Your 10 Must Have Safety Tools for Camping in the Wild
Basic human survival techniques are all but forgotten in this day of convenience foods, electronics and automobiles. However, knowing a little bit about how to survive without all of our modern conveniences is a good idea in case of an emergency or if you find yourself lost in the woods while hiking. A family camping trip is a good way for families to learn these skills while spending some quality time together. Before you venture out into the woods, make sure that you’ve packed these ten must-have safety tools.
1. Water and more water
Bring more than you think you need and take any opportunity to refill your canteens and water jugs. Although most of us can survive for almost a month without food, water is much more critical and the lack can turn a fun excursion into a fight for survival.
Even if you think you know where you’re going, it’s easy to get turned around and disoriented in the woods. Even the best trackers get lost occasionally. A basic compass and a map can help you get to where you want to be.
Yes, it’s possible to start a fire for heat or cooking by rubbing two dry sticks together, but it’s not as easy as it sounds, particularly if you’re already cold and hungry. Better to take along a good supply of matches in a waterproof container.
4. First aid kit
While you hope you won’t need it, any smart camper carries at least a basic first aid kit. Make sure it includes sterile bandages, antiseptic ointment, Band-Aids, ace bandages, tape, scissors, aspirin or ibuprofen. If your group is allergic to bee stings or other critters found in nature, be sure to bring along the necessary treatment.
5. Non-perishable food items
Although you can survive for days without food, no one really wants to do that. Pack a good supply of food items, including some that don’t require cooking. Good choices include dried fruit, nuts, and pasta. Canned foods are fine, but they add weight to your pack.
6. Emergency flares
Depending on where you’re camping, you may not have cell phone reception. Don’t count on it in the event of an emergency. Pack flares so that you can alert rescuers in the off-change that you’ll need them.
7. Pocket knife
One of the most essential pieces of camping gear, a Swiss army knife, can do everything from opening cans to cutting a path in the woods.
8. Water purifier
Not all lakes and streams hold drinkable water. It’s a sound practice not to drink any water that’s not labeled as drinkable. If you’re unsure, use iodine tablets to purify the water or invest in a hand-cranked water purifying system.
Another essential piece of camping gear, make sure to pack a small and bright flashlight along with an extra set of batteries in a waterproof bag.
Nylon rope is both versatile and lightweight. You can use it to hang up your laundry or your food, tie together your tent, and dozens of other applications. 100 feet is generally enough.
While a primitive camping trip can be an experience your family will remember for years to come, it can be dangerous without the right gear. Prepare for the unexpected and make sure your pack contains all the safety items you’ll need.
The editor of Resounding Earth, and pursuer of relatively interesting information, Simon has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing and Journalism from the University of Wales, and is a photo-journalist and writer whose written and photographic work has been represented by the AFP news agency and appeared in newspapers across Europe and Asia.