6 Essential Survival Items For the Modern Camper

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Ashley Jacoby of ExploreTheUsa.com

When campers pack for a camping trip, they are typically thinking about what convenience items they should take. Not many people these days like to think about what could happen when disaster strikes their trip to the great outdoors or what gear they would need.

However, neglecting the essential tools needed for survival will end up leaving campers high and dry if the worst should happen. Before heading out on that big trip, there is some essential survival gear that every modern camper must have.

Here are the 6 essential survival items for the modern camper:

1-Solar Powered Charger of Batteries/Cell Phone/GPS

solar powered battery charger

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You will never miss your cell phone more until it dies a hundred miles away from the next power outlet. Communication devices are essential in survival situations not only for trying to contact help but for navigation.

Don’t rely on portable one-charge devices or always having electricity nearby; the only reliable thing outdoors is that eventually, the sun will shine. It may be a few days, but eventually these solar powered devices will allow cell phones or GPS devices to be charged.

Many solar powered chargers offer interchangeable input devices and battery charging stations guaranteeing that campers can charge any device, anywhere.
2-Water Purification System

small water filter

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Campers think that bringing a gallon of water with them is enough. Why not? They can just fill it up at the nearest ranger’s station. However, when that gallon runs out and campers are faced with a choice between a twenty mile walk to closest beacon of civilization or some questionable stream water, that gallon doesn’t really seem like it was enough.

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This doesn’t mean campers need to drag around some massive water pump and purification system though. Water purifiers come in sizes smaller than a bottle of water now, with many being tube-like straws that allow for outdoors people to drink straight from the water without having to boil or filter it first.

Even having purification tablets on hand are handy in a pinch. It’s a small accessory, but it can have a big impact on a survival situation out in the wild.


paracord 550

No one brings rope when they camp anymore. Most campers feel there is no need to have any, they have a tent, so what would they ever use any rope for? That’s all well and good until they find themselves with no shelter and no rope that would make building one much easier.

Rope can be a bit bulky, but paracord is not. It is small enough to be woven into a stylish bracelet and strong enough to hold two grown men (in the case of the average 550 paracord that holds 550 pounds suspended.) Paracord is easy to transport, strong and useful in a number of situations besides just building shelters.
4-A Sharp Knife

Paracord is an excellent tool to have, but without a sharp knife it cut it, it is significantly less effective as campers can only use one rope for one task. A sharp knife is a must even outside of a survival situation; it has thousands of great uses from cutting food to helping make a fire.

However, it is never more useful until campers get into a tough situation. Even if campers are worried about their kids playing with it, a sharp knife is still an absolute essential for the modern camper.
5-Matches and a Lighter

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Matches and a lighter, not either or, both of them are a must when camping. While modern campers may know the basic theory of creating fire with a hand drill or another technique, they are all time consuming and difficult.

Having two options to make fire is better than one or none. If the lighter runs out of juice, the matches are a good back up. If the matches get wet, there is always that handy lighter around.

For campers that want an even higher chance of fire starting success should disaster strike, pack a small flint and carbon fire starter. As they say, fire is life so life without fire is deadly.
6-A Sturdy Tarp

Most campers end up bringing a tarp along on their camping trip because it is excessively useful. However, for those thinking of leaving it at home, think again. Even if it isn’t going to rain, tarps are useful in emergency situations.

Not only do they make for a waterproof addition to an improvised shelter, but they can be used to carry or collect water. This is an age old essential, but still should not be left out of the modern camper’s survival kit.

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