Disaster-Proofing Your Camping Trip: The 7 Survival Essentials You Should Pack Every Time

Disaster-Proofing Your Camping Trip

If you’re preparing for a camping trip, you know there are some items you need to pack. However, do you know what the survival essentials are? These are the items that can keep your trip running smoothly and keep you safe if disaster strikes.


Water is the top priority for survival, and you should bring more than you think you’ll need. Along with bottled water, it’s also a good idea to bring a stainless steel cup for carrying and disinfecting natural water sources. The National Park Service suggests planning for each person on the trip to have half a gallon of water per day. Don’t forget water for cooking, if needed. 

If you bring a stainless steel cup, you can use it to collect snow for melting for drinking or over a fire to disinfect the water you find (in a river or lake) in case you run out of bottled water.


You need a place to stay that’s out of the elements and that can protect you from wildlife. If inclement weather strikes, make sure your tent is up to the task of keeping you dry. You also want to make sure that bugs can’t get in. Make sure you choose a big enough tent, like a family tent for more than four people. 


You’ll want to bring more food than you think you might need with water. Small snacks and things like dehydrated foods won’t take up much space in your pack, and they can help boost your energy. Look at high-protein options like nuts and jerky. Granola bars, fruit chips, and no-bake peanut butter bites are also good choices.

First-aid kit

Like food, first-aid kits don’t have to take up much space in your bag. Ensure you have the essentials (bandages, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment) and that your kit is not expired. Also, you’ll want to include things like bug spray and sunblock as part of your first-aid kit.


You need to be able to see in the dark, and matches or some sort of fire-starting kit will help you build a fire for cooking/warmth. You can also disinfect the water you’ve found over a fire. You can buy or make a fire starter kit that quickly includes everything you need to start fires.

Multi-tool/Swiss army knife

Like a Swiss army knife, the right multi-tool can help you cut small branches for a fire, open cans of food, use a small LED flashlight, and open bottles.


Like other items on this list, a compass and map don’t take up much space, but if you know how to use them, they can keep you from getting lost – or can help you get back on the right track if you do end up somewhere other than where you planned. Make sure your map is up-to-date.

Before you go

Now that you know the seven most essential items to take camping with you, it’s time to consider your trip disaster-proofed. The right gear can keep you safe and help you enjoy the absolute best that the great outdoors has to offer.

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