There are many things you can do to be more prepared when camping. No we don’t mean THAT kind of prepared (this time). You never know when a storm may leave you stranded, a wrong turn will leave you lost, or a wild animal or bad person may force you to seek shelter away from camp. It is essential to be prepared for anything when you are in the great outdoors.
Bring a LifeStraw
A LifeStraw (click to see example) or similar is a critical preparedness tool that can help you get the most essential thing you need to survive – clean water. Using a LifeStraw you can go to any natural water source and drink directly through the device, no matter how dirty the water may appear.
LifeStraws filter out bacteria and particles that are unsafe to drink, leaving you with pure, clean water in a pinch – and we know you stay thirsty.
Read Up on Foraging
Foraging is when you go out into the wild and search for edible plants, animals, or mushrooms. It is an essential skill to have when you may find yourself stranded or lost. Each region has different edible plants, and it is important to know how to identify them accurately.
There are several edible plants that are easy to identify such as greenbrier and many types of conifers that can provide emergency sustenance to someone with just a little prior research. Similarly, knowing how to catch and prepare certain types of insects can also be very useful. A great resource for foragers in the Southern US is the website https://www.foragingtexas.com/. Remember that each region has different flora and fauna and you should make sure you are familiar with the local species to the region you are visiting.
Bring a Knife
A tactical knife (click to see example) is essential not only when stranded, but for camping in general. With a knife you can make a makeshift spear, cut twigs and branches to make a shelter, cut a bitch, and so many other things. Trust me, I’ve been the person looking for a sharp rock to cut something with before and it just isn’t fun.
Bring Fishing Supplies
You might not wake up looking like fresh tilapia when you are camping, but you’ll never go hungry near a lake, river, stream, or beach if you have supplies on the ready to fish for your next meal. Your emergency preparedness kit should always include several fishing hooks and at least one spool of fishing line. Tie the hook to the line, hook an insect such as a grasshopper to it, and toss it out into the water. You can reel in the line by re-spooling it.
There are many really neat “backpacking fishing kits” (click to see several examples) that you can find online that make it even easier to have a normal fishing experience from your preparedness supplies.
Bring a Flashlight
A flashlight (click to see example) isn’t just for those times when you need to walk to the tree at night after a few beers. They are essential to survival at night if you have to walk through the woods or don’t have a fire. They can also be used to alert people to your presence if you are calling for help. Even better is to have multiple types of light such as a hand held flashlight and a head lamp. Don’t forget to bring extra batteries or a battery pack.
Have a First Aid Kit
You should always have a first aid kit handy. No matter if you are camping, glamping, at home, driving, etc. You never know when something unexpected may happen, and it is always good to be prepared.
Make sure you have bandages of several sizes, antibacterial ointment, alcohol or peroxide, gauze, and wraps at a minimum. Bandaging wounds is first and foremost the most essential first aid capability you need. You will also benefit by having some aspirin or Tylenol handy as well as stomach medication and allergy medication to be safe. This compact first aid kit on Amazon has all the essentials. You should always review a first aid kit’s contents to make sure it has things that you specifically need. Like – maybe yours needs some dude wipes and a fleet enema? You can do you.
If you already take prescription medication regularly, you should always, always have extra on hand in your first aid kit in case you misplace your bottle or are unable to return to where the bottle is located.
Bring a Whistle
SOS isn’t just a Rihanna song – it’s a word and code that you should commit to memory.
short short short, long long long, short short short
. . . – – – . . .
This is the Morse code for SOS and it means you need help. If you find yourself pinned by a tree, pinned to a tree (sometimes this is a good thing), or stranded without the ability to find camp you can send a help message long distances by whistling an SOS. Survival whistles (click to see example) can be heard from 2+ miles away.
Many people know this code and will attempt to find you if they hear this.
Have a Charged Power Bank
A wise woman once said, “How I’m ‘posed to live without my cell phone?”.
Its hard to survive without a cell phone in any environment and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be prepared to charge it in an emergency. Cell phones are useful even if there is no cell service. Having a cell phone may be laughed at by many who think you should disconnect completely when camping, but many have compasses built in, offline map capabilities, flashlights, and other essential survival tools.
A well-charged, large power bank (click to see example) can re-charge a cell phone multiple times over and should be a part of your preparedness pack.
Have Matches or a Lighter
Sure, there are many ways to start a fire (and it is a great skill to learn), but nothing replaces the good old match or lighter when it comes to setting kindle alight. Having a fire is good for warmth, signaling where you are, and for cooking foraged food. Don’t risk not having these things by not being prepared!
Bring a Compass and Map
Remember the old days before smart phones when we had to search for an address on MapQuest and print out the directions? Yeah, maybe you don’t, zoomer – but having a physical map and a compass is a great way to find your way back to civilization. Listen for dog barks in the distance, cars driving on roads, or look for lights in the distance to find the nearest town. Check your map and reference your compass to try to find your bearings. You’ll find your way back in no time!
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