Most campers can head outside without needing to know outdoor survival skills. (That’s especially true if you’re heading to a campground that comes fully equipped with running water, electrical hook-ups, and a swimming pool.) But even if your camping accommodations tend to be more comfortable than challenging, it can be confidence-building to learn new outdoor skills. And you never know when you’ll have to ride out a thunderstorm or rappel into a canyon.
The following list of skills won’t prepare you to be the next contestant on Alone, but they might impress your friends and family. These are basic outdoor survival skills every camper should know. Master these and you can move on to the next level.
Spend enough time outdoors, and the day will come when you lose your phone, break your phone, or its battery dies when you need it most. Without Google maps or any other type of GPS, it helps to know how to navigate by what you can see. During the day, the sun is your best bet for knowing what direction you’re heading. Read this how-to from expert navigator and author Tristan Gooley to learn how to navigate using the sun. Or, you can make sure your camping gear always includes a compass.
- MADE IN THE USA - This aluminum compass is the top quality pocket compass on the market. Accurate to +/- 40 mils, it performs flawlessly in extreme temperatures.
- OFFICIAL US MILITARY COMPASS - With this professional tactical compass survival is more likely. A survival compass backed by our government!
- WANT A COMPASS YOU CAN TRUST? Stay safe with this accurate compass for backpacking. Self powered lighted pocket compass provides illumination for over 12 years.
- BUILT TO LAST - This handheld compass is water proof, sand proof and constructed with a powder coated aluminum frame for optimal endurance. Waterproof compass for hiking.
- MULTI-USE - Hand held compass can be used as a hiking compass, camping compass, surveyor compass, backpacking compass, hunting compass, youth scout compass, boat compass and orienteering compass.
- WATERPROOF AND SHOCKPROOF FOR ROUGH USE - The base and cover are constructed with metal for years of durable using. Suitable for motoring, boating, camping, mountaineering, exploring, hunting, and other outdoor activities.
- EASY AND ACCURATE READINGS - The floating compass dial has a 360 degrees scale with liquid-filled capsule for stable operation. Featured with a level bubble to improve accuracy, the easy to see sighting window with reticle makes it easy to aim and read.
- TAKING BEARINGS EASILY - Build with an optical eyepiece for sighting bearings easily, with azimuth 360-degree and reversed 360-degree scale, you can take bearings from you to the objects or take reverse bearings from the object to you all quick and easy.
- ALLOW FOR CLEAR READING AT NIGHT - When exposed to enough light, the north arrow and display light up in the dark with fluorescent light, allowing you to see the reading if it is pitch black.
- MORE FEATURES - A conversion chart for angle, gradient, and distance appear on the back of the compass, and a rotating bezel ring allows you to lock in your bearing so you know you are heading in the right direction.
- PROFESSIONAL GRADE:This professional grade military compass is the best camping survival gadgets for field trips,Waterproof and Shakeproof.Ideal for holiday camping,mountaineering,kayaking,climbing,adventure expedition,outdoor wildlife,emergencies,and anywhere the beaten track takes you.
- HIGH ACCURACY:This lensatic military compass rotates very flexibly and the damping oil enhance pointer stability. Built-in a bubble level, which can improve its accuracy and decrease its errors, you’ll always get an accurate reading.
- MILITARY CONSTRUCTION:Tough and tenacious, the military construction with Waterproof and Shakeproof properties is built to survive the harshest of hikes.
- FLUORESCENT DESIGN:The compass’ interface glows in the dark,you can find the right direction even at night without getting lost.
- PORTABLE:This compass equipped with lanyard and carrying bag,which can be easily carried regardless of whether it is traveling or hiking.
A cloudless night is probably the easiest time to navigate. First, find the north star. (You may have heard that it’s the brightest star in the sky but that’s not always true. Plus, it can be easy to confuse it for a brightly shining planet.) To find the north star, look for the Big Dipper. Draw a line straight through the two stars on the outer edge of the Big Dipper’s “bowl” or “ladle.” This will lead you to Polaris, the north star, and help you determine which direction is north. (With both forms of navigation—by day and by night—you’ll need a paper map or know the general direction you want to go.)
3. Find a suitable campsite.
The best place to build a shelter (or pitch a tent) is somewhere high and dry. Don’t set up camp in a valley, canyon, near a stream bed, or at the very bottom of a hill. And when choosing a site, don’t forget to look up too. Stay away from dead trees and branches that could fall on you or your shelter.
4. Create a basic shelter.
If you’re ever lost outdoors and have to spend the night, building a shelter should be your top priority. Hypothermia is possible even on summer nights and you never know when it could rain or storm. One of the simplest shelters you can make is a lean-to using a fallen tree. Check out these instructions and don’t forget to insulate your shelter with dead leaves or pine branches.
5. Stay warm.
If you’re in a survival situation and need to keep warm, first put on all the clothing you have (but layer appropriately). Then you can use natural materials like dead leaves for extra insulation. Focus on stuffing them inside the main part of your shirt or coat to keep your core warm. And when you sit or sleep on the ground, be sure to have something act as insulation between you and the cold coming from the ground. A pile of leaves could work or a fallen log.
6. Find firewood.
Experienced campers know that not every type of wood is good for creating a fire. The best wood is old and dry. Look for dead lower branches on trees or gather sticks from the ground. If you break them and they snap, they’ll probably be dry enough. If not, they might just create a lot of smoke or not catch fire at all.
7. Build a fire.
One of the most important basic survival skills is the ability to efficiently start a fire. Fires are essential for warmth, cooking, and they boost morale. To build a dependable fire you’ll need three types of wood: fire starters such as very small sticks or bark shavings, kindling (larger sticks), and larger pieces of wood. Here’s a video tutorial on three different methods for building a fire. And since most people don’t get lost with a lighter or box of matches, here are seven ways to start a fire without matches.
8. Purify water.
Even when water in a stream or lake looks clean, don’t drink it without purifying it first. Water filtration systems are obviously ideal but if you don’t have one, there are ways you can purify water in an emergency situation. One way is to strain the water through a T-shirt (to remove obvious impurities), then boil it to kill off any microorganisms. (But keep in mind that not all harmful things in water can be killed by boiling so consider your water source. Contaminants like pesticides can’t be destroyed through boiling.) Don’t forget that rain, snow, and dew are good sources of water too.
- Removes bacteria & parasites: The microfiltration membrane removes 99.999999% of waterborne bacteria (including E. coli and salmonella), and 99.999% of waterborne parasites (including giardia and cryptosporidium)
- Removes microplastics: Removes the smallest microplastics found in the environment (down to 1 micron), and reduces turbidity down to 0.2 microns
- Rigorous Testing: All claims are verified with laboratories using standard testing protocols set by the US EPA, NSF, ASTM for water purifiers
- Long Lifetime: The microbiological filter will provide 4,000 liters (1,000 gallons) of clean and safe drinking water with proper use and maintenance
- Make an Impact: For every LifeStraw product purchased, a school child in need receives safe drinking water for an entire school year.BPA Free materials
- Military-grade water purifier pump removes viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and particulate from contaminated water sources virtually anywhere on earth
- Meets NSF protocol P248 testing standard of the U.S. military, using medical-grade fibers to provide protection from the tiniest waterborne threats
- Pumps at a rapid 2.5 liters per minute, treats up to 10,000 liters of water, and withstands freezing, drops, heavy use, and harsh environments
- Pump self-cleans on every stroke, providing consistently fast flow rates with zero hassle—no backflushing or filter-scrubbing ever required
- Ideal for backcountry, expeditions, global travel, and survival; purifier pump measures 8.2 x 4.7 inches and weighs 17.3 ounces; made in the USA
- Very Versatile: Besides the gravity water filter system, the included filter can be used in many different ways. Use as a personal water filter, or add a 29.5-inch extension tube for more distance drinking. Even connect onto a water bottle.
- Long Lifespan and Speedy Treatment Time: Our water purifier camping has a lifespan of 5,000 liters (1320gallons), for a family of four uses up to 3.5 years. With a flow rate of 27 liters per hour, it won’t slow you down when you’re trying to make miles.
- 0.1-micron Ultrafiltration: Our water filter camping made up of 0.1-micron hollow fiber ultrafiltration membrane, 5-micron coconut shell GAC filter, and 0.2-micron PP fiber filter, removes over 99.99999% bact, heavy metal, chlorine, odors, micro-plastics, etc.
- Easy to Use and Lightweight: Just hang on a tree with the tree strap, hands-free filtration, enjoy effort-free (no pumping, no squeezing, barely any waiting) filtered water within minutes. Gravity water filter weighs just 2.8 ounces and can be completely rolled up to save space in your backpack.
- Food-grade and BPA-free: All materials used in our camping water filter are BPA-free, food-grade, FDA certificated, and no chemicals are used to filter water. With 3L TPU gravity-fed bag can provide you enough reliable pure water. Ideal for backpacking, camping, or just keeping on hand for emergencies.
9. Tie knots.
Knot-tying seems like a skill you’d do just to earn a scout badge. It turns out, it’s a skill that can come in handy if you’re ever in a survival situation. Knots can be used in building a shelter, creating a net to catch fish, climbing to safety, or performing first-aid. Here are 9 knots every camper should know that are worth learning.
10. Signal for help.
If you’re in a survival situation where you can see people, a town, or a plane, it’s important to signal for help. You can build a signal fire or use one of these methods from outdoor expert Les Stroud.
11. Identify edible plants…but be careful.
Depending on where you are in the world and what season it is, you may have many edible plant options or none at all. It’s best to read up on common edible plants where you are before you’re ever in a survival situation. But if you didn’t do that, there are some common edible plants in North America including: clover, cattails, burdock, chicory, and dandelion. That said, edible plants often have toxic lookalikes, so be sure you know what you’re eating before you take that first bite. Also, some plants taste better or are easier to digest if they’ve been cooked first.
- Used Book in Good Condition
- Elias, Thomas (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 288 Pages - 04/07/2009 (Publication Date) - Union Square & Co. (Publisher)
- Thayer, Samuel (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 368 Pages - 05/15/2006 (Publication Date) - Foragers Harvest Press (Publisher)
12. Dress a wound and set a broken bone.
Even if you never plan to head to the wilderness, basic first aid is a good skill to have. Most outdoor activities involve some amount of risk. Brush up on basic first aid skills, and consider taking a wilderness first-aid course. At the very least, learn how to dress a wound or set a broken bone without a first-aid kit.