How to Locate Water in the Great Outdoors?

If you run out of water while on a long hike, you wouldn’t be the first person this happens to. Although, you should carry plenty of water during your hikes, sometimes, you could be left with no water before you’re back from your adventure. What do you do then? What if the way back is not short at all? Finding water in the wilderness is possible. Here are some tips that can help.

Find Nearby Water Sources on Your Map

Check your map for rivers, streams or creeks. Do you remember walking by them at some point? If you feel like you can turn around and find that water source without getting lost, go for it. It will be the easiest way for you to fill your water bottles.

Dig Deeper

Water usually accumulates under the surface of dry creek beds and gravel washes. If you find one, dig in places where the water was once deeper or along the outer edges of the most noticeable curves. That’s where moisture usually builds up, and you might be able to find some water there. If the seepage is not much, you can sop it up with your shirt. Another option is to dig down a few feet around trees or large clumps of bushes. Cottonwood trees, which are common in Colorado, usually store plenty of water around their roots.

How to Locate Water in the Great Outdoors
Locating water sources and digging around trees are the most effective ways to find water in the outdoors.

Collect Overnight Condensation

If you were to spend the night in the wilderness, place a large plastic bag or sheet over a shallow dent at night. Water will condense overnight and accumulate underneath.

Locate Cactus

Most cacti are edible such as the prickly pear cactus, which is common in Colorado. These store a lot of water, so you can try cutting it near the base and suck on the liquid or chew the pulp inside. Before trying it, place a small piece of cactus in the center of your tongue to make sure you don’t have any adverse reaction. If you do, leave the cactus and move on.

Other Tips

When you decide to go on a long hike, be sure to pack enough water with you. It is heavy to carry, but it’s better to have plenty than to be left without water while you’re outdoors. Packing fruit that’s high in water content, such as apples, watermelon, or pears, is also a great option to help you stay hydrated throughout your trip.


Plan a ride you will never forget with Mile Hi Rafting. If you’re a lover of the outdoors, you will surely enjoy Colorado and it’s beautiful scenic views. At Mile Hi Rafting, we’ll make sure to provide you with a wonderful experience.

Comments are closed.