10 Must Know Survival Camping Hacks

by Jason Mueller on May 31, 2017

10 Must Know Survival Camping Hacks

10 Must Know Survival Camping Hacks

Survival skills are a must if you plan to spend any time in the great outdoors camping. This holds true for those who like a more rugged trip and camping in tents as well as those who enjoy RV camping with family and a more leisurely lifestyle during a camping trip. Having survival skills means that you know ways to do things when in the wild that could potentially be lifesaving to yourself or someone else. Some of these skills to use in the wilderness include skills for food and water, shelter keeping warm and even keeping the wildlife away or staying safe when you encounter something furry and ferocious during your camping adventure.

Many people assume that survival skills are a means to someone living in the wilderness like Grizzly Adams or a mountain man who never sees the city. While quite a few people learn these skills to live off the land and stay safe in the woods, many learn them to enhance their camping experience and to be able to be closer to nature without harming anything as well as being able to stay safe while in the wilderness. If you are planning a camping trip and want to learn a few great skills to help you while on your outdoors journey, here are ten of the top survival skills that may help you along the way.

Find an acceptable campsite

Find an Acceptable Campsite

When you plan to sleep in a tent, you need to find a site that is on higher ground where you won’t be susceptible to flowing water. If it rains, you do not want to be in the path of a flood. You also need to make sure the campsite is not directly underneath dead tree limbs or sitting on top of insect nests such as an ant hill. If you are truly roughing it in the wild, you should also try to camp near a source of water and make sure there is plenty of wood laying around for your fire.

Bring Food from Home

Bring Food from Home

While most people will pack canned foods, hamburger meat or hot dogs, beef jerky, trail mix, and other easy to eat foods, you may want to consider packing full precooked meals frozen in Ziploc bags that can be tossed in a pot and cooked over the campfire. The frozen bags will be a great way to keep other foods nice and cold in the cooler and will allow your family to sit down to a nice meal during the camping trip. This is a great idea if you have beef stew, vegetable soup or other easy to heat and serve dinners that can be cooked and frozen for heating up and eating later.

Prepare Your Tent for Rain

Prepare Your Tent for Rain

No matter how hot and dry it may be, there is always a chance of rain. Before you head out to the wild, be sure to swing by the hardware store or the local Walmart camping section and grab a can of waterproofing sealant. This needs to be sprayed on the tent including the seams to make sure water won’t leak inside if it should come a downpour. A rainstorm can ruin a camping trip, especially if water floods the tent because it hasn’t been waterproofed.

Freeze Water Before the Trip

Freeze Water Before the Trip

Before you pack up the cooler in the car or put all the cold stuff in the RV, fill up several water jugs, or empty milk jugs, with fresh water and freeze the jugs. Not only will you have a viable source of drinking water, but you will also have a great way to keep cold food nice and cold and you will even have ice for your cold drinks if you like ice.

Getting a Fire Going

Getting a Fire Going

Camping would not be the same without a good campfire to sit around at night. You need to start with a large log, at least eighteen inches long and several inches thick. Generally, this is about the size of a man’s forearm is a decent size for a log. Larger logs will also work. You need to light tinder and get enough lit while stacking it against the larger log, or logs. Once the log ignites, be sure to keep feeding it tinder as the day, or evening progresses so you can keep the fire going while you need it to burn. Before settling in for the night or leaving the campsite, the fire needs to be completely extinguished to avoid starting a wildfire.

Make a Double-Sided Fire Pit

Make a Double-Sided Fire Pit

A campfire is great for warmth, ambience and sitting around in the evenings. It’s even perfect for roasting marshmallows, s’mores, or hotdogs and telling a ghost story or two before bedtime. If you want to cook your food over a source that has even heat, you may want to make a double-sided fire pit and use one side for the campfire and the other side for coals to cook. You can cook many types of food including meats and vegetables, over the coals and they will cook evenly. Cooking over a fire often means that everything cooks at the same temperature and will cook fast and possibly burn over the fire. You might also want to bring along a campfire roasting log to get your fire started.

Remember: fire safety first!

Avoid Ticks and Snakes

Avoid Ticks and Snakes

Ticks are a natural part of the great outdoors and not only are the annoying, but they also carry Lyme disease. A tick can be sneaky as they crawl, or fall, onto your body during a hike to the campsite or down a long and lonesome trail through the woods. They latch on and will burrow their heads into your skin where they are not easy to remove. To avoid ticks, try mixing up a little tea tree oil and water and use it as a spray to repel them. To make a mix, use around 40 drops of tea tree oil mixed with 16 ounces of water and put it in a spray bottle to take along with you during your trip. Be sure to use the spray daily and check yourself and your family for ticks from head to toe before settling down for the night. You also want to keep your eyes peeled for snakes and even snake skins along trails. If you see a snake, the best thing to do is try to avoid encountering it. While most snakes you see are probably not poisonous, it’s better to be safe than sorry when out in the woods and far from a medical clinic.

Make a Compass

Make a Compass

You can always tell which direction you are heading even if you don’t have a compass to show you the way. All you need is a long straight stick and a little sunshine. Take the stick and drive it into the ground so it will stand up straight on its own. Place a rock or other small object just at the point of the sticks shadow. After a few minutes, place another rock or object at the shadow. It will move approximately every 20-30 minutes. The first rock will be the western end and the second rock will mark the east. From there, you will know whether you are heading east or west.

Keep track of time

Keep Track of Time

When you plan to hike through the woods or take a quick dip in the water, whether the terrain is rough and isolated or it is near a major roadway or where people can easily locate you if you get lost, you need to keep track of time. Check the time just as you are beginning your hike and be sure to check it frequently to make sure you time yourself to have plenty of time to return to the campsite before it is dark. While spending time with family on a long hike or taking time to splash in then water by the lake may be a great deal of fun, making sure you get back to your campsite or RV before dark is important when you are in the woods.

Animal Safety

Animal Safety

Animals can be extraordinary to see in their natural habitat, but even small animals can be annoying, or even dangerous if you do not take some precautions to keep you and your family as well as your campsite and food safe from them. You should always keep your campsite clean and keep all food in sealed, airtight containers suspended on wire away from the tent or RV. Garbage needs to be disposed of promptly either in cans provided by the park or in bear-proof containers hung from a wire away from sleeping areas. You should never have food inside the tent and this includes snack bars and small candies. Most importantly, never feed the animals that you see. While they might appear hungry and will surely be appreciative of any food you can give them, small animals will attract larger, and possibly dangerous animals including bears and cougars. Keeping yourself and your friends or family safe from animals is far more important than feeding a cute squirrel or raccoon a peanut or snack bar to make them happy.

If you are taking a camping trip with friends in the rugged wild or you are planning a docile camping trip in your RV with family or friends, you need to make sure you are fully prepared for anything that may come your way in the woods. You would take precautions when preparing for safe transportation for your RV trip and this is no different as you must prepare for your camping trip by ensuring that you know what to do if you encounter animals, take a hike, build a fire or sit down for a meal. Survival skills are a necessity anytime you plan on spending time in the woods and away from civilization and no matter how many times you have been camping, there is always time to learn something new to prepare for safety before you head out to the wilderness.

This post was written by Jason Mueller

Jason is a car show enthusiast who enjoys spending time traveling with his company A-1 Auto Transport and entering into car shows with his 69 Chevy. His all time favorite car is a 69 Shelby Mustang.

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