There is no reason that prepping has to be a drudge or a chore. As a matter of fact, preparedness can be combined with a hobby and actually be productive and fun at the same time.
What kind of hobbies? Some examples include fishing, hunting, biking, hiking, crafting (for example with paracord), reading (survival fiction!) and of course, camping. I know that I tend to be repetitive when it comes to extolling the virtues of combining hobbies with prepping but the fact remains, doing so is the very best way to coast a reluctant spouse, partner or family member into the preparedness lifestyle.
Each of these hobbies, in one way or another, helps hone a skill that could become valuable in a post SHTF world. Even reading can be considered skill-building. As you get into the mind of someone who must make life or death decisions, you are challenged to think about the actions you would take if faced with a similar situation.
But I am getting off track.
Test Your Preps – Go Camping!
When it comes to camping, I have noticed there seems to be three types of people: Those that have never camped; those that have camped before but have not gone in a while; and those that go camping on a regular basis. If you are a prepper and fall into either of the first two categories, it is time to pack up and head out to the field!
One aspect of prepping you need to keep in mind,is if you did not personally test it, it does not work! Camping is a good time to test your preparedness items, as many of the things you need for your emergency preparedness kits are either directly used in camping, or are closely related.
Going camping is like putting yourself into a controlled survival situation. The advantage, though, is you are in control of the situation and can always go back to the comfort of your home at anytime.
Much of what you need when you go camping is a direct parallel to being prepared. You need to provide things like your own shelter, food, water, a way to cook, sleeping bags and pads, and the like. You also get to test and improve your survival skills, like starting a fire, forecasting the weather, cooking over an open flame, dealing with sanitation in a field environment, and many others. Even learning to deal without electric light is something that you need to do when camping.
If you have not camped before, start out by going to one of the established campsites that have toilets and running water. This makes it much easier to get used to being out in the great outdoors. Once you think you are ready, try going to a primitive camping area, where you need to bring everything you need, such as all of your water, a way to make an expedient toilet, a way to keep your food cold, and so on.
Camping is also a great way to take your kids exploring and getting them used to doing things the “old fashioned” way. If your children are young, teach them survival skills appropriate for their age, such as what to do when lost and fire safety, and staying away from dangerous insects and animals. As kids get older, survival skills like starting a fire, making a shelter and other field-craft can make them a more confident person as they grow up.
It does not matter when you go, as you should try camping at different times of the year. Different seasons call for a different way of camping. For example, winter camping is completely different than the other seasons and should not be tried by the novice camper, though you should not let the cold and snow thwart you from having a fun and educational time.
You do not even have to leave your home to go camping. Camping at home in your backyard, or even in your living room, can be a good way to ease younger children into the idea of camping in the wilds. Most kids, though, would love the backyard adventure of sleeping the night in a tent. Even for the novice camper, this is a good way to learn things like how to put together your new tent, figure out how the cook-stove works, and test out the sleeping bag to make sure that it is warm enough, without having to worry about having to sleep in the car if something goes wrong.
Also, as a beginning camper, you will need to start acquiring the necessary equipment. Tents, sleeping pads and bags, a cook stove, outdoor camping gear, and water containers are some of the things that you will need when camping.
Even for experienced campers, going out to the wilds and setting up a camp for the weekend leads to new discoveries. It also helps you figure out how to do something better such as learning what to bring next time so you are either more comfortable or have more convenience.
Whether driving to a campsite across the state or setting up in your backyard, camping is a great way to test your preps and build experience using your gear.
The Final Word
In the old days, meaning the 1980’s, my idea of camping was staying in a hotel without room service and a bathtub. Seriously. Then I bought a boat and learned that it was a lot more fun to rough it while anchored in remote cove with limited water, limited power, and a minimum of sanitation facilities.
I think camping (or boating) is a great way to learn to MacGyver – meaning fix stuff using your wits and whatever happens to be available in the moment. As a matter of fact, I have been compiling a list of all the reasons camping will help you prepare for emergencies but being the tease that I am, I will hold those for another day.
As always, I want to thank Rob for his tips and invite you to visit his website at The Preparedness Podcast.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye Levy, also known as the Survival Woman, grew up and attended school in the Greater Seattle area. After spending many years as an executive in the software industry, she started a specialized accounting practice offering contract CFO work to emerging high tech and service industries. She has now abandoned city life and has moved to a serenely beautiful rural area on an island in NW Washington State. She lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable and self-reliant lifestyle through her website at BackdoorSurvival.com. At Backdoor Survival, Gaye speaks her mind and delivers her message of prepping with optimism and grace, regardless of the uncertain times and mayhem swirling around us.