What Should You Do If You Run Out of Water While Camping?

Last Updated on April 14, 2023

If you run out of water while camping, here are a few things you can do:

Look for a nearby water source:

If you are in a natural area, there may be a river, stream, or lake nearby where you can get more water. Be sure to treat any water you find in the wild before drinking it to make it safe. You can do this by boiling the water for at least one minute, using water purification tablets or a filter, or adding water treatment drops.

Check your supplies

Make sure you have enough water bottles or containers to store water. If you have extra containers, you can fill them up and store them in a cool, shady place.

Conserve water

To make your existing water supply last longer, limit your water usage as much as possible. Avoid activities that use a lot of water, such as taking long showers or washing dishes. Drink only when you are thirsty, and avoid eating foods that are high in water content.


Before you go camping, be sure to bring enough water for your trip, as well as extra water in case of emergencies. It’s also a good idea to bring a water purification system, such as a water filter or purification tablets, in case you need to treat water from a natural source.

Get help

If you are unable to find a water source and your water supply is critically low, you may need to seek help. Consider sending someone to get more water or contacting park rangers or other authorities for assistance.

How to Arrange water if you cannot get proper help?

If you are unable to get proper help and you are in a survival situation where you need to find a way to arrange water, here are a few steps you can take:

  • Collect rainwater: If it is raining, you can set out containers to collect rainwater. Be sure to use clean containers to avoid contamination.
  • Dig a well: If you are in an area with underground water sources, you may be able to dig a well to access water. This can be a challenging task, so be sure to do your research and be prepared before attempting to dig a well.
  • Look for plants with water: Some plants, such as cacti and bamboo, contain water. You can cut these plants open and drink the water inside, but be sure to treat it before drinking to make it safe.
  • Use solar stills: A solar still is a device that uses sunlight to evaporate water from soil or vegetation, which can then be collected and consumed. Solar stills can be made with simple materials, such as a plastic sheet and a container, and can be an effective way to obtain water in a survival situation.

It’s important to remember that finding water in a survival situation can be challenging, and it may not always be possible to arrange water on your own. In these situations, it’s important to prioritize your safety and consider seeking help if necessary.

How to use solar stills?

A solar still is a device that uses sunlight to evaporate water from soil or vegetation, which can then be collected and consumed. Here’s how to use a solar still:

  1. Gather materials: You will need a container, a plastic sheet, and a rock or other weight.
  2. Place the container in the center of the plastic sheet: The container should be large enough to hold the water you want to collect.
  3. Dig a hole around the container: The hole should be about the same depth as the container.
  4. Place the plastic sheet over the hole: The sheet should be taut and should completely cover the hole.
  5. Place the rock or weight on the center of the plastic sheet: This will hold the sheet in place and will create a dip in the middle of the sheet, where the water will collect.
  6. Leave the solar still in a sunny location: The sun’s heat will cause the water in the soil or vegetation to evaporate, and the water vapor will condense on the plastic sheet. As the water vapor condenses, it will run down the sheet and collect in the container.
  7. Collect the water: After a few hours, the container should have collected some water. Be sure to treat the water before drinking it to make it safe.

It’s important to note that solar stills are not always effective, especially in dry environments. They can also be time-consuming to set up and may not produce a large amount of water. In a survival situation, it’s important to consider all of your options and prioritize your safety.

Where To Buy Solar Stills Online?

Several online retailers sell solar stills. Some options include:

  • Amazon: Amazon sells a variety of solar stills, including portable and larger, more permanent options.
  • eBay: eBay is an online marketplace that sells a range of solar stills from different sellers.
  • Backpacker.com: Backpacker.com is an online retailer that specializes in outdoor gear, including solar stills.
  • REI: REI is an outdoor retailer that sells a variety of solar stills, including portable options and larger models for purifying larger quantities of water.
  • Walmart: Walmart sells a range of solar stills, including portable options and larger models.

It’s a good idea to compare prices and read customer reviews before purchasing to ensure that you are getting a quality product. Be sure to also consider the specific needs of your trip and choose a solar still that is appropriate for your needs.

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