You may be saying to yourself what would I ever be doing in a desert. Hey life has a way of making you eat the words you put out. So if your going to eat those words you should atleast have some water to do so with in the desert.
Deserts are areas that receive less than 10 inches (250 mm) of precipitation a year. They are hot and dry during the day and cold at night. The most important thing you need in a desert is water. Here are ways to find it.
- Sometimes birds circle over water.
- Bees fly in a straight line to and from water up to 1,000 meters away.
Dig in dry stream or river beds and/or near vegetation. If the soil is damp just under the surface, keep digging a hole until water seeps into it. Use your hand to drink it, or soak it up with fabric and wring the water into your mouth. Or, if you’re prepared, follow the steps in How to Make Water in the Desert.
- Cottonwoods, willows, sycamores, hackberry and cattails are likely to be near groundwater.
- The more familiar you are with the vegetation in the desert you’re in, the better your chances of finding water.
Look for dew. Gather dew drops on vegetation before sunrise by soaking them with a clothing article and squeeze it into a container, or straight into your mouth. Another way to get dew drops is to turn over half-buried rocks. The coolness of the rock’s surface can collect several dew drops.
- Turn over half-buried stones in the desert just before dawn and dew will form on their surface.
Search for cacti. Be careful, though, as some cacti are poisonous. If you cut it open and the cacti has a milky colored liquid in it, it’s poisonous. If not, it is probably really cool water, be sure to look for that type. See How to Test if a Plant Is Edible.
- The prickly pear cactus is an great example of a cactus that is safe to eat and contains a lot of moisture.
- Be careful of the barrel cactus out there. Some are poisonous.