A human body is made up of about 80% water, and the body constantly needs water, since it releases liquids for maintaining important bodily functions such as respiration, the removal of toxins, and so on. Hence, your chances of survival without water are quite slim, and according to experts, a healthy person might last only about three to five days without water. Here are certain tips that will improve your survival chances in a situation where you have access to very little water.
The first thing you need to do is protect the water in your body. You can do this by immediately covering areas of exposed skin. This will not only decrease perspiration but will also protect you from sunburn, which leads to losing more water due to damaged cells. If you are in a hot environment, it will be important to reduce sweating, because your body needs will need to replace fluid lost in perspiration.
The best way to safeguard your body from the outside temperature is to wear loose clothing, since it will create an insulating layer of air around the body. The trapped air between your body and fabric will be more humid, due to the evaporation of your sweat, and this will result in lesser rate of evaporation.
Next, you need to conserve your saliva and reduce loss of water when you breathe. To do this, you need to breathe only from your nose and keep your face covered with a cloth such a scarf, shirt, or towel. Try to keep your mouth closed and reduce talking to the minimum. To reduce the pangs of thirst you can chew on blades of grass.
Rest During the Hottest Parts of the Day
If you find yourself outdoors in hot weather without any structure nearby, you will have to find some shade from direct sunlight and reduce the chances of dehydration. Minimize your movements and find a shaded spot where you can lie down or sit. Under a tree would be the best spot, but you could also find shade under rocks or some wreckage. However, make sure there are no snakes or scorpions in these places. You could also cover yourself with leaves while lying down, as that will provide a good layer of insulation and reduce evaporation of your bodily fluids.
If you are caught in a warm place with little water supply, you should drink only during the cool hours, which is evening, early morning, or late afternoon. In colder climates try to warm the water before drinking as you can be chilled by consuming cold water. Your body will also warm the water that you drink by burning calories, and so to conserve your body energy, try to drink warm water.
Seawater is Still Useful
If you are near sea, never give into the temptation of drinking salt water. This can cause death more rapidly, compared to not drinking any water. However, you can use the seawater to wet you clothes and reduce sweating. Do not try out anything that you are not sure about, since relying on survival myths can be very dangerous.