Categories: F.Y.I.

Camping And Outdoor Survival Tips

It’s fall, everyone’s favorite time to go camping! But it’s also a time of some danger, thick fog, severe weather, and the end of hurricane season. So whether you’re ready to have fun, or just to stay safe and educated, here are six survival tips.

1. What to Pack

Getting ready for camp, or getting ready for a natural disaster, if you need to leave your house make sure you take all these items in a big duffel “go bag” “survival kit”. And make sure you keep this bag somewhere hidden, close to the front door. 

  • Flashlight: Check what type of batteries it needs if the bulb still works, and if it’s bright enough to help you see at least 5 feet in front of you. Always check your flashlights beam distance. The best type of flashlight is an LED one. You should also look into solar-powered and water-resistant ones.
  • Batteries: So many batteries! Especially double and triple A’s, since they seem to power most electronics.
  • Chargers and Charged Portal Chargers
  • Toiletries: You want this go bag to be relatively light, so get your toiletries in travel size.
  • Back-Up: Eyeglasses, small battery-operated radio, compass, writing and eating utensils, matches, lighter fluid, food and drink, blanket, shoes, and clothes. There should be enough clothes so you can change with the weather.
  • First Aid Kit: Ace bandages, bandaids, ointment, alcohol wipes, gloves, cloth tape, sewing kit, aspirin (any other medication you need), gauze, EpiPen, tweezers, bug spray.
  • A Tent: Waterproof (Rainfly cover), cold and wind-resistant.

2. How To Make …

We have so many daily appliances in our homes that only take a push of a button to work. Here’s how to make what you need for any chance of survival without those buttons. 

  • A Campfire: First, find or build a fire ring (so it stays contained). Second, Make sure there is no flammable material nearby, other than the equipment you need. The base of your fire should be sand or gravel. Third, you’ll need to find three different types of firewood. Tinder (small twigs & leaves), Kindling (small/medium sticks), Firewood (big pieces of wood and trees to keep the fire going). Fourth, set your firewood up in the way you need it, whether you need your campfire to last longer, burn higher, or burn hotter, there’s a specific way to set it up. Last, light your tinder, blow lightly at the base of the fire which will increase its intensity. Do this with a bunch of different tinders and place them in the middle of your campfire.
  • Fire from a Battery: By placing one strip of tin foil on each end of an AA battery (works best), you can get the foil to heat up and burst into flames. Foil gum wrappers are also perfectly fine to use. Squeeze the middle section of your foil making it thinner than the edges that touch the battery. Get the thin center part raised in the air, it should be an arc. Once both edges touch the battery a spark will start a very tiny flame for a short period of time. Within this time you must transfer this flame to whatever your setting on fire.
  • A Compass: Get a cup of water and place a leaf in the center. Put a sewing needle (or a tiny piece of wire) on top of the leaf. The magnetic fields of Earth will naturally orient the needle to point North/South.
  • A Sling: Shirts, blanks, bandanas, pillowcase, hoodies, these are all options for a makeshift arm sling. First, cut or fold the fabric diagonally to make a triangle. Slip one long end of the triangle under the arm and over the shoulder. Then with the other end of the fabric, go over the other shoulder, this should make it cradle the injured arm.
  • A Water Lamp: Sometimes you need a whole room lit up, and not just the area your flashlight points to. A very simple way to make a lamp is with a flashlight, and a water bottle (preferably a gallon). Tape a flashlight, or a headlamp/light would be most helpful (wide and thin), to a filled gallon of water, and the water reflects the lighting in all directions lighting up a room perfectly.
  • Mosquitos Stay Away: Burning, Sage, Rosemary, Basil, Peppermint, Lemon Balm, Catnip, or Lavender.
  • A Candle: Crayon Candles (They can be stood up on end and lit on fire for 15 minutes), Crisco Candles (put a makeshift wick/string through a big glop of it and it’ll stay lit for hours).

3. When To Stay Away From …

There are certain things you need to look out for if you want all the survival tips to work. You actually have to get to using these tips somehow. 

  • Thunder and Lighting: Once you see lighting, count to 30. If you hear thunder before 30, get indoors. Less than 30 seconds apart means the lightning is less than 100 feet away, which makes it deadly. If you find yourself outside still, and your hair starts becoming very staticky, you need to get inside, which indicates that the lightning is right near you.
  • Wild Food and Berries:
    • Unless you are an expert on mushrooms and studied them for years, don’t even touch mushrooms. A majority of mushrooms are toxic.
    • Plants with umbrella-shaped flowers should not be eaten.
    • Avoid white and yellow berries only 10% are edible. Blue and black berries are usually the safest to eat. Only 50% of red berries are edible.
    • It is a myth that if an animal eats something, then it is safe (deer eat poison ivy).
    • Do not eat wild nuts that taste or smell like almonds they are EXTREMELY dangerous.
      • How to check your berries (be weary, this technique can still cause harm)
        • Put a small amount of juice on your forearm and wait until it dries. If there is no burning, swelling or redness, put a small amount of juice on the corner of your mouth and wait until it dries. If there is no burning or stinging put a small amount of juice on your tongue. If there is no burning or stinging eat a very small amount. (If you immediately feel sick or vomit, stop eating!) If no symptoms occur in 24 hours, the item MOST LIKELY is not poisonous.
        • Eat sparingly at first, and if symptoms still do not occur, proceed to eat as much as you like.
  • Leaves (identifying the poisonous ones):
    • Poison Ivy comes in leaves of three. One leaf will be bigger than the other two. There are different types of Poison Ivy, some have rounded leaf edges, others are rigid and notched. Its red only in the spring, green in the summer, and yellow/orange in fall. Sometimes in the summer, you can find clusters of greenish-white berries and flowers on the ivy.
    • Poison Oak also grows in the form of three leaves, but on rare occasions, leaves can be in fives or sevens. But their identifying feature is the lobed, wavy leaves. Poison Oak is bright green in the spring, yellow-green and sometimes pink in the summer, and turn yellow into dark brown during the fall.
  • Insects: Most bugs do more good than harm. And most bugs are a huge source of nutrients when in the wilderness. But there are a lot that are just no good. Here are some insects to avoid.
    • brightly colored insects
    • fuzzy or hairy insects
    • Grasshoppers are GOOD to eat but can contain tapeworms, so open them up and check their insides before eating.


See Also

4. How To Perform …

Anything can happen at any moment, so we need to be prepared for anything and anyone’s survival. Here are some things you should know during a medical emergency. 

  • CPR for a conscious adult: After you make sure they need CPR, start by
    • Standing behind them and do abdominal thrusts by
      • Placing your fist, with the thumb side against the middle of the abdomen, just above the navel and covering your fist with your other hand.
  • CPR for an unconscious adult: While they are laying on their back
    • Give 30 chest compressions by
      • Pushing down hard and fast in the middle of the chest, over the breastbone, with one hand on top of the other and fingers interlaced.
      • Press down  2-2.4 inches deep and let the chest recoil within each compression.
    • Give them two breaths by (Not always necessary)
      • Making sure their head is tilted back and their chin is lifted
      • Pinch the nose shut and cover the victim’s mouth with your mouth to form a complete seal. Blow inside the victim’s mouth for 1 second and check to see if the victim’s chest rises. If their chest does not rise, give another breath.
  • CPR for an unconscious Child: Is almost the same as CPR for an adult.
    • Give 30 chest compressions
      • You can use one hand if you think the child could not handle both. For one-handed compressions, press down hard and fast on the center of the chest using the heel of your hand.
      • For two-handed compressions, push down hard and fast on the center of the chest with the heel of one hand and place the other over top.
      • Only push down two inches.
  • CPR for a conscious Infant: Holding the baby with their back facing you,
    • Give five back blows between their shoulder blades, with the heal of your hand.
    • If that doesn’t work, turn them back over
      • Their face should be upwards in one arm with the same hand cupping their head
      • Place two or three fingers in the center of the infant’s chest just below the nipples and press down onto the breastbone, about 1 1/2 inches deep –and only do 5 Compressions.
  • CPR for an unconscious Infant: Give 3o chest compressions by
    • Using two fingers, push down in the center of the chest, just below the nipple line
      • Give 30 chest compressions at the rate of at least 100 per minute
      • Only press down approximately 1 1/2 inches deep
    • Give them two breaths
      • Make sure the head is tilted back and the chin is lifted into a neutral, or sniffing, position
      • Cover the infant’s mouth and nose with your mouth to form a complete seal
      • Give your first breath which should last one second.
  • CPR for a conscious Pet: First, using your middle and index fingers check for breathing and pulse
    • Pulse can be found, below wrist, inner thigh, ankle.
      • Other warning signs
        • Gums and lips will appear gray in color
        • Their pupils will be dilated
    • If *no pulse* start CPR
      • Lay your pet on its right side, with its heart facing upwards
      • Place your hands over the ribs where its elbows touch the chest and begin chest compressions
        • Cats and small dogs under 30 pounds: press down ½ – 1 inch
        • Medium dogs between 30-90 pounds: press down 1 – 1 ½ inches
        • Large dogs over 90 pounds: press down 1 ½ – 2 inches
    • The breaths: If a pet is not breathing
      • Cats and small dogs: close your pet’s mouth shut, place your mouth over the nose and mouth, and blow until you see chest rise
      • Medium to large dogs: close your pet’s mouth shut, place your mouth over the nose, blow until you see chest rise
  • Giving Stitches: If you can’t possibly get to an ER anytime soon and butterfly bandages aren’t working. You can also attempt using superglue.
    • You’ll need: Ibuprofen, ice, clean towel, sterile gauze, Antiseptic, Needle (preferably curved and small), Alcohol and cotton ball, lighter or matches, thread (silk or nylon, fishing line works too), scissors and a bandage large enough to cover the wound.
    • Sterilize the wound area, work area, and equipment (Use the lighter to sterilize the needle)
    • Ice the area if it is swollen. But not directly to the cut.
    • Take the curved needle and
      • Run it from the outside through the entire layer of skin
      • Cross the laceration back through the other side, bottom to top and out.
      • Then they tie off each stitch with a square knot and continue
    • If using a straight needle
      • Instead of going all the way through the skin at a steep angle, go only halfway through at a much gentler slope.
      • After the needle exits at the center of the cut, (instead of entering back through in the same direction and going bottom to top)
      • Go top to bottom again. The direction of the stitch will now go towards the cut pushing the two pieces of skin toward each other instead of pulling one away during the stitch.
    • As you stitch, pull the line snug enough so your skin seems to return to its original position.
      • If your skin is bunching up or rolling at stitch points, you’re either pulling too tight or not stitching deep enough.
    • When you get to the last stitch
      • Loopback to the stitch prior and knot
      • Cut the excess line from that end only (you should still have your tail in the middle)
      • Now go back to the midpoint of the laceration
        • Tie the second length of thread to the first tail, and stitch in the same fashion as before (in the opposite direction) to the other end of the cut.
    • Put some more antiseptic and cover it up!

5. In The Face Of  …

Survival becomes a lot harder when other animals are in the picture. Good thing there are super simple survival tips when it comes to other dangerous species. 

  • A Bear:
    • Slowly start to back away quietly to leave the area
      • Make sure there is also space for the bear to leave
      • If you are at a safe distance and the bear isn’t agitated, make lots of loud noises to scare it away.
    • If a bear is angry and begins approaching you
      • Raise your arms above your head to seem taller
      • Yell at the bear
      • Stand your ground and intimidate it
      • If it comes after you spray pepper spray in a circular motion
  • A Coyote:
    • They come out during sunrise and sunset. So keep your eyes open.
    • Maintain eye contact, stand tall and assertive.
    • Scare it off
      • Be loud, stomp your feet, shine a light, throw a branch.
  • Mountain Lion: (Rare that you will encounter one)
    • Stay calm and maintain eye contact, hold your ground or back away slowly.
    • Face the lion and stand upright.
    • Give them a way to escape
    • If the lion is approaching you.
      • Stand tall and become intimidating
      • Worst Case Scenario: Throw anything you can find at it while still standing upright.

The outdoors can be scary and dangerous, but there’s a way to handle everything. What is one survival tip you think everyone needs to know? What’s one survival tip you had to use before? Let us know below!

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Samantha Roppola

A film major looking to make a change, or at least be part of one. You can't change the world in one day, or in one life, so i'll just start now.

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