The Forest: How to Get and Boil Water

Learn how to efficiently collect and boil water in The Forest

Once you exit the plane and take your first steps on the peninsula, you may be wondering where to go or what to do next. When deciding what your next move is, the best decision is to find a water source as your thirst drains faster than hunger. But before you go drinking the first pool of water that you see, there are some different types of water in The Forest that you should know about.

Types of water

  • Salt Water:  Saltwater is undrinkable for apparent reasons. Found in the ocean and streams directly linked to it. 
  • Fresh/Purified Water: Water that can be consumed safely and obtained from either boiling it in an old pot or collecting it from a water collector.
  • Polluted Water: Water you can consume but risk a 20% chance of getting sick and reduces your health by a tiny portion.

There are many uses for this important resource, so it is crucial to consider building your base near a consistent water source. When fighting mutants, you can hide and evade a dangerous scenario by losing aggro by swimming far enough away from the mutants and washing off any blood or paint that you have on your body to avoid infection.

Most water sources on the peninsula can also be used as a good food source, as fish spawn in ponds, and turtles are usually found spawning frequently on the coastline. 

Locating the Old Pot in The Forest

How to carry and gather water

There are a couple of ways to ensure that you have a consistent drinkable water supply. In the early game, if you are struggling to keep your thirst high and haven’t gathered enough supplies to make a waterskin or haven’t found the old pot yet, you can directly drink water from freshwater sources with the cost of losing a little health and risking sickness. 

Old pot

The holy grail for your water needs, the old pot is the most helpful tool you will find on your journey. To use the old pot, you simply walk up to a water source with it equipped, get close to the water’s edge, and see the on-screen prompt to collect water with the ‘E’ key.

You can collect water from the water collector using the ‘C’ key. Once you have your water, you should boil it by placing it on a campfire and letting it cook for 30 seconds to make it safe to drink. You can also use the old pot to craft a sap collector; however, you will lose your old pot. 

You can find the old pot at five separate locations:

  • The easiest location to find an old pot is in the southwest part of the peninsula. It can be found northwest of the yacht and is located on the coastline on top of a campfire near a tent that you can use to save and rest. Do take caution as there is a patrol route nearby, so be prepared to fight for that pot.
  • The next location is south of Geese lake, located west of the sinkhole. You’ll be able to find the old pot on top of a fire in the center of the filmmaker’s camp. This area is usually pretty safe; however, the journey there may not be as safe, so make sure you come prepared to fight or flee.
  • This one may be pretty easy to miss as the location is very small and doesn’t seem to offer many decent supplies. If you start at the south beachside that has the yacht, go directly north until you see a small tent and some sleeping bags. The pot will be by a pile of bones.
  • You may come across this location a bit later than the others, and however, if you missed the small camping site pot, this one can be found at the camping site north of the small camp and nearly directly south of the sinkhole. You may find the old pot near the tents here, and you can save and rest with both tents, but be cautious of the number of cannibals you may run into to get to this location.
  • The last pot can be located just northeast of the south beachside near the yacht and is an excellent area to gather water and supplies; however, there are many cannibal spawn and patrol areas here. The pot will be located in the pile of sticks arranged in the center of the large wooden cabins there; make sure that nothing follows you when you explore the area.


A waterskin is an excellent tool that you can craft after you manage to hunt your first couple of deer, as the deerskin is required for the recipe. The waterskin allows you to gather water from lakes and ponds, though we recommend filling it from a water collector or boiled water in an old pot. The waterskin can hold enough water to fill your thirst meter to max levels twice, making it good for long journeys and the endgame area. 

Waterskin crafting recipe:

  • 2 Deer Skin
  • 1 Rope

Deer can be found in higher density in the peninsula’s central and southern forest areas. The best way to hunt deer is to take them down from a distance with the bow, as their AI has been updated to flee more frequently. If you can corner a deer with a cliff or water source, the AI may freeze up and allow you to get a very quick and easy kill with the plane axe. 

You can find rope in many caves or cannibal villages, and the safest source of rope to gather early game is located on the yacht, as three spawn there. You can also use 7 cloth to craft a rope, but we recommend saving your cloth for Molotov cocktails and other recipes and only crafting rope in a pinch. 

Water collector

If you want to turn nearly any area on the peninsula into a more permanent shelter, having a couple of water collectors can completely negate the need to search for water. Water collectors work by filling with fresh rainwater whenever it rains and can be consumed or gathered with the waterskin whenever you may need it. 

Water collectors can collect up to 1-5 drinks of water as they gather more water over time. It has been known for water in the collectors to evaporate, but this is not frequent as rain remains moderately consistent.

We recommend filling the water skin as frequently as possible from the collectors vs. directly drinking from the collector. It provides more thirst recovery without consuming as much water from the collector.  

Water collector recipe: 

  • 4 Sticks 
  • 1 Turtle Shell

You can collect turtle shells from the sea turtles constantly spawning on the coastline. A very high spawn rate for turtles is located at the southern beach near the yacht, making it an excellent place to farm to make multiple water collectors. 

Rain and snow

A few mechanics come into play with how rain and snow work in The Forest. Rain occurs randomly on the peninsula, and it will snow when you are in the tundra or mountain areas. Rain and snow will fill up water collectors, so building a base in the tundra or mountains is viable.

Ensure to bundle up if it rains at night or when it snows to avoid any adverse status effects. Cannibals are also less aggressive when it rains, so while your collectors are filling up, you can explore the peninsula without worrying about combat.

You can lead a cannibal to water, but…

With that, you should now have a solid understanding of how to get and boil water in The Forest. Having a solid grasp on how to maintain your freshwater supplies will help give you another edge that’s much needed to survive in this harsh and gruesome game. Being able to plunge into the deep cave system is best done when packing in some water reserves.

For more helpful information and a basic primer to get you started on the right foot, be sure to check out our The Forest Beginner’s Guide.

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About Greysyns

Starting his gaming journey with 1996’s Resident Evil, Greysyns has since played hundreds of titles across several platforms. You’ll often find him racking up hours of gameplay, hunting down rare achievements, or grinding out new content in MMORPGs. With a background in game development and QA testing, Greysyns is equipped with the knowledge and skills to quickly learn a game and uncover hidden secrets and useful strategies to share with other gamers.

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