If you’re lost out in the wild, finding a source of drinkable water is one of your number one priorities. These four pesky little bugs might actually save your life.
Photo by Hardo Müller.
There are a lot of ways to look for water in the wild, but using wildlife is one of the most effective. After all, animals and bugs needs water to live too. Spotting an animal to follow to a water source isn’t quite as easy as finding some bugs, however. That’s why Mark Lawrence at Secrets of Survival suggests that you look for these four insects that might show you where water is:
- Mosquitoes: Mosquitoes breed in standing or slow-moving water. If you come across some swarms of mosquitoes, you must be close to a water source. Keep in mind, however, that drinking water from stagnant bodies is ill-advised. That said, a small stagnant body of water could mean there are other sources nearby.
- Bees: Bee hives, which can be found in a tree, stump or along rocks, are usually located within five to eight kilometres of a water source. Once you find a hive, try to get a high vantage point and scan the landscape for dark green vegetation. You can also watch the hive and pay attention to where bees are flying, then follow them to see if they head to a water source.
- Ants: If you find an ant hill, see if there is a line of ants leading to a water source. If the ants are living inside of a tree or tree stump, there may some water inside that you can get to with a knife and drinking straw you can fashion out of a large leaf.
- Flies: Like mosquitoes, flies are an excellent marker for a nearby water source. They don’t normally travel further than 100m from water, so if you see one, start listening and looking.
If you do find some water, make sure you take the necessary precautions before you drink any of it. Boil the water, use a survival water filter or use some water treatment drops if you can. You don’t want to drink up a bunch of nasty bacteria and other pathogens. You can find some more great tips on finding water in the wild at the link below.
How to Find Water In the Wilderness [Secrets of Survival]