I’ve always said that if you have mastered the basics of camping, you’re way ahead in survival prepping. When camping, you know the necessity of water storage and how quickly it can be used up. While roughing it, you become the master of invention (or re-invention) and have learned how to improvise. You’re familiar with the necessities of shelter, heat, food/water, and more. And while camping is usually on a lesser scale than what’s required for prepping for most survival scenarios, you are more aware than the general population (whose idea of “roughing it” is a reservation at a motel or hotel.) At least, you know the basics for what it takes to have a comfortable camping experience. Inclement weather can make or break a camping trip and is dependent on how well you are prepared. So, plan well. Also, flash floods are a more common occurrence so it would be good to research safer areas, if possible.
Many of the items used for camping can (and should) be used in your prepping supply. The following is a pretty extensive list of items you might want to include in your gear or as you prepare for whatever life might bring you (minus the kitchen sink!) Of course, add your own personal items to those mentioned and remove any that you might not need. In addition, many items can be utilized by RV or travel trailer. Occasionally, an item might be repeated depending on the category. Check off or cross out items as you pack.
Camping / Tent / Trailer & RV Idea List / Bug-Out List:
____ Air mattress plus pump and/or pad or cot
____ Backpacks (1 per person) for hikes / day trips
____ Bags (different sizes): garbage and/or plastic grocery bags for picking up doggie doodoo, quick trash bags, hold wet clothing, etc.
____ Bandanas – MANY uses including: straining water, wear on head or neck, stop bleeding, binder, etc.
____ Bear spray / firearms w/ ammo if legal — Get trained to use!
____ Bedding: sleeping bags / sheets / pillows w/ extra cases, sheet liners for sleeping bags, and blankets
____ Bug zapper / ant & roach spray (for under and around picnic tables when no one else is around to breathe fumes)
____ Camera and film (extra batteries), case, card chip(s)
____ Camp chairs / table (folding or utility), hammock
____ Canoeing – canoe, paddles, life jackets, floating rope, etc.
____ CDs, DVDs (including players/devices), reading material, notepad, pen, phone/address list and stamps (postcard/letter), art pads w/drawing instruments
____ Charcoal and lighting fluid
____ Charger(s) – solar powered for all your tech needs
____ Clothesline with clothespins (spring loaded)
____ Compass / GPS / Cell Phone with recharger
____ Dish pan (while traveling will hold all the supplies needed to wash dishes outdoors)
____ Disposable items: Kleenex, toilet paper (regular or made for RV), paper towels, napkins
____ Dog / Cat supplies (your choice – food, toys, dog dishes, etc.) See below
____ Door mats (indoor / outdoor) We use a large indoor/outdoor grassy looking mat to put at the entrance to our tent / trailer and roll up when we’re not using it. Keeps out a lot of grass or sand, etc.
____ Duct tape
____ Dust pan / broom / flyswatter
____ Emergency Mylar blankets
____ Emergency sewing kit
____ Entertainment, especially for kids (board games, toys, books, nature kits, musical instruments)
____ Fire extinguisher
____ Firewood / kindling and/or other starter material (flint, etc.) LEARN the proper way of putting out campfires
____ FIRST AID KIT (click on this article to view must-have items)
____ Fishing gear / license / everything that goes with fishing!
____ Flashlights (extra batteries – rechargeable batteries are good), one for each person
____ Generator (size and kind is dependent on your needs)
____ Gloves (regular or latex) for dump station and other needs
____ Guidebook of area
____ Infant/child needs: diapers, food, porta-crib, bottles, formula, etc. (see below)
____ Insect repellant (for self /ant and roach spray) / mosquito netting, if needed
____ Ice chest / cooler
____ Lantern (mantels / gas / propane / wicks, etc.)
____ Laundry bag(s)
____ Leveling blocks (RV / trailer)
____ Lighter and extra lighter fluid
____ Matches (regular, wood, or waterproof) and/or lighter(s)
____ Money (keep in different locations) / ID w/ emergency information #s – contacts
____ Newspaper (fire starter or gather food scraps or help to keep warm)
____ Old Newspapers for campfires, cleaning, etc. (Use B&W pages only for campfires)
____ Outdoor carpet (or door mat) to block sand/dirt coming into tent
____ Porta-potty, including chemicals (Privacy huts / tents are also available.)
____ Portable griddle
____ Portable grill
____ Portable heater w/ fuel
____ Power converter
____ Propane (plus extra)
____ Propane stove / oven
____ Radio (solar, crank, or battery powered w/ extra batteries)
____ Shower: commercial made OR DIY: shower curtain, shower curtain rings, hula hoop, rope, water containment for outdoor shower
____ Signal mirror
____ Soap: for face, bath, washing clothes (kitchen dishwashing liquid works well), pump or hand soap for washing hands
____ Sports equipment: Frisbee, ball(s) plus corresponding equipment, croquet, “yard” games, squirt guns, rappelling gear, horseshoes, corn-hole, etc.
____ Sports watch
____ Tarp(s) w/ rope or Para cord for multiple purposes (two different sizes)
____ Tent w/ poles, stakes, tie-downs, mending (patching) material, ground tarp, plus extras
____ Tent: For extra warmth, use a small pop-up tent in a larger tent
____ Tickets, passes, park entry cards, pre-purchased confirmations, etc.
____ Tools (axe, shovel, saw, screwdriver, hammer, hatchet, multi-tool, work gloves, Swiss Army Knife, etc.)
____ Towels (bath, hand, washcloths, kitchen, beach towel)
____ Small umbrella for those visits into town to shop!
____ WATER – drinking (gallon / individual bottles) , canteens, water sports bottles, Nalgene, etc.
____ Water in collapsible jugs for washing dishes, personal cleanliness, etc.
____ Water filtration / purification tablets
____ Whistle(s) for each person (especially if kids play games like “ditch ’em”)
____ Wipes for hands / quick clean ups (lots) / hand sanitizer
Clothing for each person: Prepare for all kinds of weather and temperatures!
(Depending on the area you are visiting, get some expert advice from a reputable sports store.)
____ for all seasons – including hats /caps, swimwear, gloves, scarves, nose plugs if swimming in questionable water
____ coats, sweaters, vests, flannel shirts and sweatshirts
____ underwear (multiple)
____ shirts – long sleeve / short sleeve
____ pants – long / shorts
____ pajamas (light and/or warm)
____ socks (light and heavy weight – extra for sleeping or rainy days)
____ shoes (multiple) for walking or hiking and general wear (good to have at least 3 pair) Flip-flops or sandals for inside wear and showers
____ rainwear, such as ponchos w/hoods and boots, and even heavier items for coldest weather
____ extra shoe laces
____ WATER – lots of water (in jugs, sports bottles, large containers, etc.) and ICE
____ food, including canned, ice chest foods, dehydrated food (Make a list of foods and menus!)
____ dinnerware (paper or plastic): plates, cups, bowls (disposable)
____ utensils (regular or plastic): forks, knives, spoons, steak knives (put in a long toothbrush holder), serving utensils
____ tongs / barbecue grill utensils / skewers / spatulas
____ stainless steel mugs
____ plastic containers for beverages and leftovers, include plastic sealable bags
____ coffee pot / tea pot
____ hot pads (potholders)
____ dish towels and dish cloths (for cleaning dishes or act as trivets)
____ dish pan / dish soap (biodegradable best)
____ scrubber / steel wool / wire brush
____ cutting board (not wood)
____ napkins and paper towels (napkin dispenser optional)
____ aluminum foil (reg. and heavy duty), plastic wrap, Ziploc bags (various sizes / uses)
____ measuring cups / measuring spoons
____ can opener (manual) / bottle opener
____ pots w/ lids, pans / skillet / bakeware / mixing bowls
____ colander and/or strainer
____ grill forks designed for hot dogs and marshmallows for s’mores
____ thermos (for coffee, hot water, or hot chocolate)
____ cleaners for kitchen / bathroom / personal, etc.
____ Begin your own list as it fits to your lifestyle! Electronically save it so you’ll always have it!
____ travel products (check store for travel items) / travel containers to save space
____ toothbrushes (w/holder) / toothpaste / floss/ toothbrush holder
____ mouthwash / rinse
____ hand/bath soap in soap containers (biodegradable – good)
____ shampoo / conditioner, if necessary
____ brushes and combs / hair accessories
____ hand wipes / hand sanitizer
____ eye drops / ear drops
____ Q-tips / cottonballs
____ sanitary items (women)
____ ear plugs / nose plugs
____ eyeglasses / contacts, contact solution, containers
____ towels (hand, wash, body and/or beach towels) (buy a pack of inexpensive wash cloths that can be thrown away)
____ OTC medicines and prescriptions
____ vitamin supplements
____ petroleum jelly (multiple purposes)
____ continue to list your own personal items
____ make-up or go natural!
____ denture needs
____ shaving supplies
____ Art material (simple) for making collages and more
____ Bicycles and/or scooters
____ Books / activity books / magazines for children
____ Clothing (see Infant needs)
____ Crayons / colored pencils, etc.
____ Electronic devices, incl. CDs/DVDs (although not encouraged) plus batteries
____ Favorite stuffed animal / doll
____ Games: travel-size, cards, guessing games, etc.
____ Infant needs: plenty of diapers (plus), food, porta-crib, blanket, pillow (if used), bottles, formula, pacifier, purified water, medication, extra clothing, including socks, pants, long and short sleeve shirts, light and heavy jackets, underwear, pajamas (light and/or warm), hats, etc.
____ Nature journal for identifying things in nature / scavenger hunt
____ Nature kits (can be found at school supply stores or ToysRUs)
____ Personal items (similar to adult’s list)
____ Pop-up tent for kids to play in on rainy days, or privacy room, etc.
____ Seasonal / all-season clothing (include extras of everything) including socks (heavy and regular), underwear, belts, jackets (light and heavy), hats, swimwear, pajamas, sweatshirts, pants, shorts, shirts (long and short sleeve), ponchos, waterproof outerwear, good protective shoes, etc. (Wicking and/or fleece clothing – good!)
____ Step stool
____ Child-size back-pack for hikes and canteen
____ Child carrier for adult to carry child
____ Food (always bring extra) / treats / dental treats
____ Dental care brush / animal designed toothpaste
____ Bowls for food and water
____ Camping bed / cushion
____ Favorite toys
____ Collar and leash / harness
____ Medicine(s), including flea & tick sprays
____ Dog/cat Tent
____ Dog jacket
____ “Pick-up” doo-doo bags
____ Small medical kit designed for animals
____ Car seat cover
____ Paw wax for hiking
Hiking / Day Trips: backpack or “daypack”, fanny pack, boots (not new), socks, running shoes, compass, GPS device, trekking poles, charged cell phone, small solar recharger, binoculars, map, poles, canteen (minimal 2 quarts water), purification tablets, matches, signaling mirror, emergency Mylar blanket, dehydrated food, whistle, guidebook, snacks, first aid kit, snake bite kit, Fire starter, shelter material, protein snacks like bars or trail mix, appropriate clothing, etc.
NOTE: Be wise and let family or friends know where you are going and when you plan to return. Then, try to make contact with them whenever you get a cell signal to update your progress. It’s plain stupid to think you’re that independent that you don’t need the help of others and totally inconsiderate to your family or friends if anything happens to you.
NOTE: A word about FOOD…
Earlier this summer, we met friends from another state at a local campground. They were on an extended trip, camping in numerous places. Instead of taking all the food they needed for the whole trip, they planned for grocery store stops to get what they needed for the next leg of the trip. Of course, they had snacks and some food with them all the time in case of a break-down. This included water, which was prudent since water weighs so much. However, they still had an ample supply.