As one of the many people who’s gone backpacking in a arid landscape with less than adequete water, I know the– “oh shit, this isn’t good” feeling when staring into a Nalgene that’s half empty.
Related: Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning
Thankfully, the US Army has done a multitude of research on the subject and there are 10 easy to follow steps that will keep you cool, hydrated, and alive if this situation ever rears its ugly head.
The US Army’s Survival Guide 10 Steps To Staying Alive With Limited Water
*Steps courtesy of the United States Army, 1st Cavalry Division AKA AirCav
- Seek shade immediately!
- If water is scarce, do not eat. Food requires water for digestion; therefore, eating food will use water that you need for cooling.
- Keep your mouth closed and breath through your nose.
- Cover your head, and protect your neck with a scarf or similar item. These steps will protect your body from hot-blowing winds and the direct rays of the sun.
- Conserve your sweat. Wear your complete uniform to include T-shirt.Your clothing will absorb your sweat, keeping it against your skin so that you gain its full cooling effect.
- Limit movement.
- Place something between you and the hot ground.
- At temperatures below 100 °F, drink 0.5 liter of water every hour.
- At temperatures above 100 °F, drink 1 liter of water every hour.
- Move around during the cooler, nighttime hours.
“In a desert survival and evasion situation, it is unlikely that you will have a medic or medical supplies with you to treat heat injuries. Therefore, take extra care to avoid heat injuries. Rest during the day. Work during the cool evenings and nights. Use a buddy system to watch for heat injury while working to get out of the area.” – US Army, 1st Cavalry Division
Find the entire guide here: US Army Survival Guide | Need For Water