Beside sustainable development, vulnerability might be the most frequently used expression in environmental studies. Vulnerability depends on the intensity of the impacts on a natural or social system as well as on its adaptive capacity. Appropriate adaptation warrants successful survival of the system even under high impact, when its vulnerability is significantly reduced; therefore, measuring adaptive capacity should have an established place in the methodology of impact – adaptation – vulnerability research. The main problem is to find relevant data that are required to establish indicators. In our study, the focus was laid on measuring adaptive capacity within vulnerability research, and on identifying possibilities for accurate calculation of adaptation. An attempt was made to determine the adaptive capacity to droughts in the micro-regions of Zala County. It could be established that the adaptive capacity of the population in the rural areas of Zala County to the expected increase in drought frequency is very low, which can be primarily explained by the lack of knowledge about adaptive agriculture.