Water Collection Using a Plastic Shopping Bag

Water Collection Using a Plastic Shopping Bag

August 25, 2023 / Comments (1)

Do It Yourself

In a survival situation, water is a necessity. (Well, water is necessity no matter what!)

These days we have plumbing bring water to our homes, making it easy to collect and drink. However, it wasn’t always that way. Before modern plumbing, people had to put in serious labor to go collect their water.

We should practice the water collecting skills of old just to be safe.

If you are in a wilderness survival situation, you have no plumbing and may not have a water collection system. Remember, you can only survive three days without water. What can you do?

If you happen to have a Ziploc bag,  grocery bag, or any other plastic bag, you may just survive. Plants release excess water from their leaves and you can use your bag to collect the water. (Be sure not to get water from poisonous plants.)

Note: In this example, I will be using a plastic grocery bag because it can be easily tied to a tree branch.


Look inside your plastic bag and be sure there are no hole, or else the bag will not work properly.

Find a large plant or a tree with a leafy branch. A branch in the sun will work much better because the water will evaporate from the leaves faster due to the heat of the sun.


Tie the bag to the leafy branch and be sure to double check for no holes. You may need string to keep the bag onto the branch.

Adding a small weight within the bag, such as a small rock, will enable the water to stay in one area of the bag. It will be easier to drink that way.

Leave the bag on the branch out in the sun for a full 12 hours. (If it is not sunny, this will not work very well.) Having more than one bag out on a branch is ideal.


Always be sure to filter or boil all water collected in the wilderness. Here are some tips for purifying water in a survival situation.


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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 25, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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Water Collection Using a Plastic Shopping Bag

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