I recently did a little experiment during our winter weather. The premise was, if we were to lose utilities from an extended amount of time (or I was lost outdoors) and I needed to melt snow for water, I needed to know how much water can you get from snow.
I have heard and read that it takes a lot of snow to make a decent amount of water, and that you should always melt the snow rather than eat it frozen. This is so you don’t risk hypothermia using our body heat to melt it.
My problem was, that when the snow was new and powdery, I spent much of my time trying to figure out how to get to work and did not think about experimenting until things stabilized and the snow was melting.
The snow I used was starting to get slushy so my yields were higher than I expected, but the video below shows why even with “perfect” snow you should store water instead of planning on melting ice and snow.
It just isn’t energy efficient to try to melt snow, and your sure should never try to eat snow for water – storing water is just too simple to do to have to resort to last minute efforts like melting snow for water. If you want to know more about storing water, we have a water storage post that makes it simple.
Now you see that the question is not How much water can you get from snow, but rather why don’t you have other options.