Tim MacWelch: Hi! I am Tim MacWelch of Earth Connection School of Wilderness Survival and Ancient Skills near Fredericksburg, Virginia. This is our video clip series on winter survival tips. In this clip, we are going to talk about staying hydrated and preventing dehydration in the winter. You always want to make sure that you have enough water with you, every trip in the outdoors and the winter time is no exception, but let's say we run out of water. We should always have some, kind of, little metal cup with us in our survival equipment, but let's say we didn't even have that. People leave trash everywhere. We can just take a simple aluminum can and with a knife we can cut the top off and turn it into not only a drinking vessel but a pot to boil water in.
Now if the snow is fresh, we can scoop it up and melt it and have some safety in drinking it as is, but it's always best to actually go ahead and boil the snow. If you are going to have to make a fire to melt it, you might as well boil it to ensure safety.
So now we have got a little fire going out here. We are going to take our can and place it next to the fire. We don't want to place it over the fire because aluminum can melt in a significant sized campfire. So very quickly, the snow will start to melt in the cup.
Now we will need 10 cups of snow to equal 1 cup full of water. So we simply leave the cup there and continue to add snow to it until we have it full of water. As soon as this cup starts to boil, with big bubbles rising all the way from the bottom to the top of the vessel, then we start a count of 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, we let the water cool down to a safe temperature and then we drink it.
No, it's not exactly what you want to do in the outdoors in the winter time to drink a lot of water, especially if it's cold, but it's very important to stay hydrated in the outdoors. Your body cannot stay warm, if you are not properly hydrated. So even drinking cold water is better than drinking no water.
The best gauge of telling if you are hydrated or not in the winter time, is your urine output. If you are not peeing every couple of hours, you should be. If your urine, when you do pee, appears to be dark yellow or even orange, that's a solid sign that you are not drinking enough. Your urine should be fairly light in color and of course, with snow on the ground, this is easy to tell. So if our urine is too dark or infrequent, we want to drink more water. Now in our next clip, we are going to talk about frost bite. What that is and how to prevent it?