When we think of the outdoors, the first thing that comes to our mind is sitting by the river, eating freshly caught fish and cooking with a big smile on our face. But that’s how things are in our mind. In reality, surviving outdoors is not as easy and simple as it may seem in your head.
Before we head to all about outdoor survival, let’s first talk about what outdoor survival is. In simple words, outdoor survival is spending a few days in the wilderness. It is essentially about getting close to nature and liking nature without any facility like electricity, houses, etc.
Different people go camping and hiking for different reasons. Some simply find it enchanting and like to spend some time in the quiet without the hustle-bustle of the city life. In contrast, others do that for pure fun and adventure. Either way, there are some strict rules for camping and surviving in the wilderness, and these rules can’t be mended.
When you are planning for outdoor camping, you need to take care of a few things. Apart from the important gear that you need for survival, you must have the nerves, knowledge, and understanding of living outdoors. If you are someone who loves to spend time outdoors, the experience you gain along the way will be beneficial. However, if you are someone who is new to the whole camping and outdoor survival thing, it is better to plan with someone who is experienced enough. That’s because outdoor survival is not as easy as it seems. There are a lot of small things that you should know about.
Now, if you plan an outdoor camping trip, you will need some essential things. For someone who is now to the whole experience, you need a checklist that includes all the important things in the outdoor survival gear.
If you are still wondering what things you need, here are ten most have products that you should never forget when preparing for an outdoor camping trip:
1. Camping bag
Probably the first thing on your list for must-have outdoor survival essentials is the camping bag or backpack. It is a thing that will keep your other essential items. So, there is no compromise on this one. Especially if you are new to the whole camping thing, start with the camping bag! Now, you will find several types of camping bags. Some are made of fabric, while others are made of water-proof, heat-proof material. You will even find some that are made of parachute stuff. Whatever you choose to buy depends upon your destination of camping and your budget. If you are going camping in a forest in the rainy season, a water-proof bag is necessary. However, if you plan to hike and run a few mountains, a fabric bag pack will do the work.
Now, when buying a camping bag, the other thing you have to keep in mind apart from the quality is the number of pockets it has. Because it is the only thing that you will bring, it should be spacious enough to accommodate your essential items, clothes, and a few food items. Thus, it is of utmost importance that the bag pack has compartments, small pockets, and additional space for keeping the things.
2. Navigating equipment
The next important thing you should consider buying after the backpack is the navigation equipment. You don’t want to get lost in the wilderness, do you? Especially if you are going to a place for the first time, you need to make sure you have everything that will help you find your way. Here are a few things you can choose from in the navigation equipment:
- topographic map: whether it’s a short trip or a longer one, a topographic map is a must. It won’t just give you the Indiana Jones’ feeling, but it also helps to understand the land and its area. But above all, it is fun. Reading a map tells you a lot about your surroundings and, in times of distress, can help you a lot.
- Compass: You might have seen adventurers keeping a compass in documentaries and even movies, but trust me, they don’t keep it just for fun. It actually comes in handy. Even when you have the technology of GPS in your smartphones and smartwatches, nothing can beat an analog compass. So, make sure you have a small compass with you every time you go out camping.
Most people tend to rely on smartphones and GPS technology, but the true essence of camping is to leave behind the world of technology and rely on your instincts. For this reason, having a topographic map and a compass is essential.
Also read: Map and Compass Navigation
3. Bushcraft knife
Most people don’t realize the importance of a bushcraft knife. Some even confuse it with a simple knife. But, in reality, a bushcraft knife is a lot more than your kitchen knife. For one, It is made specifically for outdoor or survival. The quality is extraordinary. And so is the built. A bushcraft knife is a small-sized knife that also lights in weight. Its blade is made from premium grade carbon steel that is not just sharp but is also brittle. Usually, the knife blade is also coated with a material that makes it resistant to corrosion from humidity. Furthermore, the handle is also made for convenient handling during the wilderness.
The beauty of having a bushcraft knife is that you can use it for several purposes. You can use it for cutting rope and bushes, skinning food, woodcutting, carving, and much more. Above all, some bushcraft knives are also ideal for batoning. Also, many bushcraft knives come with a fire starter making it a perfect choice for the wilderness. A bushcraft knife is a perfect survival knife and is fit for camping and outdoor survival.
4. First aid kit
As you go for a hike or camp in the wilderness, you are always prone to accidents. Whether it is a foot-slip or a rash from poisonous bushes, you need to make sure you have the right equipment to help you overcome these shortfalls. So, a first-aid kit is mandatory. Period. It’s a simple formula. You don’t know what’s out there. And how your body will react to the hard outdoor conditions. You might feel ill or get bruises and cuts. So, you need to keep a small first-aid kit with a new important thing like antibiotic capsules, ointments, bandages, tinctures, spirit, Dettol, etc.
What you pack in your first aid kit also depends heavily on the place you are going camping. If you are mountaineering, you might also think of packing splints for fracture support as well. in simple words, you don’t know what is going to happen out there. So, better go prepared for every scenario.
5. Signaling material
Anything can happen when you are out camping. It can be bad weather, or you can get into a distressing situation. You can even get lost or have an accident. In such situations, you need help from outside. Thankfully, you can always find someone patrolling the boundaries or area. In such a case, all you need to do is signal for help. So, signaling material is essential. Here are a few signaling materials that you can choose from:
- Whistle: remember the whistle your baseball instructor had around his neck. It is exactly the one you will need when going camping. A signaling whistle is a small whistle made of plastic that is hung by a thick thread. You can wear it around your neck. And when you are lost or in a distressed situation where you can’t shout, or no one hears your voice, the sound of a whistle can reach out. A plastic whistle is lightweight, easy to carry, and floats as well.
- Flashlight: A flashlight comes in handy in several situations. Especially when you need help at night. Because in the wilderness you won’t find streetlights, a flashlight can help send signals. Also, you will need it to see things at night. So, if you need help at night, you can use a flashlight at night for sending signals. However, make sure you pack a few extra batteries in your backpack as well.
- Flare gun: another good signaling material is a flare gun. It is a small gun that has capsules. As you fire it, the bullet goes up in the air and releases colored smoke. It is a perfect signal for both daytime and nighttime, and you can get help when no one seems to hear your voice or other signals.
6. Water filtration
When you are in the wilderness or out camping, you might not find clean and filtered water. So, the water problem can get a bit out of hand. On average, you can stay alive without water for about 3 days but let’s not get to that. Also, you can’t bring gallons of water with you as you go hiking or camping; it is quite impossible. Water is a basic necessity, and you will need it for just drinking purposes but for tending your wounds and cooking. So, to enjoy freshwater, you will need a water filtration system at hand. Thanks to technological advancements, you can find a handy water filter that helps you get rid of the dust and dirt from the water.
No matter how much you like to spend your night in the open sky looking at the stars, things can get difficult when it starts raining. So, a tent is compulsory. Especially when you plan to spend a few days outdoors, so pack a small tent. You can find several high-quality tents that are waterproof and light in weight. You can easily store it in your backpack and set it up in the wilderness.
A paracord is a type of cord that is made from high-quality nylon. These are not just sturdy but are lightweight as well. Above all, a paracord is very useful for survival. You can use it for fishing. Furthermore, you can braid a few together to make the rope stronger. If you don’t want to buy a huge pack of paracord, you can also buy a paracord rope bracelet that is wearable. It has strength, and you don’t have to stuff it in the bag pack. Simply wear it as a bracelet, and when you need it, you can use it. Quite easy to reach, isn’t it?
9. Cooking equipment
No matter how minimalistic you try to be, you will need some essential equipment for cooking purposes. Let’s say, to the least, and you will need a saucepan, a plate, a glass, tongs, and spoons. So, make sure you have these things on your list. Also, before you buy these, make sure to keep the size in mind. You don’t want to buy a heavy and so huge saucepan that it doesn’t fit in your backpack. It won’t just be a waste of time but will also be a waste of money.
10. Sun protection
When you are out camping in the blazing sun, you will need something to protect your skin from the sunlight. So, don’t forget to pack the following things:
- Sunglasses: sunglasses protect your eyes from the scorching beams of sunlight. Sunglasses are not just for fashion, but they also help you see clearly, especially when you are camping or hiking.
- Sunscreen: You might like tanning, but when you are in the wilderness or hiking, the heat of the sun is very piercing. And especially when you can’t find a shelter, things can get worse for your skin. So, sunscreen can protect your skin to a great extent.
- Sun protecting clothes: To protect your skin and body from the sun’s UV rays, you can also find sun protecting clothes. These clothes are synthetic and lightweight and come with a UPF or ultraviolet protection factor.
No matter how minimalistic you want to get on your camping trip, you need a few essential products. So, what are you waiting for? Head out to the store and get the above-mentioned essential outdoor survival gear now!