How to find WATER in Arizona--FAST
You'll need: a very sharp knife, a couple of sheets of plastic or plastic bags, something to collect it in (plastic milk carton cut in half, cups or cans), a small shovel. Click on the images to enlarge them.
1. Hedgehog cactus. Without touching the needles, cut the top off , then cut down the sides as if you were peeling a cucumber. Cut the exposed fleshy part off and chew it. It's slimy but not unpleasant and you'll get the moisture you need. Discard the membrane..do not swallow it. Do not exceed 1 quart per day or it will make you nauseous. (Reevis School of Survival lesson).
2. Wrap a plastic bag loosely around tree branches and fasten. Mesquite and palo verde are preferable. You can collect about 1-2 cups per day per branch. It's a process known as transpiration. Trees give off both oxygen and water through their leaves.
3. "Solar still".Dig a hole in loose arroyo sand about 12-20 inches deep and about 2 feet wide. In the center, put the container for collecting water. Knock down prickly pear cactus pads and arrange them around the container. Use your shovel to cut the cactus into pieces. Put the plastic sheet over the top, securing it with dirt around the edges to seal it. Drop a rock into the center of the plastic over the container. You'll have water in about 60 seconds! You can also eat the ripe red fruit.
4. Just like gold, water can be found in the inside curves of dry creek beds (arroyos). Use your shovel. It isn't pretty and clear but it can save your life out here.
5. Look for bushes with green leaves. There's likely to be a small spring or water nearby.