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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.