Many moons ago we were more accustomed to lighting a fire and reading the stars. But, now we are more comfortable to reading a satnav, turning the telly on, and street lights. However, that makes more of us want to head out into the wilderness. To find out a bit more about ourselves, and get a little bit closer to nature.
Make sure that you have things like torches, spare batteries, high protein snack bars, mobile phone charging block and check out Chris Reeve knives for sale to get a sturdy multi use tool.
There are skills that all campers should learn before they undertake anything too big of a challenge. Most are essential survival skills, but you never know when something you read once will be the thing that saves your life.
Navigation used to be done with an A-2-Z, now we are reliant on a satnav to get us where we want to go. Learning to read a map, using a compass is going to pay dividends when you finally get to the spot without any signal.
You can also learn to read the stars. That might sound like something fresh out of Moana, but really it is a great skill to have.
Equally interesting and useful to have is being able to work out the time and where you’re heading using the sun. After all, it rises and sets in the same place every day.
If you are going to exploring the area, you might like to bring flag markers or rope with you. So that you can follow your way quickly back to the campsite. Marking the ground is a great way to make sure you don’t go around in circles, and the rope is a great visual aid too.
If you are going in a group, you should make sure that one or two of you know how to perform CPR at very minimum. On from that knowing how to make a tourniquet, clean and wrap smaller wounds, and even setting a broken bone temporarily will be great.
You don’t like to think about the worst happening, but if it does, you should be as prepared as possible to deal with it.
Knowing how to light a fire with fluid and a lighter is one thing. Knowing how to build a fire without matches is another.
You should be able to identify the perfect firewood and stockpile it before your first night arrives. The ideal firewood will be dry and in a range of sizes. Try not to disturb any nearby burrows and nests when you are collecting it.
You should also learn how to put a fire out and be respectful to the wildlife in the area. Putting it out the wrong way can scare off smaller animals.
Staying warm sounds easy, but you’re going to need to make sure that you have multiple layers on, and that you have padded the floor that you are going to sleep on really well. Having a few pairs of sock in case your feet get wet is going to be essential. As well as planning for the fact the weather might change and get colder or wetter.
While building your tent should be pretty fast and reasonably easy for you. Because of course, you did it multiple times in the garden before you headed out into the wilderness, you need to know how to make a makeshift shelter.
Tents can, and do, on occasional fly away in extreme winds, collapse or just don’t get put together correctly. Learning what you can build a reasonable shelter in is a great skill to have.
Full branches with plenty of leaves piled up in just the right way can fend off a multitude of weathers. Think Eeyore but much more sturdy. This isn’t just about keeping the elements out though, you need to make the layers of shelter thick enough to keep your body heat in too. The ground is going to need to be covered well also.
Eating & Drinking
You might bring a few bottles of water with you, but you should really consider learning how to sanitize your water for drinking.
Once you master how to light and keep a fire, you can then boil the water. You can use it hot for making tea, or you can wait for it to cool and pop it in a bottle.
When it comes to eating you should know the following:
- How to cook on a full flame
- How to cook on embers
- How to dig a hole and cook in it
- How to set up a pot rig
If you are intending to live off the land, you’re going to either be fishing, hunting or foraging.
If you are fishing, firstly make sure that you know you have the right to do so. And secondly, ensure that you know how to catch the particular fish in the waters that you are surrounded by.
If you are hunting bigger game, then be prepared to catch it, kill it, clean it and store it before it gets dark. Storing fresh game properly is going to stop you from getting harassed by bigger predators.
Speaking of storage, make sure all of your food is in airtight containers and away from the main camp. You never know when a nosy and hungry bear will catch the scent of some cake and come looking.
As for foraging, get yourself some good books on the subject. There is plenty of vegetation that you can eat and will be quite delicious – so long as you know what you are looking for.
Eating the wrong thing can be seriously problematic.
Being aware of your surroundings at all times isn’t just a tagline. Knowing the animals in the vicinity, where the quickest source of fresh water is and even where the last person went to the toilet all matters.
Being respectful to the environment you are in, and taking stock of how beautiful nature is can make camping one of the most rewarding things a person can do.
Forests, lakes, and rivers, clouds and winds, stars and flowers, stupendous glaciers and crystal snowflakes every form of animate or inanimate existence, leaves its impress upon the soul of man – Orison Swett Marden.