When people go camping, it’s usually to relax and unwind. Yet, a positive camping experience can easily turn negative if you are not prepared for it.
Instead of putting all of the focus into who is bringing the hot dogs, there needs to be planning in regards to safety and survival. Planning camping trips like this can hone your survival skills and keep you in practice should the worst happen.
For example, if the road you took to reach your campsite suddenly became inaccessible, (flooded, tree-fall blockage), do you think your supplies would last the extended time? To ensure a peace of mind, you need to address the five elements of preparedness when planning your camping trip: water, food, shelter, energy and self-defense.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
The first thing to do when you plan your trip is gather extra water. This is crucial to your survival if ever you were stuck in the wilderness. Pack an extra 3gallons-worth per person, which is essentially a three-day supply. If you are planning on camping near water, a water filtration device could turn the water source into a drinkable one. Food is the next item that you need to pack extra of. Select three days’ worth of nonperishable foods that can withstand not being cooked or refrigerated.
“SELECT THREE DAYS’ WORTH OF NONPERISHABLE FOODS THAT CAN WITHSTAND NOT BEING COOKED OR REFRIGERATED.”
Your shelter is another important aspect to camping preparedness. Most people use a tent when camping, which, for the most part, is an efficient structure. A great idea is to bring supplies (tarps, ropes, tools, extra blankets) to add to your tent in case of unpredicted weather. Also, scope out your campsite for natural resources you could use for the strengthening of your shelter, such as boulders and trees. These may be lifesaving if the elements become too rough.
Power is the next source to address when planning your camping trip. Flashlights, batteries and fire-starting supplies are just some of the items you should have plenty of. Solar power products are also an excellent way to receive an energy supply. There are many innovative ones on the market nowadays, including cell phones chargers, which would be another form of smart prepping.
“INSTEAD OF PUTTING ALL OF THE FOCUS INTO WHO IS BRINGING THE HOT DOGS, THERE NEEDS TO BE PLANNING IN REGARDS TO SAFETY AND SURVIVAL. ”
Having a form of self-defense is necessary when it comes to camping preparedness. For some people, a gun may be the right choice as long as they are properly trained in its usage. If not, choose a weapon that you would be comfortable in handling (knife, Crovel, Diablo flashlight). Be sure to keep your self-defense items in a safe area, out of the reach of children.
Planning a camping trip is a big responsibility and should be taken seriously. Concentrating on the five elements of preparedness (water, food, shelter, energy and self-defense) will help you do so properly. Only then will you be able to focus on the best part of camping: being able to relax.
“Survival can be summed up in three words: NEVER GIVE UP. That’s the heart of it, really. Just keep trying.”
- Water (three-day supply)
- Food (three-day supply)
- Shelter (harsh-weather tent add-ons)
- Energy (flashlights, batteries, solar power, fire-starting items)
- Defense (knife, Crovel, Diablo flashlight)
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the April 2014 print issue of American Survival Guide.