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Finding Food and Water To Survive in the Wilderness

Aug 17, 2007
If you find yourself stranded outdoors, the key to your survival is finding three specific things: shelter, food, and water. Now, in some outdoor situations where the elements are not too severe, you can survive without shelter. But it is impossible to survive without food and water. Knowing what to do in the case of an emergency situation can go a long way towards making sure you get home in the best health possible.

A normal person can go three full days without water, and three weeks without food. So if you find yourself stranded, the first thing you need to find is water. Keep in mind that water in stagnant sources is often contaminated. In order to protect yourself, always travel with water purification options, such as halazone tablets or iodine drops. If you find moving water it is less likely to be contaminated. You can still add purification measures to the water to stay safe.

Always carry a container that you can fill with water. When you find a water source, fill your container. You will be more mobile if you have a water source you can carry with you. If you cannot find naturally occurring water, there are other ways to find water. Try collecting the dew off of plants. You can also collect rainwater. The juices of fish are a source of hydration, although not an appealing one. The thing to keep in mind, however, is that your ultimate goal is simply survival. Also, avoid doing too much physical activity if you are limited on water availability. The more exercise your body does, the more water it will need.

Finding food is less crucial, because you can live three weeks without food. There are places that you can find food in the wilderness fairly easily. If you brought emergency rations with you, save those until all of the natural sources of food have been exhausted.

What you eat will depend a lot on the amount of water available to you. Remember that it takes more water to digest protein than it does to digest carbohydrates. Also, naturally occurring carbohydrates, such as fruit, have water in them. So if you are in a limited water situation, fill up on carbohydrates, avoiding meat and other protein sources.

Make use of whatever fruits and berries you can find. If you are not familiar with the fruit you find, a good rule of thumb is to avoid any berries that are red or white. Most of the poisonous berries are either red or white in color. All grass seeds are edible. If you find a plant with an edible root, remember that there is tremendous nutritional value in eating the roots of plants.

Avoid eating wild mushrooms, unless you can clearly identify them. Most wild mushrooms are perfectly safe to eat, but there are several varieties that are poisonous, and if you do not know how to identify the safe ones it is best to stay away. Remember that insects such as grasshoppers and locusts are edible. You can eat them live or roast them. Frogs, lizards, and turtles are other sources of protein that are fairly easy to catch. While these foods might not be your first choice for Sunday brunch, remember your goal is survival!
About the Author
John Edmond runs and writes regularly for Living And Camping Outdoors where you can read many more articles on outdoor survival and outdoor living skills. Also go to Well Spoken Audio for a range of entertaining audiobooks on sports and much more.
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