How to Find Water in the Wilderness

Learn how find water from NYC Outward Bound instructor Marko Yurachek in this wilderness survival skills video from Howcast.


A lot of conventional wisdom and a lot of the information that's out there would tell you that you need to go down into gullies, you need to go down into low areas and that's where you're going to find water. That is a possibility. You could go down and you could find water. Or, you could go down and find nothing. My thought on finding water, and my thought on finding anything is the opposite of that. Go up. The higher you get, the more you have available for you to observe. For instance, if we were looking for water in this forest, there are several areas that are gullies and drainages that we could get into and follow down and find nothing but thorns, no water at all.

We might be able to dig down and find some wet soil, set up some sort of system. A lot of effort, not a lot of return on the effort. To get the best bang for your buck when you're looking for water, I believe you should go to the top of the highest thing you can find and if you do, look around. In fact, if you come to the top of this mountain, not only will you find water. There's a big lake right behind me, but you'll also find if you need to get out, houses that have sinks with running water. Some of them may even have bottled water in them. So, coming to the top of the hill is a great way to find water and a great way to find whatever resource you need. So, getting up high, to the top like this, is the number one step in finding water.

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