalfloss.com image 217x30]

This should be presented by Carl's Jr and Brawndo.

Yeah, they missed some steps:

1. Dig a pit.

2. Place a container in the center to gather water.

3. Place any sources of moisture you can find (your own urine, cactus water, whatever) in the dirt around the container.

4. Place a sheet of plastic over the hole and secure it around the sides with rocks. It needs a little slack.

5. Place a small stone in the center of the plastic, over the container.

Sun heats the water-bearing-but-bad-for-you liquids in the dirt, water condense ...



All the cans, plastic wrap, knives, and rocks that you're carrying are pretty heavy, which probably explains why you're not lugging around a whole bunch of water.
 
2013-08-30 02:57:43 PM  
Can handle 2 bladders of 3 liters each.  Don't leave civilization without it.

a248.e.akamai.net
 
2013-08-30 03:22:16 PM  
Why not just go to the store?
 
2013-08-30 03:24:09 PM  
Have these people never heard of a faucet?
 
2013-08-30 03:32:47 PM  

teto85: Can handle 2 bladders of 3 liters each.  Don't leave civilization without it.

[a248.e.akamai.net image 621x700]


Interesting. Tell me more.

I'd love to do the Arizona Trail. Water would be my main concern.
 
2013-08-30 03:46:52 PM  
Listmaking has become the death of actual Internet content.

For some reason I still thought of Mental Floss as being better than UPROXX or BuzzFeed. Boy was I wrong.
 
2013-08-30 03:53:13 PM  

SlothB77: what does a picture of this contraption look like?


Like this:

kitchenpantryscientist.com
The bowl here is the pit you dig in the sand/soil

The blue water is what would be moistened sand/soil in the real world -- piss/shiat in the hole, toss chunks of cactus in there, anything that would have moisture in it.

Put the plastic wrap over the hole to catch the water evaporating from the wet sand/soil, put something in the middle of the plastic wrap to make a low spot where the condensation on the inside will collect, and put a container under the low spot to collect the condensation that drips off.
 
2013-08-30 03:54:01 PM  

FloydA: All the cans, plastic wrap, knives, and rocks that you're carrying are pretty heavy, which probably explains why you're not lugging around a whole bunch of water.


So you're the guy bringing his own rocks to the desert.
 
2013-08-30 03:55:04 PM  

Uzzah: SlothB77: what does a picture of this contraption look like?

Like this:

[kitchenpantryscientist.com image 850x637]
The bowl here is the pit you dig in the sand/soil

The blue water is what would be moistened sand/soil in the real world -- piss/shiat in the hole, toss chunks of cactus in there, anything that would have moisture in it.

Put the plastic wrap over the hole to catch the water evaporating from the wet sand/soil, put something in the middle of the plastic wrap to make a low spot where the condensation on the inside will collect, and put a container under the low spot to collect the condensation that drips off.


The amount you get isn't that much. It's something, but not enough to restore someone who is dehydrated.
 
2013-08-30 03:59:58 PM  

Nadie_AZ: teto85: Can handle 2 bladders of 3 liters each.  Don't leave civilization without it.

[a248.e.akamai.net image 621x700]

Interesting. Tell me more.

I'd love to do the Arizona Trail. Water would be my main concern.


Camelback.  The model depicted is the BFM.  There are lighter weight versions for day hikes too.  It's good quality stuff.
 
2013-08-30 03:59:58 PM  

SlothB77: Sid_6.7: Yeah, they missed some steps:

1. Dig a pit.

2. Place a container in the center to gather water.

3. Place any sources of moisture you can find (your own urine, cactus water, whatever) in the dirt around the container.

4. Place a sheet of plastic over the hole and secure it around the sides with rocks. It needs a little slack.

5. Place a small stone in the center of the plastic, over the container.

Sun heats the water-bearing-but-bad-for-you liquids in the dirt, water condenses on the plastic, and drips down into your container.

Making more than one is a good idea if you can.

If you're in something other than a desert, then you can probably just wrap the plastic around a tree branch with plenty of green leaves. Water should collect in there through normal transpiration. Secure it at the base of the branch, and let the water collect in the bottom of the bag.

Again, more than one is a good idea if you can.

what does a picture of this contraption look like?


www.survivenature.com

I haven't seen one in action but I wouldn't bet the farm on being able to produce much water unless you happen to have a few dozen of them.
 
2013-08-30 04:01:50 PM  

Joelogon: FloydA: All the cans, plastic wrap, knives, and rocks that you're carrying are pretty heavy, which probably explains why you're not lugging around a whole bunch of water.

So you're the guy bringing his own rocks to the desert.


Well DUH!  You think they just grow there?  ;-)
 
2013-08-30 04:06:15 PM  

Nadie_AZ: If that doesn't work - and if you happen to be toting a machete - hack your way into a cactus and squeeze the moisture out of the pulp. You can also put the pulp in your mouth and suck out the water, but be careful not to eat it.

DON'T DO THIS.

Jesus f*ck.

img.fark.net

This should be presented by Carl's Jr and Brawndo.


www.mememaker.net
 
2013-08-30 04:09:43 PM  
 
2013-08-30 04:10:17 PM  

FloydA: Nadie_AZ: teto85: Can handle 2 bladders of 3 liters each.  Don't leave civilization without it.

[a248.e.akamai.net image 621x700]

Interesting. Tell me more.

I'd love to do the Arizona Trail. Water would be my main concern.

Camelback.  The model depicted is the BFM.  There are lighter weight versions for day hikes too.  It's good quality stuff.


I've a smaller one with a single bladder. Good for day hiking. This thing looks like a heavy tank. Would be good for long hikes.
 
2013-08-30 04:12:42 PM  
If you're stuck in the desert with no water and need to walk back to civilization (or the next water hole), try to find some kind of shade and just rest during the day with as little sweating as you can manage.  As the sun goes down, note several landmarks and their position with respect to the setting sun, you'll need them to keep aimed in the right direction.  You can use stars at night, but they "move" and most folks aren't at all prepared to use them for navigation because of that.  In the high desert it can get quite cold at night... keep moving, pace yourself and don't work up a sweat.  The sweat is precious water you don't want to lose and if you stop to rest in the cold of night, the drying sweat will chill you, maybe kill you.
 
2013-08-30 04:18:06 PM  

Mugato: In a desert, water can be tougher to find

Slow down, I have to write this down...


Put the water in a container, like a can or a bottle. A plastic sack may do in a pinch. Cloth bags don't work quite as well.
 
2013-08-30 04:22:06 PM  
Nadie_AZ:

I've a smaller one with a single bladder. Good for day hiking. This thing looks like a heavy tank. Would be good for long hikes.

Yeah, when it's full, the BFM is  about 7 lbs of water, plus the weight of whatever else you pack.  If I was going to do the Arizona Trail, that's the pack I'd want.
 
2013-08-30 04:22:31 PM  
If you get particularly desperate, play "A down up" twice in rapid succession on your flute like organ. I hope you have a bottle gained from rounding up the town ditz's chickens.
 
2013-08-30 04:25:34 PM  
I don't have to drink my own piss, but I get better ratings when I do.
 
2013-08-30 04:31:07 PM  
Like you can't walk to a Starbucks in 3-5 days from anywhere in this country.
 
2013-08-30 04:31:42 PM  
I lived in the desert, taught survival.
There is water in the desert.
If you know how to get it.

DRTFA.

Don't go anywhere your aren't prepared to survive in.

Most people would end up drinking their own piss.
Never had to do that.
 
2013-08-30 04:33:50 PM  

FloydA: Nadie_AZ:

I've a smaller one with a single bladder. Good for day hiking. This thing looks like a heavy tank. Would be good for long hikes.

Yeah, when it's full, the BFM is  about 7 lbs of water, plus the weight of whatever else you pack.  If I was going to do the Arizona Trail, that's the pack I'd want.


7lbs is less than a gallon.

Specs:
Total Capacity: 2810 cu in / 46L + 3L Reservoir

That's 12 gallons. That's ... 100 pounds. Holy hell.
 
2013-08-30 04:38:09 PM  
discoveryint1.edgeboss.net

Yep, that is Bear Grylls drinking the water out of elephant dung.
 
2013-08-30 04:41:11 PM  

Nadie_AZ: DON'T DO THIS.

Jesus f*ck.


The bottom line is you really cannot get a drink from a cactus in spite of what you may have seen in old cowboy movies.

I've often encountered bite marks in beaver-tail cacti.
Looks like a coyote nosed in and had a suckle and bite, but then again, I've seen a not of bones out there, too.
 
2013-08-30 04:45:37 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2013-08-30 04:54:53 PM  
Nadie_AZ:
7lbs is less than a gallon.

Specs:
Total Capacity: 2810 cu in / 46L + 3L Reservoir

That's 12 gallons. That's ... 100 pounds. Holy hell.



DOH!  I was estimating the weight of just the 3L reservoir.

/feels stupid now
 
2013-08-30 04:55:16 PM  
"Brought to you by Dos Equis.....Stay thirsty, my friends."

I lol'ed.
 
2013-08-30 04:57:42 PM  

Beerguy: [discoveryint1.edgeboss.net image 480x360]

Yep, that is Bear Grylls drinking the water out of elephant dung.


Crap! I hope they pay him very well.
 
2013-08-30 04:59:05 PM  

talkertopc: Beerguy: [discoveryint1.edgeboss.net image 480x360]

Yep, that is Bear Grylls drinking the water out of elephant dung.

Crap! I hope they pay him very well.


lulz
 
2013-08-30 05:12:58 PM  
Nadie_AZ:

Ok, this isn't bad advice. But as most deserts are already at a low elevation, you aren't going to have a ton of success unless you happen to be at a high point.


Yeah, about that:

Sahara desert - 11,000' to -463'
Gobi desert - 5000' to 1600'
Sonoran desert - 7,700' to -226'
Mojave desert - 11,000' to -282'

[themoreyouknow.jpg]
 
2013-08-30 05:19:55 PM  

SansNeural: If you're stuck in the desert with no water and need to walk back to civilization (or the next water hole), try to find some kind of shade and just rest during the day with as little sweating as you can manage.  As the sun goes down, note several landmarks and their position with respect to the setting sun, you'll need them to keep aimed in the right direction.  You can use stars at night, but they "move" and most folks aren't at all prepared to use them for navigation because of that.  In the high desert it can get quite cold at night... keep moving, pace yourself and don't work up a sweat.  The sweat is precious water you don't want to lose and if you stop to rest in the cold of night, the drying sweat will chill you, maybe kill you.


Everybody... learn how to find the North Star. Then teach your children. Make a game out of it.

It's very easy, and it could save your life. It's the only star that doesn't move, and it's always north.
 
2013-08-30 06:07:06 PM  
Target Builder : I haven't seen one in action but I wouldn't bet the farm on being able to produce much water unless you happen to have a few dozen of them.

I've never seen/heard of using vegitation in one of those survival stills.

I thought they were what you were supposed to do if you were in a desert or on a deserted island so that you could purify dirty water or seawater.

IE, situations where you have plenty of heat and plenty of water, but the water is not safe to drink. I imagine you would get way more water in those scenarios.

// someone upthread mentioned chopping up cactus to use in a still ... just eat the cactus.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nopal
 
2013-08-30 06:15:34 PM  

Nadie_AZ: You can survive without water, but not for long. The average human can hold out for three to five days without a sip of water, but dehydration will set in and lead to all sorts of problems, like confusion, lethargy, and rapid heartbeat, well before then. You're going to need to find some water, pronto.

Try this in the desert. Go ahead. I'll wait.

If you're in the jungle, seek out a banana tree. With a little help from a knife - you didn't venture into the jungle without a knife, did you? - a banana tree can become a personal water fountain. Hack away all but the bottom foot or so of the tree, and carve a bowl into the top of the remaining stump. The tree's roots will draw fluids up into the trunk, and the bowl will fill with water.

What the f*ck am I reading?

In a desert, water can be tougher to find, but if you're lucky, gravity will have done some of the heavy lifting for you. Water flows downhill, so walk downhill whenever you can to search for fluids in valleys or crevices.

Ok, this isn't bad advice. But as most deserts are already at a low elevation, you aren't going to have a ton of success unless you happen to be at a high point.

If that doesn't work - and if you happen to be toting a machete - hack your way into a cactus and squeeze the moisture out of the pulp. You can also put the pulp in your mouth and suck out the water, but be careful not to eat it.

DON'T DO THIS.

Jesus f*ck.

This should be presented by Carl's Jr and Brawndo.


The banana stump thing is true. But you're supposed to dump the first two fills because of massive bitterness
 
2013-08-30 06:22:33 PM  

Target Builder: SlothB77: Sid_6.7: Yeah, they missed some steps:

1. Dig a pit.

2. Place a container in the center to gather water.

3. Place any sources of moisture you can find (your own urine, cactus water, whatever) in the dirt around the container.

4. Place a sheet of plastic over the hole and secure it around the sides with rocks. It needs a little slack.

5. Place a small stone in the center of the plastic, over the container.

Sun heats the water-bearing-but-bad-for-you liquids in the dirt, water condenses on the plastic, and drips down into your container.

Making more than one is a good idea if you can.

If you're in something other than a desert, then you can probably just wrap the plastic around a tree branch with plenty of green leaves. Water should collect in there through normal transpiration. Secure it at the base of the branch, and let the water collect in the bottom of the bag.

Again, more than one is a good idea if you can.

what does a picture of this contraption look like?

[www.survivenature.com image 470x251]

I haven't seen one in action but I wouldn't bet the farm on being able to produce much water unless you happen to have a few dozen of them.


Did those in 6th grade as a science project for the honors kids.  Didn't add any water-bearing material, just dug down into the sandy soil in the woods behind the school.  The pit was maybe 2 feet across and we got about a cup a day.
 
2013-08-30 06:26:38 PM  

lordargent: Target Builder : I haven't seen one in action but I wouldn't bet the farm on being able to produce much water unless you happen to have a few dozen of them.

I've never seen/heard of using vegitation in one of those survival stills.

I thought they were what you were supposed to do if you were in a desert or on a deserted island so that you could purify dirty water or seawater.

IE, situations where you have plenty of heat and plenty of water, but the water is not safe to drink. I imagine you would get way more water in those scenarios.

// someone upthread mentioned chopping up cactus to use in a still ... just eat the cactus.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nopal


Not every desert has le holy prickly pear. Provided you get lost elsewhere than the SW US/Mexico, that won't help you much.
 
2013-08-30 06:47:06 PM  

New Farkin User Name: lordargent: Target Builder : I haven't seen one in action but I wouldn't bet the farm on being able to produce much water unless you happen to have a few dozen of them.

I've never seen/heard of using vegitation in one of those survival stills.

I thought they were what you were supposed to do if you were in a desert or on a deserted island so that you could purify dirty water or seawater.

IE, situations where you have plenty of heat and plenty of water, but the water is not safe to drink. I imagine you would get way more water in those scenarios.

// someone upthread mentioned chopping up cactus to use in a still ... just eat the cactus.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nopal

Not every desert has le holy prickly pear. Provided you get lost elsewhere than the SW US/Mexico, that won't help you much.


Digestion requires burning calories and using water. So when you eat, you use more water.

If you are in a survival situation, food should not be a priority. We've enough fat on our bodies to go weeks without eating if need be. Sure, your energy levels will drop and you'll be as pleasant as those cacti, but you'll live. Water is so important. Look for signs of water. Stay in the shade. Cover your body to protect it from the sun as well as to keep the water you sweat against your skin so you can cool yourself.

Your best bet might be to just sit tight. If you have no map, compass or idea where you are, wandering about could be a quick way to go further from help. You just don't know. If you were stuck, a signal of some kind would be the best way to attract attention. Ultimately, a fire would create smoke during the day- which would be an attention getter.
 
2013-08-30 07:21:42 PM  
www.1wallmart.com

/problem solved
 
2013-08-30 07:32:38 PM  

Nadie_AZ: If you are in a survival situation, food should not be a priority. We've enough fat on our bodies to go weeks without eating if need be.


Shh, you're ruining the mystique of TVs survivalist superheroes.
 
2013-08-30 07:34:45 PM  
The average human male is about 60% water. Far as we're concerned that's a little extravagant. So if you feel a bit dehydrated in this next test, that's normal. We're gonna hit you with some jet engines and see if we can't get you down to 20 or 30 per cent.
 
2013-08-30 07:37:02 PM  
Nadie_AZ: Digestion requires burning calories and using water

In a real survival situation, you would chew the liquid out of it but not swallow the solids. But that's too much explanation, plus I just wanted to say "eat the cactus".
 
2013-08-30 07:52:42 PM  
This is why I prefer snow camping. I use one of these:

www.rei.com

and a couple of bladders from "Wine In A Box" Flush 'em good, or they'll taste like really weak wine. Use one for potable water, and the other for non-pot. Filter from one to the other. A black t-shirt wrapped around a full bladder will heat up enough for a hot solar shower, in a couple of hours. The entire mess weighs about 12 ounces.
 
2013-08-30 07:59:32 PM  

Sid_6.7: Dig a pit.

2. Place a container in the center to gather water.

3. Place any sources of moisture you can find (your own urine, cactus water, whatever) in the dirt around the container.

4. Place a sheet of plastic over the hole and secure it around the sides with rocks. It needs a little slack.

5. Place a small stone in the center of the plastic, over the container.

Sun heats the water-bearing-but-bad-for-you liquids in the dirt, water condenses on the plastic, and drips down into your container.


I learned this from The Voyage of the Mimi back in 1984. Made a little solar still like this for a science project.
 
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