When it comes to sustained survival, there is nothing more important than water. In addition to food and shelter, water serves as the crux of any survival plan. While we can survive for extended periods of time without food or shelter, the body can only survive for up to four days without water. There are a variety of common mistakes made when we are trying to remain hydrated in a survival scenario, so read on for increased awareness.
- Carrying an Excessive Amount of Water
It may seem like a great idea to carry a massive amount of water on your next journey, but the human body requires at least a half gallon of water to survive. There’s no way for you to carry the amount of water that you need to sustain life over an extended period and if you know that you are going to be out in the wild for a significant length of time, you’ll need to invest in a water purification system, such as a portable filter or water purification tablets.
- Lack of Proper Boiling Technique
You can boil water to remove pathogens and potential toxins and this is a technique that survivalists have leaned on for years. Boiling water is an excellent way to maximize your level of hydration in a survival scenario, but only if you are boiling the water for a sufficient amount of time. Allow your water to boil for 90 seconds at the very least and don’t assume it is safe to use immediately.
- Drinking Cactus Water
Contrary to anything you may have heard or read, cactus water is not safe to drink under any circumstances. Its high level of alkaline content will promote diarrhea and cause you to become ill. Barrel cactus is safe to drink, but a thirsty non botanist’s judgement is difficult to trust in these situations and it is always better to be safe than sorry.
- Saltwater Consumption
Drinking saltwater is one of the most commonly made water survival mistakes and those who fall for this typical pitfall are placing themselves at increased risk of dehydration. If you are in a moment of extreme thirst, bear this crucial fact in mind: for every glass of saltwater you decide to consume, you are going to need at least two glasses of freshwater to balance out the damages. There’s never a good reason to drink saltwater.
- Eating Snow
Do not listen to any urban legends that make audacious claims about snow’s ability to quench your thirst. Eating snow causes your body to use an immense amount of energy to melt it, causing extreme fatigue, in addition to dehydration. Should you find yourself in a situation that requires the consumption of snow, melt it first and boil it before proceeding.
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