With concerns about rising prices of basics like gas and food, some people are reluctant to go camping, though it isn’t a terribly expensive means of getting away for a while. At least it doesn’t have to be.
How about camping on the cheap or casual camping? You can do this near home or right in your backyard overnight.
Consider car camping, where you pitch the tent next to the car for an overnighter in a nearby spot and explore local activities. There are no hard and fast rules on how to do this. Only a few basics are necessary, and you may even have some of these already, without having to purchase everything.
You’ll need a tent, sleeping bags, and a cooler of food and drink. You don’t have to buy high end gear and supplies. One significant benefit to having them is they’re reusable.
That’s important for a couple of reasons. You don’t have to lay out money for gear each time you go camping, and your gear can and should be used in survival situations.
Consider having basic gear and supplies as good insurance against difficult times. What if storms knock out utilities and other basic services? What if economic or political turmoil spiral unpredictably to create circumstances that necessitate greater need for self reliance?
If you’re a wise shopper, you may be able to purchase a tent for $50, and a sleeping bag for $15-20.
Be sure to take plenty of water for your camping outing to use for drinking and cooking. Camping sites or state parks may have public clean water sources to use, but be prepared if you’re not going to such a place.
Your food choices are up to you. Try out MRE’s or food bars if you’ve never tried them before. Cooking gear can be as elaborate as you like. A propane camp stove is good, but you can heat food in tin foil over a fire as well.
Be sure to have at least one camping lantern. Each family member should have a flashlight. You may want your children each to have an emergency whistle, just in case someone gets lost.
Carry along insect repellent and perhaps a small first aid kit. Don’t forget to bring along any prescribed medications.
Having a weather radio to with a weather alert feature could be useful. At least have a portable AM/FM radio to monitor local broadcasts for weather and news, but don’t allow it to become a distraction.
There are plenty of things you and your family can do for free. For example, go fishing or take a nature walk. Get brochures on attractions in your area. Look in newspapers or magazines for a calendar of events to see if there are any fairs or festivals you could attend.
Camping can be a time of family bonding and can lend new perspective. By gaining the experience of living with only the basics, those survival situations won’t be so unknown or fearful.
Take advantage of camping opportunities as part of your survival strategy while you can, or later you may wish you had taken your family’s preparedness more seriously. As a former president might put it, “Do it for the children.”