How To Find Water in the Desert

    Every time you go out into the desert, you might be running low on water. Bring more than you think that you would require. If you can read this and still be lost, call for help right away. While in the desert, avoid losing water or having to hunt for water. Keeping a well stocked supply is a good idea. If you do find yourself in a situation needing water, here’s how to find water in the desert. Best place to start is to look for damp ground, dry river beds, or vegetation. All of these are indications of underground water.

    Before digging, determine what you will need. Remember that when in the desert, anything goes without being said.  For example, take along a few cactus plants or flower-like lilies, which don’t need much water to grow. They’re small and can hide in the sand. Also remember to bring along some sand and a spade to dig into the ground and find your water. If you look for signs of life around you chances are you will find a water source. If you are going to dig, dig in a dry river bed. These places are the last place for water to evaporate. The human body can survive for about a few days without water but in a hot desert, that may be extremely difficult. 

    If you plan on bringing along your own cactus plants or flowers, then you may find water on the ground or nearby. If not, then dig deep enough to where you will be able to plant your plants or dig up a cactus hole. When digging, remember that the further you dig, the deeper you can get into the ground to hide your tools. Keep in mind that you may also have to add water to the hole you’ve just dug as well. 

    In addition to cactus and water source, consider bringing along a barrel cactus guide. Many tourists who come to the Grand Canyon and other national parks bring along a barrel cactus guide to show them where the water is. These guides are also helpful because they give you information about where the bathrooms, showers, and restaurants are in various destinations throughout the Grand Canyon. 

    If you do not want to dig for water in the canyon, consider using a GPS device. There are units available for rent at different theme parks and campgrounds. Simply input the location you are going to be heading to in your GPS device (including any necessary coordinates) and you will be shown exactly where you need to go to find a water source or a bathroom. 

    There are easier ways to find water for example, if it rains and such you can catch water with a cup. Check canyons and mountain bases as there could be sources of water there. Searching up canyons and valleys and following wildlife will also guide you to finding water. You can also search for potholes in shady areas especially at the bottom of cliffs. If you find bright green foliage, chances are water is nearby. In the middle of nowhere, you will feel like there is no water. But you’d be surprised to know that trees even have water near the surface. Digging near the base of a tree can help you find water as well. 

    Most of the time if you are in a desert you probably are on a hike or backpacking through the desert. Some people’s careers leave them searching high and low in deserts or out in the middle of nowhere. In these instances  they carry along equipment that they need to work with. Especially for people working on looking for mineral deposits etc, they will always have more than a shovel to dig. Looking for water in the desert might interest you in careers of logging and such. Consider familiarizing yourself with environmental careers such as geoscience. You can gain more information and look into what equipment these scientists use on sites such as Some of these equipment if had on hand would most likely help you find water in a desert as well. 

    Besides the tips mentioned above to find water, you should also keep in mind that water reservation will be important as well. You can slow your rate of water loss. Exercising or sun exposure will increase your dehydration. So during the day when it is really hot, stay in the shade or keep your skin covered to prevent sweat evaporation.