[ExI] How long can you survive without water?

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Wed Jan 27 10:46:36 UTC 2010

On 1/27/10, Max More wrote:
> I thought you couldn't survive more than a few days -- a week maximum --
> before dying of dehydration. This guy is alive after two weeks:
> http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35086799/ns/world_news-haiti_earthquake/
>  The details are minimal, so perhaps he did absorb some moisture somehow.
> Anyone know if surviving this long without water is unprecedented or not?

The BBC says 12 days because he was trapped in an aftershock while
trying to loot the shop, (which had been frequently looted). I would
guess that even the 12 day figure is debatable.

Survivalists have the general 3-3-3 rule for survival.
3 hours for freezing, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food.
This works fine as a rough average. If you are young and healthy and
temperature and humidity are not extreme, you could probably double
these estimates.

Wikipedia says that an aircrew apparently survived 8 days in a life
raft without water. One case in the Australian outback survived 12
days, but he ate some flowers and plants, which probably gave him some
moisture. In the case of trapped people, lying still avoids loss of
moisture by perspiration and sometimes condensation or rainwater can
be obtained.

So, survival without water varies depending on age, health and weather
conditions. Babies and animals die after a few hours if left in a car
in the hot sun. But 7 to 8 days in the open is probably about the
limit (unless you can catch some rainwater).


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