Camping gear can save your life
If you like the outdoors, camping out for a weekend or longer might be a big part of your recreational activities. Over time, you have probably acquired various types of camping gear that help to make your stay on a wilderness excursion more attractive, comfortable and enjoyable. You may not have considered, however, that such equipment could become an important component in an emergency situation for you and your family.
Disasters, both natural and man-made are becoming a factor in the lives of thousands of people each year. These might include a sudden out-of-control wildfire. Perhaps you live in an area that has earthquakes or flooding. If a hurricane or tornado hits suddenly, an emergency kit prepared by using camp equipment and supplies, may mean the difference between survival and starving. Planning for an emergency you hope will never happen is a wise practice.
As a basis, you should have not one but several emergency kits available to you. For a lone individual, this might mean one in your vehicle, one in your home and one in your workplace. If there are children in your household, a kit composed of camping equipment and supplies should take into consideration their needs.
The basic elements of any emergency preparedness kit include food, shelter, clothing and water, not necessarily in that order. Obviously pure water is one of the first elements of a successful camping or emergency experience.
Every kit should contain a way to purify water. This can consist of tablets, or more sophisticated equipment. Some people keep a supply of bottled water on hand for emergency use, but obviously the bulk of bottled products reduces the efficiency of the kit.
Food is another component of a well stocked camping kit. Dried or dehydrated food is lightweight and can be reconstituted when water is available. The shelf life on such products is usually quite lengthy. A three-day supply for each person in your household is a good benchmark. A good propane or butane stove and a cooking container is another items that should be in an emergency stock.
The need for shelter can vary depending upon your physical location, the climate, and length of time that you are planning for. At a minimum, most people should have some type of blanket or covering that helps to keep moisture off and heat in. Some of the space age technology has provided excellent products for minimal shelter needs. A solar blanket, for example will help keep you warm if you are stuck in a snowstorm.
Other smaller items that can help you get along while camping include matches or a lighter and fuel to refill it. You will want a first aid kit with a good selection of common items. A multipurpose knife is essential for many purposes. You may want to think about sunscreen and insect repellent if you are particularly susceptible to these factors of outdoor living.
When each member of your household is involved in the planning for camping gear, you are less likely to forget something that is of critical importance. Issues such as needed medications, personal hygiene and special dietary needs should be addressed. You may even want to have in place a regular drill so that your family practices what to do in the event of an emergency. This could be planned around a weekend trip.