The Ultimate Guide To Survival Camping Gear

Going on a camping trip can be a thrilling experience, but when it comes to survival camping, it’s essential to have the right gear. A well-planned and well-executed camping trip can turn into a disaster pretty quickly if you are underprepared, especially when you’re in the middle of nowhere.

The key to success is to have an arsenal of survival gear that will help you brave the elements and deal with any unforeseen emergencies.

Importance of having the right gear for survival camping

Having the right gear is critical when it comes to survival camping. The lack of proper gear can lead to serious injuries or even death in extreme cases. Even if your trip isn’t life-threatening, being uncomfortable because of inappropriate gear can ruin your entire experience.

You need gear that will keep you alive and safe, no matter what happens. From shelter and clothing to navigation tools, first aid kits, and food preparation supplies, everything you carry should serve multiple purposes and be durable enough to withstand rough conditions.

A brief overview of what we’ll cover today

This guide will provide a comprehensive overview of all the crucial survival camping gear that every camper should have on hand before they set out into nature. We’ll talk about everything from basic essentials like tents and backpacks to more advanced tools like GPS devices and personal locator beacons (PLBs).

We’ll also touch on fire-starting equipment such as lighters/matches/firestarters/fuel sources as well as cooking stoves/cookware/vacuum sealer machines for food preparation.

Furthermore, we’ll discuss appropriate clothing layers for warmth/protection from elements & footwear options for different terrains along with must-have items in a first aid kit/basic first aid skills. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be ready for anything nature throws at you during your next wilderness adventure!

Basic Gear

Tent: Types, Sizes, and Materials

When it comes to choosing a tent for survival camping, there are a few key factors to consider. First, you’ll want to think about the size of the tent. Whether you’re camping alone or with a group, make sure the tent is large enough to comfortably accommodate everyone.

You’ll also want to think about the type of terrain you’ll be camping on, as this will dictate whether you need a freestanding or non-freestanding tent. Additionally, consider the materials used in the construction of the tent.

Nylon and polyester are two popular choices due to their durability and water-resistant properties. However, if weight is a concern, look for tents made with ultralight materials like cuben fiber.

Sleeping Bag: Temperature Ratings, Insulation Types, and Shapes

A good sleeping bag is absolutely essential for any survival camping trip. When selecting your sleeping bag, pay close attention to temperature ratings and insulation types. Temperature ratings indicate the lowest temperature at which the bag will keep you warm – make sure you choose one that can handle colder temperatures than what you expect.

Insulation types include down (which offers an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio but can be less effective when wet) and synthetic (which is more water-resistant but can be bulkier). Additionally, sleeping bags come in different shapes – mummy bags offer better heat retention but may feel restrictive for some people.

Backpack: Capacity, Features, and Fit

A properly fitting backpack can make all the difference when it comes to carrying your gear during a survival camping trip. Look for backpacks with adjustable straps that allow for proper weight distribution across your shoulders and hips. In terms of capacity, consider how much gear you’ll need to bring along on your trip.

Backpacks typically range from 30-80 liters, with larger sizes accommodating more gear but also adding weight. Additionally, look for features like multiple compartments and external attachment points that can make organizing and carrying your gear easier.

Water Bottles and Hydration Systems: Types and Capacities

Staying hydrated is crucial during any camping trip, especially when you’re in a survival situation. Consider bringing both water bottles as well as a hydration system like a Camelbak to ensure you have access to water at all times.

When choosing your water bottles, consider the material (stainless steel or BPA-free plastic are popular options) as well as the capacity – aim for at least 2 liters per day per person. Hydration systems can offer hands-free convenience but require regular cleaning to prevent bacterial growth.

Navigation Gear

Map and Compass: How to Use Them Together

One of the most important skills to have when camping in the wilderness is navigation. While GPS devices are becoming increasingly popular, it’s essential to know how to use a map and compass together.

The key is understanding how to read a topographical map and orienting your compass with the map’s magnetic north. Once you’ve done that, you can use your compass to find your bearing on the map and then follow it out in the field.

When using a compass, be sure to hold it level at waist height with both hands and away from any metal objects that could interfere with its accuracy. Generally, you want to point the direction of the travel arrow toward your destination and then turn yourself until the north end of the needle lines up with the magnetic north on the map.

GPS Devices: Pros and Cons

While maps and compasses are tried-and-true navigation tools, GPS devices have become increasingly popular in recent years. One major advantage of GPS is that it can give you real-time location data, which is especially helpful if visibility is poor or if you’re traveling through unfamiliar terrain.

However, GPS devices rely on technology that can fail or malfunction, so it’s always a good idea to bring backup navigation tools like maps and compasses.

Another downside of relying solely on GPS for navigation is that it can be easy to get complacent or distracted by screens instead of paying attention to your surroundings. It’s important not only for safety reasons but also for experiencing nature fully without distractions.

Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs): When To Use Them

Personal locator beacons (PLBs) are small electronic devices that emit an emergency distress signal via satellite when activated, pinpointing your location even in remote areas where cell phone coverage may not exist. PLBs can be a lifesaver in extreme situations, such as when you’re lost or injured and require immediate assistance.

However, PLBs should only be used in true emergency situations when other methods of communication have failed or are unavailable. It’s important to note that using a PLB is not something to take lightly.

False activations can put rescue resources at risk and burden the system. It’s crucial to make sure that you’ve exhausted all other options before activating one, and even then, it’s better to only activate it as a last resort for an actual emergency situation.

Fire Starting Gear

Lighters and Matches: Pros and Cons

When it comes to starting a fire, lighters, and matches are the most common tools people use. Lighters are easy to use and don’t require any special skills. They come in different sizes, shapes, colors, and fuel types such as butane or propane.

However, they can run out of fuel or break easily if not handled properly. Matches are another popular fire-starting tool.

They come in two main types: strike-anywhere and safety matches. Strike-anywhere matches can be ignited by striking them on any rough surface, while safety matches need to be struck on a specialized striker pad.

Matches are lightweight, cheap, and easy to find at most camping stores. However, they can get wet or damaged easily if not stored properly.

Fire Starters: Types and Usage Tips

Apart from lighters and matches, there are other tools you can use to start a fire such as fire starters. These are small blocks of material that you ignite with a match or lighter to start your campfire quickly.

One type of fire starter is called “fatwood.” This is made from the resin-rich heartwood of pine trees which makes it highly flammable even when wet.

Another type is cotton balls coated in petroleum jelly which burns for several minutes giving you enough time to get your kindling started. One important tip when using fire starters is always to have enough kindling ready before you start lighting up the starter material so that you don’t waste it.

Fuel Sources for Fires

In addition to having the right tools for starting a fire, you also need a source of fuel that will keep your campfire burning throughout the night.

The most common sources of fuel include dry wood sticks which can be found around your campsite or brought from home, natural firewood that can be bought at nearby camping stores, and charcoal briquettes. It’s important to note that not all types of wood are good for campfires.

Avoid using softwood like pine as it produces a lot of smoke and leaves behind ash that can smother your fire. Instead, use hardwood like oak or maple which burns hotter, producing less smoke and ash.

Also, remember to always follow the Leave No Trace principles and only burn the amount of wood you need to keep warm or cook your food. Don’t create a larger fire than necessary just for the sake of it.

Food Preparation Gear

Stoves: types, fuel sources, pros, and cons

When it comes to survival camping, having a reliable stove is essential. There are several types of stoves available in the market. The most common ones are gas stoves, liquid fuel stoves, and solid fuel stoves.

Gas stoves are easy to use and require little maintenance. They run on propane or butane canisters which are readily available in stores.

However, they may not work well in cold temperatures or high altitudes. Liquid fuel stoves run on white gas or kerosene and are very efficient even in extreme conditions.

They require more maintenance than gas stoves but they can be repaired easily if something goes wrong. Solid fuel stoves use tablets or pellets made from wood, wax, or alcohol for fuel.

They are lightweight and compact but may not be as powerful as other types of stoves. When choosing a stove for survival camping, consider the type of trips you will be taking and the conditions you will encounter.

Cookware: materials, sizes, weight considerations

Choosing the right cookware is also an important aspect of food preparation gear for survival camping. Materials such as stainless steel and aluminum are commonly used due to their durability and ability to withstand high temperatures.

The size of your cookware should depend on the size of your group, with larger groups requiring bigger pots and pans. When it comes to weight considerations, titanium is a popular option due to its lightweight design.

Collapsible cookware sets can also be a great option as they save space in your backpack while still providing you with all the necessary cooking tools. It’s important to note that using non-stick cookware can release harmful chemicals into your food when heated over high temperatures so it’s best to avoid them altogether.

Vacuum Sealer Machine

A vacuum sealer machine may not seem like an essential piece of food preparation gear for survival camping but it can make a huge difference in keeping your food fresh and safe to eat. By vacuum sealing your food, you remove all the air from the packaging, preventing bacteria growth and decreasing the chances of spoilage.

This is especially important when packing meat or fish for longer trips. Vacuum sealers come in both manual and automatic models and can be powered by electricity or batteries.

They are also great for reducing bulk in your backpack as they shrink down the size of your food packages. Investing in a vacuum sealer machine may be pricey but it can save you money by allowing you to buy larger amounts of food at once without worrying about spoilage.

Clothing & Footwear

Clothing Layers for Warmth & Protection from the Elements

When it comes to choosing what to wear while camping, layering is key. Not only does it keep you warm, but it also allows you to adjust your clothing as the temperature changes throughout the day. The three layers are the base, insulation, and outer layers.

The base layer is next to your skin and should be snug-fitting and made of moisture-wicking material such as synthetic blends or wool. This layer regulates your body temperature by keeping sweat away from your skin.

The insulation layer is worn over the base layer and provides warmth by trapping air close to your body. Fleece jackets or down vests both work well for this purpose.

The outer layer protects against rain, wind, or snow and should be waterproof and breathable to prevent sweating. Jackets made of Gore-Tex or other similar materials work well.

Footwear Options for Different Terrains

Having the right footwear can make all the difference in a comfortable camping trip. When choosing footwear, you need to consider the terrain you will be hiking on. For flat terrains with well-groomed trails, lightweight hiking shoes work well.

They are breathable and provide good traction without being too heavy. For rocky terrain with uneven surfaces such as mountains or rocky hillsides, choose sturdy hiking boots that provide ankle support and protect your feet from sharp rocks.

In snowy conditions or wetlands where there may be standing water, waterproof boots with good insulation are necessary to keep feet dry and warm.

Overall, comfort is key when it comes to footwear so make sure they fit correctly before heading out on any hikes during your camping trip.

First Aid Kit

When you’re out camping, accidents can happen at any time. A well-stocked first aid kit can make all the difference in an emergency situation. Here are some must-have items that should be in every first-aid kit:

Bandages and Dressings

Bandages and dressings are essential for treating cuts, scrapes, and other wounds. Make sure your kit contains a variety of sizes, shapes, and types of bandages, such as adhesive bandages for small cuts and gauze pads for larger wounds. Consider including some self-adhesive wrap or elastic bandages to hold dressings in place.


Infection is a risk with any wound, so it’s important to include antiseptics such as alcohol wipes or antiseptic cream or spray in your first aid kit. This will help reduce the risk of infection while you’re waiting for medical attention.

Basic First Aid Skills

No matter how well-stocked your first aid kit is, it’s useless if you don’t know how to use it properly. Here are some basic first-aid skills that everyone should know:

CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation)

CPR is a lifesaving technique used when someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped. Knowing how to perform CPR could save someone’s life until medical help arrives. Many organizations offer CPR training classes that teach the proper techniques.

Treating Burns

Burns are common when camping due to campfires and cooking over open flames. Knowing how to properly treat burns can prevent further injury or infection from occurring until medical attention is available. For minor burns, cool the affected area with cool water or a cold, damp cloth for several minutes.

Avoid using ice or very cold water, as this can damage the skin further. For more serious burns, seek medical attention immediately.

By having a well-stocked first aid kit and knowing basic first aid skills, you’ll be better prepared to handle emergency situations while camping. Remember to always prioritize safety and seek professional medical attention if necessary.

Related: Wilderness First Aid: A Comprehensive Guide to Survival

Final Thoughts

Throughout this guide, we have explored the essential gear you will need for survival camping. From selecting the right tent and sleeping bag to finding reliable navigation equipment, starting fires, and preparing food, we have covered everything you need to make sure your camping trip is a success.

We started with basic gear such as tents, sleeping bags, and backpacks. Here, we discussed the various materials that these items can be made from, how to choose the right size and capacity, and what features to look for.

We then moved on to navigation tools such as maps, compasses, GPS devices, and personal locator beacons (PLBs), explaining how each of these gadgets works and when they should be used. Next up was fire-starting gear including lighters/matches, fuel sources, and fire starters.

As you’ve seen, having all the right survival camping gear goes a long way in enabling you to enjoy your camping experience even during unfavorable weather conditions or unexpected circumstances. While buying all this stuff may seem expensive at first glance, it’s an investment in your outdoor leisure time that’s worth it in the long run.

Remember to practice using your gear before heading out on any trips so you are confident with its functionality when you are out in nature. Also, pack everything properly so it’s easy to access when needed while still being protected from potential damage.

With all this gear at hand coupled with proper planning – there really is nothing stopping you from enjoying some quality time outdoors!

Go ahead get out there – explore nature like never before!

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