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Camping can be a leisurely activity, but it can also be a good way to learn survival skills you may need to use in an emergency. Have fun camping with your family, while you’re secretly preparing them for the worst. Here’s a collection of the best camping gear for your next wilderness adventure.
Must-Have Camping Gear
There are many things you might want to take on your camping trip, but there are a few must-have items you need in your camping gear arsenal. Make sure you have these, and then add more as you perfect your personal camping style.
I am always interested in how the lines blur between camping and bugging out. There are very serious similarities that need to be considered in both activities.
Of course, there are some very serious differences. One is for leisure while the other could mean the end of you if you do not execute properly.
Cooking while camping or bugging out is extremely important! Cooking when the power goes out is equally important.
Adding cooking supplies to your camping gear is essential. Here’s some help, so you can prepare.
Picture this, the grid goes down, you need to bug out, you have no food or you lose your can opener. You can use a knife, but constantly using your knife to open cans will dull it and you risk cutting yourself.
Actually, you can use items that you wouldn’t think of to open a can. This is just great if you are camping and you don’t have the right tools.
This is an “I never knew that” moment. Well, at least that’s what I said to my self. Added bonus, there is nothing to add to your camping gear or bug out bag.
I am going to bet that like me, you are on some kind of budget. Being on a budget is great for your bank balance, but not so great for your hobbies and social life.
I am an avid outdoorsman, I love to go hiking and camping whenever I can, the only trouble is the gear is so expensive to do these things.
I found a site that has put together a basic guide that tells us what to spend our hard-earned money on and what not to spend it on.
They have field-tested all items and have found a happy medium of price and effectiveness to keep us happy and safe on our outdoor adventures.
This guide covers effective backpack, tools, sleeping pads/bags, tents and whatnot on a budget. I did not realize you could get camping gear of such good quality for an affordable price!
I am all for spending big bucks on decent camping equipment, you get proven products that keep you warm and safe while camping in the wilderness, but save your money on the little stuff that adds up and can break your wallet if you’re not careful.
Chances are you could save hundreds of dollars a year by using household items you have laying around.
For example, Duct tape can save you from a wet and windy night. Tents rip, I know that from experience. It doesn’t matter how careful you are, accidents happen.
Over at Gizmodo they go over and explain how 23 household items can double up as effective camping gear to not only save you money, but also save you carrying a lot of weight.
Whether you’re on a camping trip or in a post-hurricane situation and need to repair broken material, you can make a gummy-type adhesive using gasoline and Styrofoam.
In a SHTF situation, Styrofoam will be everywhere; gas not so much, but if you needed to make this glue, the 2 things you need could be available in an urban environment.
Winter survival camping can be a real nightmare if you are not careful about it. There are a tremendous amount of things to concern yourself with.
Food sources will be more sparse and it could mean that you are going hungry as well.
Of course, you will be battling the cold and that is a big problem. Now, a fire can change this but there are better options if you are really camping in the winter.
Take a look at 7 of the best tent stoves to make you a winter camping hero. These are all stoves that go into your tent and radiate heat through the tent. This is requisite camping gear for long term camping or bugging out in cold climates.
This means you have to worry about the cold no more. In fact, these stoves can make a tent so hot you might crack the door and let some of that cold air in!
This DIY rocket stove project will transform the way you cook while camping and save you valuable resources if SHTF.
I love rocket stoves: they can boil water so economically you may only need to use 5 or 6 small sticks. To cook a full meal, you may need 7 – 10 sticks. SO this saves valuable calories looking for bundles of firewood just to cook or boil water.
I think this design is awesome: it will take a while to construct and probably will take you a few tries. But once it’s completed, this rocket stove could just save your behind.
Common sense would also tell you that after you have finished cooking or boiling water that the stones would remain hot and therefore provide needed heat. Check out how to make this below:
There are those that use this as their only fuel source and have done for decades. Making your own Bio Fuel Briquettes is very economic and can save you a ton of money.
Make a large number of these, stockpile them and use them for emergencies. These are great for camping, too, and should be on your camping gear list.
Likewise, these are perfect to store for a SHTF situation. They burn hot and burn for a long time.
This is a great way to use old sawdust and wood chippings and I’m sure with a little persuasion you could even ask your local lumberyard for the sawdust and make this project FREE.
Hiking poles are used to help you keep your footing and balance while traversing steep inclines and rough terrains.
So thinking about the usefulness of a pole while hiking led me to think about what would happen if SHTF. If you are bugging out and your car breaks down, one of these poles may help you because a bug out bag could get pretty heavy.
I did some searching and I came across this beast of a hiking pole. It is a multi-functional pole that I think will rock your socks off.
The pole can turn into a spear, brush axe, has a built-in flashlight … and stun gun and more…
You have to see this pole in action and maybe even save a spot in your preps. I think it would be worth buying because sometimes all you have to defend yourself is what you have in your hand. This would certainly be a good defense weapon. See more pictures and get a lot more information in the link below 🙂
Some DIY projects sneak into the prepper realm without even knowing it. At first glance, I thought these were impressive little numbers that could be used to decorate a home.
As I looked them over and thought more about their use, the ease of construction and the materials used, suddenly, it hit me. This is a disaster preparedness light source that can be cobbled together with a few basic components.
We are preppers and homesteaders, right? Who doesn’t have some spare mason jars around the house? Not only that they can be cleverly hidden around the home as well.
Have a look at this break down: I am sure you will find it to be a very effective way to light your home when the power goes out. These might also be a nice little addition to a child’s room if they are having trouble in the dark.
And how about a camping lantern that can also hold other items? Genius!
This is a great DIY project to make that would come in handy if the power went out and even for tailgating and camping.
In this tutorial, they use a standard car battery. However, I would personally switch that out for a deep cycle 12v battery and then hook up a solar panel to it and recharge the battery when needed.
With this small powerhouse, you could still power 12v appliances to keep you cool and keep your cell phone charged so you can keep up to date with what’s going on.
Believe it or not, this is an energy-saving light-bulb powered with 2 AA batteries. With just a few steps, you could have this as an emergency light in a SHTF situation.
It’s basically parts from a disposable camera, wires, an energy-saving light-bulb, and 2 AA batteries.
I have not built one but by the looks of the photo, the light it produces is just phenomenal. As this instructable is a few years old, you could substitute the old energy-saving light bulbs and put in the newer LED bulbs and get a longer life from the flashlight.
Check out the tutorial and be prepared to be blown away by the awesome hacks involved to get this flashlight.
This could be used for camping, bug out bags and at home if the power goes out. Remember, this is not necessarily a flashlight replacement, but it gives you the opportunity to learn how you could make one from items around the house.
This is a great project to make. To buy one would probably cost you around $70 – $150. Make one and save lots of money and get the same results.
This is perfect gear for camping, hiking and bugging out. This would recharge batteries, your cell phones, and GPS, even cameras.
It doesn’t look pretty, but looks don’t matter and if you happen to make one and then actually used it in an emergency it would be worth its weight in gold. Check out the full tutorial and if you make one send us some photos :).
A towel may seem like a useless luxury item, not survival camping gear, at first glance. The bulk and limited functionality make them not worth their weight and size to include in a bug out bag or get home bag.
That very well may be the case for your conventional cotton towel, but there are much more advanced solutions.
Microfiber and compressed towels are unparalleled in the backpacking and camping communities and lend their usefulness to prepping and survival.
Having a towel that can easily be packed for portability is great, even beyond survival uses. The absorbency of these towels make them great for sporting events, at the gym, or even just for a short hike.
You know that survival blankets can save your life by keeping you warm. But did you know that there are multiple alternative uses for a survival blanket?
A blanket can save both your life and your sanity when you’re under distress. They can be used for anything from shelters to boot liners.
This is why they’re useful not only for camping but to keep in your car. Every car should have at least one of these. Find out what you can do with a blanket while camping.
If you enjoy camping but hate sleeping on the ground, the Hammock Compatible Sleeping Bagmight be just the thing you need to make that outdoor adventure enjoyable.
Sleeping out in the Great Outdoors can be fun, but even a comfy sleeping bag doesn’t fully disguise the fact that you’re sleeping on the ground.
Not anymore… this is such a handy idea and will do well in normal camping and survival situations.
Shelter is one of the big three. There are three things that you need to consider immediately upon realizing you are in a survival situation.
These three are:
Of course, immediate threats need to be considered before that. But once you are out of harm’s way, you need to act on these three things.
Shelter might be the first thing to consider because you need to be ready for the elements. This could be cold, heat or rain among others. The elements can snuff you out pretty quickly if you are not careful.
Check out these 9 options for shelter. You are going to enjoy this review on 9 of the best camping tents that’ll make you a campsite hero. They are effective and give you the ability to check shelter off your list of immediate needs.
I love camping: literally can’t get enough of it and go camping 4 – 8 times a year. When I camp, I lug around a tent, my cookware, my sleeping bag, sleeping mat, and tarps.
If I go on my own, that’s a lot of stuff to hike with. Thinking about it, I can’t believe I actually manage to walk all those miles with all that stuff.
The Polarmond all-in-one sleep system combines the bedding with the tent itself to help ensure campers stay warmer at night while in the great outdoors.
They claim it can stay warm even in temperatures down to -30°C (-22°F) using nothing than the occupant’s own body heat.
Check out this tent in action and see if you would be investing in one of these pretty awesome tents.
For most, when camping, tents are the ideal structures for your exciting outdoor experience. Recreational vehicles, or RVs, and campers are another common favorite for a bit of a more modern twist. All of these styles feature enclosed spaces for you to sleep, or even use the restroom, prepare meals, or just lounge around in during the day.
Every day the world and its creations are progressing, and the old traditional ways of doing things are getting replaced by newer concepts – but they had to grow from somewhere.
Tents and vehicles work well, but the new and innovative design of the camping doughnut, complete with a no-setup and tubular layout. is amazing! Sturdy and smart, the camping doughnut combines the ideas of other camping arrangements for a creative and modern take on regular structures.
Take a look at what exactly this newest camping conception is really about, and see if you’d like one in the near future. It might just be the next best thing towards a relaxed and fun vacation in the wilderness.
This instructable will show you how to build a cheap and easy water heater to use for camping, hunting cabins, or anywhere that hot water isn’t readily available.
I love projects like this one. They are simple, easy to read, and best of all, cheap. This DIY project can make camping or a cabin that’s off the grid more comfortable when hot water is not available!
The design is simple, easy to make and works really well. This could even be a bug out heater: just remember to take it with you if you bug out, obviously.
The great thing about this project is that it uses items that you probably have laying around the house. With a little planning and fugal hunting for the parts, you could have this water heater up and working in no time.
It’s efficient and makes hot water very quickly. With a decent-sized solar panel/battery bank this is really all you would need to get hot water since it uses less than 1200 watts (10 amps).
This article comes from a great site on camping. Portable power is a growing technology that helps any survival scenario. No matter what you chose to power, it’s crucial that you have the ability to power it.
This is a complete guide on what is possible. I remember I was so excited to see something powered by biofuel!
We are living in a very interesting time. For preppers its even more interesting because we are afforded opportunities in our world that were simply not possible 10 years ago. I have to imagine the next 10 will be even more amazing.
Enjoy this great guide on portable power. I am certain you will find some advice or some great ideas for bolstering your portable power gameplan. I can’t go anywhere without my solar cell charger. What piece of equipment do you love?
Have you ever been camping and had your flashlight run out in the middle of the night? What did you do? If you’re like most people, you grabbed a spare battery or two and got your light running again.
Additionally, they carry portable electronics such as cell phones or even tablets for their survival documents or references.
To make sure you have power for those, are you going to carry spares for each of those devices? What if you thought ahead to bring rechargeable batteries but you had no A/C to charge them?
Now even worse: what would you do if you weren’t camping but dealing with a long term emergency or SHTF? Are you going to have a pile of batteries for each size that you need to keep everything running? Are you going to carry months’ or years’ worth of batteries? This doesn’t sound too feasible.
You could easily be adding 5-6 pounds of weight to your pack and reducing how much space you have for other critical items.
Well, if you plan it right, there is a solution to having an almost unlimited supply of power for your lights and small electronics, and it’s actually pretty simple if you think it through.
This device is way above my pay grade, but it is such an impressive piece of equipment that I had to bring it to your attention. You are looking at a creation that could wind up on the store shelves in REI.
I am very impressed with this and the build is possible but would take a lot of skills to accomplish. Still, I think that is half the fun of these. If you are looking to create something that will get tremendous use, you have it right here.
The creator must have had a great grip on the needs of the average camper. I love the idea of the LED torch and the easy carry handle. This piece of equipment is impressive and would easily have a home in my right hand as I stroll down the path.
Having electricity is a huge convenience, even if you’re camping. Not only can it charge electronics, but you can use for critical equipment. It can make things more comfortable.
Having a small power unit can help you:
– run an emergency radio
– run the lights around your camp
– jump start your vehicle
– charge your cell phone in case of emergency or to use as a backup navigation device
– run a CPAP machine
– run the pump on your inflatable mattress if you’re glamping
– it can even come in super handy during a power outage at home
There are many portable power units on the market now that you can get pretty easily such as the Goal Zero Yeti 400 Solar Generator Kit, which is a great setup and will do a lot of what you might need.
But what if you could build something similar at home for much cheaper?
Graywolf Survival has an article explaining how he took basic equipment he already had and put it together for a unit to run his ham radio and other electronics when he’s camping or if he has to bug out for a while. Even if you don’t end up wanting to build your own, you’ll understand what you’d need in an off-the-shelf unit better.
I hope that after reading this long list of camping accessories, you’re ready to have the time of your life on your next camping trip. Or, better yet, be safe when the next emergency comes around.
Bonus: How to Make Pemmican, the Original Survival Food
Invented by the natives of North America pemmican was used by Indian scouts as well as early western explorers.
Native Americans spent a great deal of time on the go and depended on having portable, high-energy, highly nutritious, and filling foods that would last for long periods of time without refrigeration.
Pemmican is a portable, long-lasting, high-energy food. It’s made of lean, dried meat that’s crushed into powder and mixed with hot, rendered fat. This makes it one of the ultimate foods to have stockpiled for when SHTF or disaster strikes.