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7 Basic Camping Skills That Can Save Your Life

by Richard A Reagan

You never know when you may find yourself lost in the middle of nowhere, stranded on the side of the road or out in the wilderness. Or maybe your area gets hit by a hurricane, tornado, or other strong storm and your power goes out for days or weeks. When the creature comforts of civilization disappear, you may have to rely on camping skills for survival. Here are a few of the key skills you’ll need to master if you ever find yourself on your own.

1. Creating Shelter

Whether it’s pitching a tent or creating a makeshift lean-to, creating a shelter to protect yourself from the elements can be key to survival. Learn how to create different types of shelter to keep yourself safe.

2. Staying Warm

If you’re stuck outside in the middle of winter, or in the middle of heavy rain, you’ll need to figure out how to keep warm to prevent hypothermia. That means learning multiple ways of fire-starting so that you’ll be able to keep yourself dry and warm.

3. First Aid

You’ll need to know basic first aid, including how to treat cuts, burns, and scrapes, and how to use splints and bandages to immobilize broken limbs or joints. If the environment you’re in faces looters or shooters, a trauma kit that can help stabilize victims of stabs or gunshot wounds can be helpful.

4. Finding Water

Learn how to identify sources of potable water, and how to purify water that isn’t immediately drinkable. It would be preferable to know at least two methods to purify water.

5. Finding Food

Hopefully you have food stored up in a pantry, basement, or root cellar for long-term storage in the future. That will come in helpful if you experience an emergency at home. But if you’re on the road and stranded, you may have to forage for your own sustenance.

6. Staying in Shape

You may find yourself needing to use your own two feet to get back home, or to get anywhere. Walking even a mile or two if you’re out of shape and haven’t walked in a while can be exhausting, not to mention hard on your feet. Try to walk for at least half an hour a day to make sure that you retain the physical ability to hike when you need to.

7. Reading a Map

Whether you have a paper topographical map, a smartphone map app, or a GPS device, knowing how to read a map is critical. If you don’t know how to figure out where you are and where you need to go, you may find yourself hopelessly lost. Start practicing now so that you’ll have the knowledge and skill when you really need it.

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