Ever feel that a working stove is just too much? Your comfy couch is just not doing it for you? There’s nothing good on TV, either!? Well, that’s it. Time to run away to the woods. Ok, yeah, it’s just for a few days, a week maybe, but still. There’s nothing so rejuvenating as the great outdoors: the trees, the stars, the campfire.
Although I, too, just want to get that six-hour drive over with, take the time to double check that you have everything! The experience will be a lot less rejuvenating if you’ve forgotten your tent back home. First and foremost, equip yourself with the proper tactical outdoor gear. There are some musts that should be in your survival backpack, and I will of course include extras that you can pick and chose from to perfect your trip, whether that be weeks long or over a weekend. Also, I know I haven’t included S’mores, that one’s a given.
HOW TO PLAN THE TRIP?
Research the area that you will be camping in, noting the expected weather, the terrain, which water sources are nearby, and the animals that might live there. Always come prepared with an understanding of the geographical area, both for your own safety and to help pack your tactical outdoor gear.
Next, decide the length of your trip, how much you have to carry for how long, and how comfortable you want to be. With that in mind, you can make informed decisions on what you need to bring and what can be left at home.
WHAT BASICS DO YOU NEED?
These items are the basics that you must have in your survival backpack for any camping trip, no matter what. The items include:
WHAT SURVIVAL GEAR DO YOU NEED?
The following tactical outdoor gear could save your life, but they are also generally useful:
- Map, compass, and/or GPS
- Water purification tablets or water filter
- Fire-starting kit
- Lighter and/or matches
WHAT OTHER TACTICAL CAMPING GEAR MIGHT BE HANDY?
- Duct tape
- Saw for firewood
- Solar chargers
- Paracord or clothesline
HOW TO KEEP SANITARY?
- Toiletry bag
- Camper’s toilet paper
- Hand sanitizer
- Biodegradable soap
- Sanitation trowel
- Trash bags
HOW TO BE COMFORTABLE?
- Camping chairs
- Bug repellent
- Portable speaker
- Camping pillow
- Sunshade or tarp
- Dry bag
HOW TO PACK LIGHT?
The more experience you have, the less you need. This is why, after your first camping trip, consider what tactical camping gear you actually use, and your pack will lighten. Too often, we pack too much “just in case.” While I want to emphasize that you should not skimp on the items that you would need in an emergency, I promise that you can lose another shirt.
Having more lightweight versions of items, from large items, like a tent, to small items, like a toothbrush, may seem to make a minimal difference, but each pound matters. One item I strongly recommend is a microfiber towel, which provides a light and fast-drying alternative to the big fluffy monsters you have back home. Find any way to pack light, and only bring what you really need.
A key factor to camping light is, of course, your backpack. A proper tactical camping backpack is similar to a bug out bag in that both need to be light with enough room to carry everything you need to survive away from home. Tactical camping backpacks are spacious without sacrificing comfort, support, or durability. It is crucial to have structure when carrying large loads, and the 14er Tactical Backpack provides the support through compression straps, sternum straps, and a hip belt. A tactical camping bag is useful for its infinite customization due to MOLLE straps, which also allows your IFAK or tools to be in easy reach in case of an emergency.
HOW TO PROTECT AGAINST WILD ANIMALS?
Check beforehand which wild animals are common in your camping location. If wild animals are a concern, a few general rules include to keep the campsite clean, be loud to make your presence known, carry food in a locking cooler or suspended high above ground, use air-tight containers, change clothes before sleeping so that the scent of food doesn’t linger in your clothing, and always keep your pet on a leash. For bears in particular, bring bear-resistant canisters just in case. Finally, familiarize yourself with what to do just in case you encounter a bear. During the night, use a flashlight to spook any animals that wander close.