Water is extremely important to survival since the body is comprised of about 75% water. Did you know that humans can survive for weeks without food, but only a few days without adequate water? Even in cold climates, water can be crucial to survival.
Everyone knows the importance of water during the heat of summer, but water is equally important in cold weather, as well. You lose water by sweating during strenuous activity and even just breathing is another way you lose valuable fluids. Dehydration promotes chilling and the risk of frostbite or hypothermia.
Finding a source for safe drinking water should be a priority for you if you should ever become stranded in the wilderness. Don't wait until the first signs of dehydration to set in before you start looking for water to drink. Finding water takes time and energy, so start early.
As in any survival situation, always look for surface water first. It is possible to find water in streams, lakes, and rivers, but more than likely, your supply of drinking water is bound to be in the frozen form of snow or ice, when in the cold months of winter or Arctic climates.
It may seem so obvious to just scoop up some snow and eat it like ice cream to replenish your lost fluids but this is not a good idea. But you should never place snow or ice in your mouth due to a potential for bacteria. Also, the cold temperature of the ice or snow will only make you colder.
To begin making water from ice or snow, gather clean snow or ice. If possible, use ice instead of snow and ice will produce more water than snow. Also, ice melts faster than snow. When melting snow or ice, be certain you have enough wood as it takes a long time to melt snow or ice into drinking water.
Don't just place a bunch of snow into your melting pot as this will take longer to produce water. It is best to begin by placing a small portion of snow or ice in the pot. Once this melts, add just a bit more snow or ice to be melted into water. Continue the process until you have enough clean drinking water. Another method you could try is by using a piece of clothing as a sack for the snow. Tie the sleeves of a t-shirt and fill it with snow or ice. Suspend the sack over a container that is next to your fire and the water will filter through t-shirt and into the container.
Regardless of which method you do, you will want to ensure to boil the water for one minute to kill any bacteria or viruses.
Water is essential for survival even in cold, winter climates. Keeping yourself hydrated will allow the best chances of survival by replenishing lost fluids which can help to prevent frostbite and hypothermia. Remember, melting ice and snow takes a considerable amount of time, so plan ahead for your drinking needs in a winter climate survival situations.
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