survival camping

How to survive camping with only the basic equipment?

Have you ever asked yourself what it is like to only have the bare minimum of equipment with you when camping out in nature and to try to survive?
I can tell you that planning your camping trip like this is a completely different feeling. You forego all luxury and only take with you the bare essentials that you need to survive in nature. It really is a great experience to spend day and night in the wild with minimal camping and survival gear.

Why don’t you even plan a tour like this? Of course, such a camping adventure is not for the whole family or even for luxury campers, but you will see how much fun it is and how much it connects you with nature.

Of course, you should never go on such an expedition without equipment or an emergency plan. It can always be the case that an accident happens or that the weather suddenly changes and you are no longer able to continue the camping trip. So always have a plan B in hand!
By that, I mean that you have a phone or a radio with you, with which you can quickly call for help in an emergency. What is also very important before such an extreme adventure, always inform several people about your plan and arrange a certain date with them when you will be back home or call them. In the worst case, help can be called quickly, and search parties can be sent out to help you and find you.

How to plan the camping adventure?

If you’ve really decided to go on a basic camping trip, good planning is of course very important. Well, I recommend that you set a route at home that is feasible for you. Don’t set your goals too high, take it easy the first few times.

When planning your trip, make sure that you hike and stay overnight as close as possible to a river or lake. This makes it easier for you to find your way around and in an emergency you can also find your way back to your starting point or your car.

What should you pay attention to?

If you want to go on a camping trip like this and only want to take minimal equipment with you, you should of course be aware that you have to do things that are sometimes not very pleasant. For example, you have to catch your own fish or build traps to catch smaller animals that you can roast over your campfire in the evening. You also have to make sure that you always have enough water. But if you are only traveling with your backpack, it is rather difficult to always have enough water with you. So you also have to think about how to get fresh water on the way. If you are hiking near a river or lake, for example, you can of course fetch water. But always make sure that you boil this water well beforehand to kill all the bacteria in it. You should also avoid small lakes and ponds where the water is not regularly renewed. Dangerous bacteria can quickly form there, which can make you very sick.

As a little tip, take a mobile water filter with you if necessary. This filters all dangerous substances out of the water and makes it drinkable. But you should only use this in absolute emergency situations.

If necessary, pack a few cookies in your backpack or a few granola bars. If you have no luck at all with fishing or hunting, you can still eat a few cookies in an emergency and don’t have to go to bed hungry.

camping in a tent

What are the basic equipment you absolutly need to survice in the wilderness?

On our basic equipment camping trip we only want to take the most essential equipment with us and try to take care of ourselves outdoors in nature. Therefore, you can get an 80-100 liter backpack and fill it with basic equipment. A backpack like this isn’t too heavy either and you can still walk well with it. Make sure that you pack the things that you need regularly as far up as possible in the backpack. So you always have these things at hand. I have listed a few things below that you should definitely have with you to survive. But of course, you can still put things on the list that is absolutely vital for you.

Camouflage as a survival strategy

If you want to survive outside, it is always better to be invisible as possible. So make sure you wear dark clothes or clothes and equipment in camouflage colors. For example, if you are hunting you should be as inconspicuous as possible and adapt to nature and the environment. There are now backpacks that have a camouflage design.

the campers survival guide

Here are the things that you should definitely pack in your backpack

  • Small sleeping bag
    A sleeping bag is of course very important so that you don’t get cold at night and so you can rest at night and gather new energy for the next day. But make sure that the sleeping bag is not too big and does not take up too much space in your luggage. There are sleeping bags that can be collapsed very small.
  • Small one-man tent
    A tent is of course very important, it offers you protection and warmth at night. Of course, the tent shouldn’t be so big that it takes up too much space in your backpack. I can recommend a root tent that is very easy to assemble and dismantle. This offers enough space for one person and protects you from cold, wind and rain.

Of course, you can also build your own camp. You can also build a bed for the night out of branches and twigs. But you have to consider that it is very time-consuming and may not protect you from cold and rain as well as a real tent. But that depends on your preferences.

  • Clothing to change
    Nothing is worse than cold and wet clothes. For example, if you got wet from rain, you should change your clothes quickly to avoid getting cold or sick. Therefore, you should always have at least one set of new clothes in your backpack. You may also be able to take spare shoes with you. It’s also not comfortable when your shoes get wet. But that also depends on how much space you still have in your backpack.
  • Camouflage net
    It is important not to attract attention in nature. You should avoid bright colors on your clothes or your backpack. For example, if you are on the hunt, you don’t want to be seen immediately or to scare off animals. For example, you can cover your tent or your backpack with a camouflage net to make it invisible. These camouflage nets can now be bought very cheaply and take up almost no space in your backpack.
  • Rain poncho
    If you have bad luck with the weather, you can’t just break off your camping trip. It can also happen that it only rains briefly and you have no way of looking for a hiding place from the rain. Nothing is worse than having to run with wet clothes. Even with wet clothes you can cool down very quickly and get sick. Above all, however, wet clothing robs you of a lot of the energy you need for the hike.
  • Flashlight / headlamp
    A good flashlight is one of the most important things in your luggage. A flashlight can be very helpful in many situations. A flashlight can, for example, help you to find your way back to your warehouse in the evening or as a signal if you need help. Always make sure that the batteries of the flashlight are fully charged and it is best to take spare batteries or a spare battery with you.
  • Compass / GPS device
    Somehow you have to be able to orientate yourself outside in the wilderness and be able to find the way and also be able to find the way back to your camp or your car. If you can use a compass, it is of course sufficient to take a compass with you. But if you are not very familiar with the compass, you can also take a GPS device with you. With this GPS device you can save your route before your tour and follow the instructions of the GPS device. This makes navigating in nature and in unknown areas particularly easy. In connection with a map, you always know exactly where you are.
  • Map
    A map printed on paper is always very useful. In connection with a compass or a GPS device, you can always determine your current position and determine where you want to go and choose the optimal route for your hiking tour. There are also country gardens that are printed on waterproof paper. This is of course very practical when it rains or when the humidity is very high.
  • Fishing rod
    If you are planning a survival camping hiking trip, the search for food is of course particularly important. Food gives you new energy for a long hike. If you sit around the campfire in the evening and have nothing to eat, you will quickly get in a bad mood. Going to bed hungry is probably the worst. Therefore, you should definitely take a small fishing rod with you that fits well in your backpack. If you have a lake or a river nearby, it is very likely that you will be able to catch fish there. You can use the soil to search for worms as bait. These are particularly good for catching fish. You should also learn how to process and prepare a fish before your hiking trip. If you find herbs in the wall, you can use them to make the fish even tastier.
  • Hunting knife
    A good knife should be part of the standard equipment of every camper. It can help you when you build your camp or when you eat. For example, you can use a good knife to prepare fish or cut branches. A multi-tool is not a bad idea either. Having tools with you can always be very helpful.
  • Binoculars
    You should always have binoculars in your luggage. In this way you can plan your route or discover driving further away at an early stage. It doesn’t always have to be high-end binoculars. A simple pair of binoculars is usually enough.
  • Drinking bottle
    A water bottle is very important. You can use a metal or plastic camping water bottle. But it is important that you have the possibility to always have water with you. You can also hang a water bottle on your belt and pack a water bottle in your backpack so that you always have a reserve. After the water is used up, you should find a source that is as clean as possible or a clean river to boil new water and refill your drinking bottles.
  • First aid kit
    There can always be a situation in which you need help quickly. For example, if you injure yourself with your knife or sprain your ankle, you should be able to help yourself quickly. I therefore recommend that you always have a good first aid kit with you. Before your tour, check that everything you need is still there, from the plaster to the cloth to stop major bleeding.
  • Water filter
    You should always have a special emergency water filter with you. If you ever get into the situation that you need water quickly, but you have no way of properly boiling the water, this emergency water filter will help you. With these filters you can also drink from dirty springs. But please also note that these filters do not last very long. You should really only use these filters in an emergency. So rather put on it that you take water from a clean river and then boil this water again to make it drinkable.
  • Fire starter
    The best thing is that you always have several options to start a fire. For example, you can pack one or two lighters in your backpack. Nevertheless, you should also have a special survival fire starter with you that works even if it gets wet.
  • Camping cutlery, a pan or saucepan and a plate
    If you want to prepare your fish in the evening, you need a pan to fry the fish. I also recommend that you always take a few spices with you. You can fill salt, pepper and paprika powder into smaller bags and stow them safely and securely in your backpack. Some fish that you find in the river don’t taste that good. So a serving of salt or pepper can save your dinner. You should also always have a fork, knife and spoon with you. You don’t want to eat with your fingers;) We go camping, but we don’t have to live like animals, it can be a bit of civilization;)
  • A good book
    What do you do when you lie in the tent in the evening and cannot fall asleep straight away? So it’s good to have a book. Take your favorite book with you or, even better, a survival guide in which you can read up again how you can best prepare for the next day. But don’t forget to take a headlamp with you, as it can be difficult to read a book with a flashlight.
  • For an absolute emergency: mobile phone or two-way radio
    Should you ever get into an emergency situation, for example if you are injured and can no longer walk or if you are lost and can no longer find your way back, you should always have a mobile phone or a radio with you in case of an emergency can get help in an emergency. It can also be very practical to have a mirror or a flare with you. If, for example, a helicopter or an airplane is looking for you from the air, you can quickly draw attention to yourself.
  • For absolute emergencies: biscuits, muesli bars, a small bottle of water
    If you don’t have any success at fishing or hunting you have to eat something. That’s why you should always pack a few cookies or a few granola bars in case of an absolute emergency. If you haven’t eaten in the evening or in the morning, you won’t have much strength to continue running or to hunt or fish again. There is also special survival food that is high in calories and easy to take with you.
the campers survival guide


A survival camping and hiking trip can be a lot of fun, but you need to prepare properly for it. Even so, you need a minimum amount of equipment to survive in the wild. If you have this minimum amount of equipment with you, you will have a lot of fun. You should stow the equipment in a good backpack and prepare for the tour a few days in advance. Plan your tour so that you still have time to enjoy nature. Plan your routes so that you have plenty of time to enjoy nature and also to go foraging and to prepare your night camp.

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