Dew Collection for Survival Water

by Erich

Besides air, water is of primary importance if you hope to stay alive longer than a few days in a survival situation. And if you’re stuck in a place where your source of water becomes polluted and you have no filter available there is still a way to get distilled, potable water — and that is through dew.

Collecting dew is a rather simple process, however there are a few guidelines that need to be followed if you plan on using this method:

Guidelines for Collecting Dew

Do not collect dew in these circumstances:

  • On or near poisonous plants
  • On plants or objects that are chemically treated or sprayed
  • In areas where obvious animal defecation has taken place
  • Near roadsides

How to Collect Dew

Dew collection requires only three steps:

Step 1: Find an area with a good amount of dew

The best time to gather dew is in the early morning before the sun has touched your collection area. My favorite areas are fields and untreated lawns. Plants with large leaves like grape or burdock also work fairly well.

Step 2: Wipe up the dew with an absorbent material

The basic way to collect dew is to take an absorbent material such as a cotton t-shirt, lightweight towel, rag, or my favorite: a ShamWow, and wipe it over grass, boulders, or other objects:

This also works for post rain, but there are better ways to collect rain water.

Step 3: Wring out the dew

Next, just wring it out into some container (or your mouth):

Dew Collections Yields and Filtering

You can get quite a lot of dew in a short time. For example, I was able to fill this 16oz glass with dew water in about 3 minutes. That equates to about a gallon of water in a half-hour’s time period! And although it is a bit cloudy, it’s quite potable.

Keep in mind that although dew is really distilled water, if you have a water filter available or at least can boil it, by all means make sure you do it. There is still a chance that you could collect the due from an area where an animal infected with Giardia or another illness has defecated.

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Comment by Kim Jones
2011-09-07 09:29:26

Thanks, i was wondering how to gather potable water for storage besides buying it and this is a great way to buy filters now and pore the water through it for storage after boiling. Shamwow? Cool.

Comment by Steve in La
Comment by Eric Pinola
2011-10-18 15:36:49

SHAM-WOW! This is a great idea that many people might not know about. I have used a tee shirt to soak up little drips of water when rock climbing a big wall once in Mexico after we lost our main haul bag. We still we able to finish the route and it gave us a good lesson on surviving without.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2011-10-18 16:02:26

That’s great! Thanks for sharing. It’s amazing how much water you can get this way. Keep in mind that in the desert there’s an entire ecosystem that lives off the dew.

Comment by Jason
2012-01-05 23:18:40

There’s apparently a desert dwelling toad that hibernates underground, and some natives will find them by their own methods and squeeze them to drink the water out of them . . . not sure what orifice it exits . . . don’t wanna know. . . I don’t plan to go to whatever Country that was where I heard it exists. But I’m sure for some people it’s worth looking up.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-01-06 18:11:24

Yeah…lol I’m not sure if that’s something I want to know:)

Comment by Uncle B
2012-07-27 13:34:46

Restore America
Crosley ‘IcyBall” with Fresnel lens array, Solar heat, could possibly bring even more cool night-time condensation ?

Can we build a “cold cellar” using a Fresnel lens array, and a Crosley Icyball?
Hope this helped. A communal effort – rare in America? Time now for change, drought may force this? Barn-Raisings of old, are counter intuitive to the raging, predatory, opportunist, vulture capitalists of today, but in our forefathers day they were a boon to business and industry. What changed? When did Capitalists move from “useful tools of Democratic governments” to pariahs threatening freedoms? America! Restore yourself, before it is too late? Canada loves the peons, not the American system?

Comment by pem
2012-10-25 10:25:18

Steri-pens use UV to sterilize clear water. They not only kill Giardia, etc., but will also kill viruses.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-10-26 06:59:56

Hey Pem,

I’ve heard some great things about these pens but have not tried them yet.

Comment by fathi Chatila
2012-11-15 05:40:53


I would appreciate having someone telling me how to collect dew in mountainous regions where water supply during summer is rarely available and lots of dew during night . What is the best way to collect dew that will keep the home owner satisfied with the water collected.

What material is best to use that will collect due to be stored during night in small vessels or reservoirs.

has any body applied such a way and what were the results?

Many thanks

fathi Chatila

Comment by David
2012-11-20 16:15:35

Ladybug ladybug
Climbing up a flower
Ladybug ladybug
Bet you take a shower
In the dew

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