It’s easy to take water for granted when it comes out of a tap. At home there’s no effort or planning required in order to satisfy your need for water. In the wilderness, however, it isn’t such a simple matter. Those who spend time out in nature often develop a new appreciation for this precious substance, which is vital to all forms of life on this planet.
Some people have never known real thirst. If you enter a dry area and seriously underestimate the amount of water needed, or forget to bring it at all, you’ll probably learn a lot more than you wanted to about thirst. It’s the kind of mistake few people make twiceassuming they’re fortunate enough to survive it the first time. Your body’s need for water is utterly critical.
While in some regions of the country water is a scarce commmodity, in other areas it’s everywhere. In planning a wilderness trip you need to know about the availability of water in the park or forest you’ll be visiting. This information can usually be obtained from a guidebook, a good map, or a park information center.
I When you’ve confirmed the presence of water, remember there’s always a slight possibility that a particular spring or stream won’t be running, especially during a period of drought or reduced rainfall. Don’t put yourself in a position where you would be in dire straits if a water source should be dry.