How Much Water Is Enough
American Survival Guide|February 2020
Survive on less water than you think
Paul G. Weir

Described by planetary explorers as a Goldilocks planet, our solitary blue dot is just the right distance away from the sun — not too far and not too close — so that water is present in liquid form on its surface. No other planet in our solar system has the traits necessary to hold water in liquid form; most are way too cold, such as Neptune and Uranus, while the inner planets, such as Mercury and Venus, are much too hot. However, Earth does this in a big way, as 70 percent of its surface is covered in liquid water, trillions and trillions of gallons of it. Without it, life on this planet would not be possible, as human beings are composed mostly of water, and we need it daily to livelife comfortably.

The big problem with the vast majority of the water on the planet is that it is not potable; only 3 percent of the water found in liquid form on this planet is drinkable. And most of that is in underground aquifers and inaccessible to humans, while the rest is saltwater. It is a terrible irony that the majority of people stranded in the great expanse of the world’s oceans after a plane crash or a boat catastrophe usually die from lack of water… not drowning or exhaustion or starvation.

DROUGHT AND DEHYDRATION

While a human can survive without food for three weeks or more, an individual can go without water for only a few days to a week, and that’s under ideal conditions. Add into the situation an increase in temperature, an increase in activity, and the level of salt in his or her diet (if any), and the level of liquid reserves in the body can be drastically reduced.

Only a 5 percent loss of bodily fluids causes a sensation of thirst. If the body is pressed further, that sensation turns into irritability, nausea and weakness. Double the loss to 10 percent, and the victim will experience dizziness, headache, inability to walk, and a tingling sensation in the limbs. A 15 percent loss of body fluids results in dim vision, painful urination, swollen tongue, deafness and a numb feeling in the skin.

The body compensates for the fluid loss by increasing the heart rate and constricting blood vessels to maintain blood pressure and flow to vital organs. Eventually, you’ll feel nausea, weakness and delirium. As you become more dehydrated, the brain and other organs receive less blood, which leads to coma, organ failure and eventually death.

SIGNS OF DEHYDRATION

The most common signs and symptoms of dehydration are dark urine with a very strong odor, darkened skin around the eyes, unusual fatigue, loss of skin elasticity, and a deep line down center of the tongue. It goes without saying that the victim will feel thirsty, but beyond that and the aforementioned sensations, symptoms may coincide with other heat-related ailments, such as heat cramps (muscle cramps due to loss of salt in the body), heat exhaustion (headache, confusion, dizziness, excessive sweating), and heat stroke (lack of sweating, quick pulse, nausea, unconsciousness).

COMBATING DEHYDRATION

Your body's normal temperature is 98.6 degrees (F). Your body gets rid of excess heat by sweating. The warmer your body becomes — whether caused by work, exercise, or air temperature — the more you sweat. The more you sweat, the more moisture you lose. Sweating is the principal cause of water loss and one of your biggest enemies if you are dehydrated. However, if you stop sweating during periods of high air temperature and heavy work or exercise, you can quickly develop a heat-related injury.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDEView All

OPTICS-READY EDC

THE SELECTION OF SMALL PISTOLS THAT ARE RED DOT- READY HAS NEVER BEEN BETTER

9 mins read
American Survival Guide
Fall 2020

ON YOUR DOORSTEP

GEAR PACK KEEPS YOU SUPPLIED WITH THE EDC GEAR YOU NEED

6 mins read
American Survival Guide
Fall 2020

AMERICAN EDC

EDC SPECIALTIES: A FOCUS ON TOP CARRY GEAR MADE IN THE U.S.

1 min read
American Survival Guide
Fall 2020

PLANT: PREPPER PLANT ADVISOR

MORE THAN JUST A DECORATION, WILD CHERRIES ARE TASTY AND VERSATILE

5 mins read
American Survival Guide
September 2020

MASTER BARTON BOEHM'S PATH TO PEACE

THERE’S MORE TO MARTIAL ARTS THAN KICKS AND STRIKES.

6 mins read
American Survival Guide
September 2020

HOW TO BUILD A QUAIL TRAP

THIS ANCIENT DESIGN CAN STILL SECURE DINNER TODAY.

6 mins read
American Survival Guide
September 2020

SUUNTO'S CORE BLACK YELLOW TX

THIS OUTSTANDING WATCH IS A VIABLE WAY TO ACCESS PERTINENT—AND PERHAPS LIFESAVING— INFORMATION WHILE IN AREAS OUTSIDE CELL TOWER REACH.

8 mins read
American Survival Guide
September 2020

WHEN COVID-19 CAME TO TOWN

HOW ONE FAMILY DEALT WITH SELF-QUARANTINE

9 mins read
American Survival Guide
September 2020

FOOD FIGHT!

A REVIEW OF THE EPIC SHOPPING PATTERNS OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

8 mins read
American Survival Guide
September 2020

RENOGY'S 1,000-WATT DC/AC SOLUTION

THE RIGHT INVERTER TO POWER KEY ELECTRIC DEVICES

5 mins read
American Survival Guide
September 2020