Camping As Practice for Survival


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Camper drinking coffee

Hot chocolate! Yum!

Making summer plans for camping?

Camping does double duty!

First, camping is fun, a total change of pace, and a great learning adventure for kids.

Second, camping is a great way to try out survival gear and supplies that you just can’t justify using when you’re comfy at home!

Here are some of my favorite “dual purpose camping/survival items” and why I like ‘em!

1. Staying reasonably clean

To the extent that camping resembles “shelter in place,” you can assume you want to use water sparingly. Still, staying clean is important for hygiene and also for personal comfort.

Three items that I have tested and found useful – and that don’t take up too much room or too much water:

  • Soap. I like a good bar of soap for cleaning dirty hands. But soap requires water, and usually quite a lot just for rinsing. So, for camping, consider liquid soap that can be diluted and doled out drop by drop as needed. (Use different plastic bottles for the different dilutions — for example, one for shampoo, one for dish cleaner (mix with lemon juice) and a third for general purpose stain remover.) My favorite liquid soap is Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap – Almond 32oz. (This soap comes in a number of different “flavors.”)
  • Wipes. If you’re underway, or are worried about germs, you might try these convenient wipes: Coleman Biowipes, 30 Count They’re larger than the usual baby wipe, and will break down within 21 days – IF YOUR BURY THEM IN SOIL. (Just tucking one under a rock does NOT count. Either pack them out or bury properly.)
  •  Clothes line. My mother insisted on clean underwear. When I have enough water, I always wash out the unmentionables and hang them to dry. (I use Dr. Bronner’s soap for the washing.) This stretchy clothesline is great! You just tuck the damp clothing right into the woven bungee cords — no need for clothes pins. Coghlan’s 0433 Adjustable Bungee Clothesline (It’s strong enough to string inside a tent, too, to use for hanging small items and maybe even a lantern.)

 

Staying warm

Sleeping in the RV does NOT count! Yes, maybe you have a tent. And let’s hope you have a fire. As for me, I can get through the night just about anywhere as long as I am warm!

And that means having the right sleeping bag.

There are many choices when it comes to sleeping bags, starting with size (length, width), shape (quilt or mummy bag up to the neck or over the head), fill (synthetic, down) and temperature rating (for example: 0, 20, 40 degrees).  You can pay anywhere from $50 to $500 – but if you pick the wrong style, and find yourself shivering through the night, you’ll regret it!

A couple of different bags to help you decide what you really need or want:

And two more warmer-uppers:

 

Eating and enjoying it

Not long ago we wrote about MREs. And last year I did a taste test between a survival food macaroni and cheese package vs. commercial mac ‘n cheese.

I’m afraid that the reviews on these survival foods are uninspiring.

(Since I don’t eat a lot of macaroni and cheese under the best of circumstances, it doesn’t really make a difference to me. But if YOU have kids, and they are fans, before you assume anything use your camping trip to test different brands!)

If I’m going camping, though, I DO want some things to eat that I really love – and that will make survival that much easier.

The essentials:

 

Seeing what you’re doing

Starting off for the campground restroom always takes some fortitude. Heading in that direction IN THE DARK is even more daunting. And if there were no restroom at all, and you are searching for a “reasonable spot to do your business?”

At the very least, you need to see where you are stepping!

 

Using survival technology

In an emergency we may have to bug out without much in the way of civilized stuff. And, of course, if the emergency goes on long enough, we will run out of everything we were able to scramble together.

Some survival technology WON’T run out, though. And that’s what you might want to consider.

If you have these already, be sure to take them with you on your camping trip to practice with them. If you don’t have them, consider getting them now – in time for the trip, or for ANY emergency.

Start making plans for your camping trip now. Looking forward to it, and getting all your gear laid out and packed, is half the fun!

Virginia
Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

Some related articles (that have LOTS more details):

 

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