Don’t trust mirages; if you need to survive in the desert without water, these tips could save your life.
Step 1: Don’t eat Avoid eating as much as possible. You can survive longer without food than without water, and the digestive process uses water.
Step 2: Try not to sweat Minimize perspiration by relegating physical activity to nighttime. And keep your clothing on -- it helps slow the evaporation of your sweat. Wrap a piece of fabric around your head if you don’t have a hat. Using your urine to dampen your clothes will further reduce sweating.
TIP: Don’t drink your urine; your body will use more water to remove the waste material than it will gain.
Step 3: Dig for water If you spot any green plants or dry lake beds, dig there until the soil becomes moist, and wait for water to seep into the hole. It may provide enough water to survive in the desert until you get out or are rescued.
Step 4: Forget about cactus Forget the myth about getting water from a cactus: You’ll probably lose more hydration from the ensuing vomiting than you'll gain from the few drops you manage to drink.
Step 5: Follow bees Look for flies or mosquitoes, which means water is nearby. If you see a bee, follow it; bees fly in a straight line to and from water, so it will lead you right to a source.
FACT: An Austrian teenager survived a record 18 days without food or water in 1979, when police forgot they'd put him in a holding cell.