In the desert, you cannot survive more than 48 hours without water if the temperature reaches or exceeds 48°C, and the maximum distance you can travel without hydration will not exceed 8 km.
In case you are in a survival situation in the middle of the desert, you will be lucky if you are near a well or an oasis because otherwise it would be very difficult for you to find drinking water to survive.
The best way for find water in arid and desert regions will be to take the paths very frequented by the people of the desert since the latter know the places which retain water.
The sour and brackish taste of the water does not mean that it is contaminated, it may be because of its richness in magnesium and minerals.
It is true that the waters of the desert are known for their purity compared to those of urban water systems, nevertheless, it is always recommended to boil them and treat them with chlorine before drinking to avoid any contamination.
Where to find water in the desert?
To survive in the desert, you will have to pay close attention to the signs that indicate the proximity of water.
- Rainwater usually gathers in depressions in the land just near the dunes which form a kind of sandy beaches that you can dig into to find drinking water. As soon as you come across wet ground, the water will naturally rise to the surface, so don’t dig any deeper because if you do, you’ll only come across saline water that won’t be drinkable.
- If you come across a river, even a dry one, try to reach the lowest point and dig, you have a good chance of finding water.
- Thanks to the temperature gradient, dew can form on stone or metal surfaces through the phenomenon of condensation. So rub cotton or a clean cloth on the surface where the dew has formed, then wring it out in a container and fill it with water. With dew, sometimes you can make up to a liter per hour.
- The cliffs and canyon sides are made up of hard, porous rocks that sometimes hide gullies and underground reservoirs that can serve as a source of drinking water to cool you down and hydrate your body.
- The groupings of animals and different types of birds such as the Asian sand grouse, the crested lark and the zebra bird are a good indicator of the proximity of water, so you only have to observe them to guide you to ponds, wells and gullies.