In a survival situation, water is your first priority. Your stomach may be shouting at you for food, but rest assured, it’ll be fine without any for a lot longer than you can go without some hydration.

In a lot of parts of the world, water isn’t actually all that hard to find, as long as you know the right places to look.

  • Start by finding some high ground and listen for the sounds of running water. Sometimes it really can be just that simple.
  • Keep your eye out for animal tracks that converge on a trail. That’s a strong sign that the trail itself leads to a ready water source.
  • Head downhill. Water pools at low points between elevated areas and always flows downhill. If you’re on sloped terrain, follow it downward until you find where water may be collecting.
  • Use mosquitoes and other insects to guide you. They are almost always more plentiful near bodies of water.
  • In a jam, dig into muddy ground using a tool or your hands until the hole pools with water. You’ll want to remove as much sediment from the water as possible in your filtration process.

Just about any water source you find in the wild today will require filtration or purification before it’s safe to drink. If you don’t have any gear that can do that, check out our video on how long to boil water before its potable.