How To Make A DIY Emergency Survival Camping Kit

If you’re an avid camper, chances are you already know a thing or two about being prepared. After all, the camping life involves a lot of careful planning and packing. But you probably also know that when you’re in the outdoors, there are things you simply don’t plan: poison ivy, getting lost, dangerous storms, injury. That’s why it’s helpful to keep a well-stocked camping emergency kit with your other camping gear.

There are a lot of ready-made kits available. (We share some of our top picks below.) But it’s also easy enough to assemble a custom kit. (An advantage of the the DIY route is that you don’t end up with a lot of excess supplies you won’t ultimately use.)

DIY Camping Emergency Kit

If you create your own camping emergency kit, here are some basic items you’ll want to include:


Keep your kit in a waterproof bag or container. A small or a works well.


Most campgrounds have drinking water, but if you prefer to be extra-prepared (or if you’re headed to the backcountry), you can pack a water purifier in your kit. Try the or . (This is probably a good time to mention that it’s never a good idea to drink water straight from a river or lake. Even water that looks clean can make you sick.) In addition to a water purifier, you can also include a cup to drink from.


Nonperishable items with a long shelf-life are best such as and energy bars. Make sure you have enough emergency food for the number of people who will be on your camping trip.


An inexpensive can give you hands-free light in a pinch.

Fire Starter

Though there are a lot of fire-starter kits and options, it’s best to go with whatever method you actually know how to use. Strike-anywhere matches in a waterproof case are a good option.


For shelter-building and a host of other uses, it’s important to include some type of rope. A works well because it won’t take up a lot of space.

Emergency Blankets

Those shiny Mylar don’t look like much but you’ll be surprised at what they can do. Along with keeping you warm, they can also be used as a shelter or as insulation. Check out this post for even more uses.


A camping knife would do but why not upgrade to a ?

First Aid Supplies

You can buy a , or assemble your own.

Ready-Made Camping Emergency Kits

Don’t have the time or desire to create your own camping emergency kit? There are plenty of kits on the market with everything you need.