When you’re going camping, it’s crucial you know some basics about outdoor survival. You don’t have to be a total expert, but you should know a few critical things about surviving in the wilderness and the environment you are going camping in. This includes knowing what types of dangers and risks are in the area and how to avoid them.
It also involves knowing what to do in the event of an emergency. Your emergency plan should be part of your survival guide anytime you go outdoor hiking or camping. While some specifics will change based on the person, location, time of year, and other factors, everyone should know some survival basics.
For the sake of this article, we’re going to take a look at those basics, and you can use them to plan your next camping trip.
The best way to prepare for a disaster is to plan ahead. When you pack smartly before your camping trip, you’ll have all the essentials you need for anything that might pop up. This means all the usual stuff like tents and tarps and food and extras like a utility knife, backup batteries or generator, compass and map in case GPS or phones fail, and other similar survival items.
Most of these items are small enough and will not take up too much extra room in your camping supply bags when packed smartly. And then the time comes that you need them, you’ll be so grateful you had them!
Bring Extra Clothing
As a general rule, you’re always told to dress in layers when camping or hiking. This is because temperature shifts can come on quickly, especially when the sun comes up or goes down or if you were to get wet from the rain. The best way to ensure your chances of survival is to pack extra clothing for any emergencies. A shirt or other material could also be torn and made into bandages, filters for water, and more in a spot.
Bring Extra Hydration
In a survival situation, you can go without food for a lot longer than you can go without water. So extra hydration is going to be very important. You should bring enough for everyone, plus a bit extra, and also something like a water filter or water purification tabs, should you find yourself in an emergency and running out of water.
In addition to these preparation tips, you can significantly benefit from learning some survival “quick tips” or hacks. If you struggle with remembering these things, you might purchase a pocket-sized guide and bring it with you. They can teach you things like how to start a proper fire, how to use a smoke signal to call for help, how to wrap a sprained ankle, how to split a broken arm, how to use mud to keep biting insects at bay, and so much more.
Unless you are a seasoned vet at camping yourself, you may not know all of these things, but you can learn from the pros who have gone before you. Surviving in the woods, mountains, or other outdoor environments can be rough, especially when you don’t have a good set of outdoor survival skills.
If you’re very new to outdoorsy stuff, you should stick to designated campgrounds monitored regularly by park rangers and that count and track the number of people in each camping party. Should anything happen to you or anyone in your party, help would be nearby and available.
But as you gain more experience in these areas, you may start trying more difficult campsites and hikes, and that is when your survival skills will come into play.
Some important things to learn before you go:
- Navigation – and how to find your way if you get lost
- Hunting or fishing – how to get your own food if your supplies run out
- What not to touch/eat – which plants, berries, and creatures are venomous and poisonous, so you know to avoid them
- What IS safe to eat/touch – what plants, insects or berries, and mushrooms are safe to eat in your area in a survival situation
- How to build a fire – without matches, can you make a fire
- How to create your shelter – can you find or make your refuge from the elements if your tent is destroyed?
These are just a few things that more experience camping and outdoor enthusiasts learn over time. If you don’t know all of this stuff already, it’s okay, but it can help you learn, especially if you plan to spend more time camping or camping outside of state parks. Stay smart and stay safe!