Camping In Remote Locations

Hector Santana
4 min readJul 14, 2022

How You Can Get Water From Trees

Finding water out there can be an arduous task. Trees may help your cause if you know where to look

If you like camping in remote locations, you know how hard it can be to get drinking water. The question always arises. How do you find drinking water in such a hostile environment? What should I look for? Well, aside from traditional water sources, several species of trees produce water. Knowing which ones they are and how to extract the water are important tools for survival.

Trees like Sycamore and Hickory trees are excellent sources of water when you are in a bind. The water is often sweet and contains electrolytes that are critical for your body. Wherever you see a sycamore, you can assume an underground water source keeps the tree alive. Another water source is the Maple tree. Most people associate maple trees with pancake syrup. But Maple trees have a sugary sap accessible from winter to early spring. The sap is sweet water that when boiled will turn into a syrup. Like many of the other trees, you can tap water from this tree, but it will have to be used quickly or it will go bad.

You can find water in the hollow chambers of a bamboo tree. Each ring acts as a bottle cap trapping the water.

Birch trees are another water source. Water harvested from birch trees in the early spring during the day can only be consumed three times a day due to the levels of Manganese contained in the sap. Birch pollen allergies can also make drinking birch water dangerous so know if you are allergic before you take a drink. Bamboo trees are awesome. They are lightweight, strong, and can be used for any number of things. But did you know that bamboo trees store water in their rings? You can tap that water by cutting a hole just above the ring where the water is normally contained. Smell the water before drinking. If it smells bad try another section. The tree will survive as long as it remains standing.

Banana and plantain trees as well as sugarcane stalks are all water sources. Cutting them down to their stalk will cause water to rise for about three to four days. Creating a scoop in the center of the stump will make it easier to collect the water. The first few fillings will be bitter but after that, it should taste better. We all know about coconut trees and coconut water. But did you know that brown coconuts have a nutrient that acts as a laxative? Yes, don’t drink too much too quickly or you will solve one problem and create another one just as dangerous. Other palm trees that contain water are the Buri, Sugar, Nips, and the Rattan. In parts of Africa and Australia, you can find the Baobab tree, a tree that stores water at its base during the wet season. In some places, the locals protect these trees to preserve the tree and the water. The tree will quickly heal itself when tapped to prevent it from losing water.

You can frequently find water at the base of the Baobab tree where it collects during the wet season.

In western Africa, the Umbrella Tree will offer you a drink as will the Traveler’s Tree in Madagascar. The Travelers tree stores water in each of its leaf stalks in a cup-like sheath. The tree holds water along its base as well. But why make a hole when you can just grab some water from its cups? Make sure to strain out any unwanted insects or debris. While we are at it, vines are not necessarily trees, but they do contain water and should be considered a viable water source where you find them. Simply cut the vine and drink or collect the water.

Ok, so there you have some trees that offer water in a situation where water is scarce. Remember, tapping a tree involves making a hole at an angle or upward about 2 1/2 inches into the tree. Placing a straw-like spile into the hole guides the water out into a container. Not all trees offer water so don’t go experimenting on trees. Most trees have a milky-like sap that is toxic to you so don’t try it in desperation. Safe trails out there.

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Hector Santana

*Top Writer-Camping and Survival. I love to write about the great outdoors, survival and foreign policy. An avid outdoorsman and survival instructor.