man backpacking in the wilderness

Critical to survival | Wilderness Survival Kit Checklist

Whether you want to unwind by going off-grid or just get away from civilization for awhile, you should take a survival kit and there are certain things that should be included in it to ensure safety, comfort, and a better chance of survival. 

You need to ask yourself, what would I do in a survival situation?

Why You Need A Wilderness Survival Kit

Survival kits are not just for folks who love to explore the wild. It’s also a bit of an insurance policy.

Do you have all it takes to survive? For a survival kit to be effective in a life or death situation, it must include certain things. Aside from essentials like shelter and food, there are other items that could sustain you for months if you use them sufficiently.

What you’ll need in your Survival Kit

So, let’s take a look at some things you should consider including in your wilderness survival kit: 

Water And Water Filtration

mountain stream

In a survival scenario, a stream may be a welcome sight, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily clean water…

Water is a big deal in terms of survival in the wild. In fact, it’s absolutely critical. You have to assume that in a survival situation, it could be difficult to find clean water in the wilderness. Should you find water and be unable to boil it, you will wish you had a water filter. 



In addition, you should consider buying water disinfectants. When you find water in the wild, there is always the possibility of parasites and bacteria currently living in it. It’s a good idea to have iodine tablets to ensure the water you will be drinking will be safe. 





A Rifle

Having a rifle with you in the wild promotes a better sense of security, and the effectiveness of a rifle shouldn’t be downplayed.

Almost any survival rifle can put down a medium-sized game, and is not large enough to ruin a small game. In addition, you can bag about 50-100, or even 500 rounds of ammo for your rifle in your survival kit without occupying much space, as a larger caliber would.

Having a rifle with you in the wild increases your security, but getting a larger once comes at the expense of space in your survival kit. 



Survival Meals

While in the wild, you are not always assured of encountering wild game, should you need food. In this case, having a supply of freeze-dried survival meals always comes in handy to help sustain you.

Freeze-dried meals are available in most stores; however, clean water must rehydrate and make them edible. 




Shelter And Sleep

man sitting near campfire and tent

The need for shelter in extreme weather conditions makes a tent a must-have survival item.

You should have a tent to sleep in if you’re going to sleeping outdoors and it should be able to fit into your backpack. Understand that an emergency shelter tent may not last long enough in extreme weather conditions, but it will mostly protect you from the rain.

Be sure to do some research and choose the right tent for your adventure.



These type tents are small-sized, lightweight, and easily foldable, so they can be carried along with you.

Also, there is the Life Tent, which is an emergency tent that you can easily set up with rope to secure a quick, safe spot to seek shelter from the rain and sun. 





Headlamp

man looking toward the sky with headlamp

A headlamp is a simple, yet extremely important component of any wilderness survival kit, allowing you to keep your hands free for other tasks when light is low.

If you don’t have a headlamp while in the wild, you have overlooked a simple, yet critical component of a survival kit. The headlamp is a must-have item for those who camp or explore in the wild.



The importance of having a headlamp to illuminate dark and cloudy nights cannot be overstated. A headlamp with an elastic strap, or one that clips to your hat, will allow you to have your hands free to do other tasks that require your attention in a survival situation, such as cooking at night or early morning, or working on a vehicle when light is low.

A headlamp with 550 lumens light is able to light up about 135 meters. 




Communication Device

During times of survival, if at all possible, it’s a wise decision to keep in contact with other people.

In a survival scenario, a shortwave radio with solar power can be essential in making urgent calls. These radios are an excellent purchase to include in your survival kit and can often be used as a led light, charger, and radio. 




First Aid Kit

first aid kit for survival kit

A First Aid Kit may be a no-brainer for a survival kit, but it needs to have the right items in it.

While in the wilderness, you absolutely need to be sure you take a first aid kit with you and be knowledgeable about its contents and prepared to use them, if needed.

First aid is a crucial survival kit item that should be available at all times. You should be sure your first aid kit is stocked with essential items, including pressure dressing, to reduce bleeding, should there be an injury that needs attention. 



Clothing And Footwear

hiking boots

When venturing out into the wilderness, be sure you have the appropriate clothing items in case you find yourself in a survival situation.

As a survivalist, you should ensure you have the right outdoor clothing. Having a comfortable pair of shoes should help you walk faster and easier. Additionally, sunglasses and a hat will help protect your eyes a from the sun.

Also, waterproof boots will help you more easily navigate through rivers and streams while in the wilderness.

Long sleeves also come in handy in protecting yourself from insects as well as sun. Also, moisture wicking socks will help keep your feet dry. You should also put on gloves to avoid blisters and insects, as well as provide protection from extreme hot and cold weather as well as hot objects. 

And, while some may not consider a watch part of your “clothing,” having a durable one like the military G-Shocks watches is a big-time bonus in a survival situation. They’re built to last, and can withstand the elements. Some even have solar power.





Survival Knife

In the wild, chances are, you may be required to do some “cutting” chores, so a quality and reliable knife is a must-have item for your survival kit.

You should get yourself a high-quality knife or a multipurpose tool that includes a knife in it. Your survival knife should be capable of skinning wild game, as well as cutting through and sharpening sticks. An excellent survival knife must be sharp and strong to easily cut through these tough materials. 




Map And Compass

In times of survival, you shouldn’t entirely rely on GPS, because the device you are using may not function properly. So, you should also carry a local map and compass along with you in case you get lost.

Maps and compasses are lightweight items, so they won’t take up much space in your survival kit.

Having a map and compass with you in the wild is a means to an end. Be sure you are familiar with map reading and compass navigation before you set out exploring! 




Final Thoughts On What You Need In Your Survival Kit

This might seem like a lot of items to be carrying in a survival kit. Of course, it’s not a pleasant thought that you could face a life or death situation while exploring, hiking or camping, But, in terms of your survival in the wild, nothing should be taken for granted.

You should always pack a survival kit with you for your trip. You should also know how to use every item in the kit and be physically and mentally able to use them if needed.

While there are certainly many other items than the ones listed that would be useful in a survival sitution, the ones mentioned above should not be overlooked.

Be safe out there!

vw van with rooftop camper

Car Camping: A Compact Guide To An Exciting Adventure

“Car camping” describes a camping style that allows you to drive your vehicle to your campsite, as opposed to backpacking with all your gear to a non-vehicle-friendly destination.

Many people prefer this type of camping for its convenience, affordability, and complete flexibility. 

Woman traveling by car and having a picnic in the mountains

You can pack your car full of your camping equipment, drive directly to a camping ground or camper-friendly park, and set up your ground tent or rooftop tent while using your vehicle as a storage facility for the duration of your stay.

However, if you’ve never been car tent camping before, it’s difficult to know how to plan for such a trip, especially regarding the best equipment to buy and what you’ll need.

So, if you need a helping hand planning your next car camping adventure, the following information might prove helpful. 

How to Choose a Car Camping Shelter

Where you’ll shelter from the elements is one of the most crucial considerations when you start planning a car camping trip.

If you like the idea of luxury car camping, a rooftop tent from a leading stockist like iKamper might be worth your consideration. 

car camping tent

Rooftop tents can bring a luxury component to car camping. They allow you to free up valuable vehicle space as well!

A rooftop tent keeps you and your possessions elevated off the ground and provides a layer of security that a ground tent generally can’t offer.

In addition, you also free up precious space in your vehicle, since you can store all your bedding and sleeping supplies on the roof rather than in the cabin.

No matter your choice, there are several factors worth factoring into the decision-making process, such as the following: 



Car Camping Tent Size

Tents come in all shapes, sizes, and styles, and not all will suit your needs. Consider how many people will typically form your camping group, and make your purchase accordingly.

Many of the best rooftop tents have a sleeping capacity of up to four people, which might be more than enough space. 

rooftop tent in snow

When considering the purchase of a rooftop tent, be sure you consider not only how many people will be in your camping party, but also the type of weather you will be camping in.



Seasons

Most people prefer to camp during the warmer months, but winter camping presents many benefits, such as smaller crowds, fewer bugs, and higher chances of being permitted to light campfires.

Alongside ensuring you have warm clothing to layer, it also might help to consider your camping shelter’s rating for the seasons. 

campfire while car camping

Whether camping in a traditional tent in a rooftop tent, campfires are certainly one of the best parts of a camping trip!

Some shelters are four-season rated for year-round use, while others are better suited to summer and spring conditions. So, be sure to check this information before making your purchase to ensure your comfort at any time of the year. 

Quality

It can be tempting to buy a tent based on its price alone, but a competitive price tag doesn’t always equate to a quality tent. Consider the available features that might contribute to a camping experience that’s memorable for all the right reasons. 

For example, many high-quality rooftop tents come with quilted insulation to reduce condensation, thick poly-cotton canvas to block light, and windows for ventilation.

The more well-made your tent, the more comfortable you might be and the fresher you might wake up for camping activities like hiking



Benefits of Car Camping

When you see luxury motorhomes pulling up at campgrounds, with the occupants enjoying a comfortable home away from home in nature, you might wonder why you’d choose to go car camping. There can be many desirable benefits associated with this camping style compared to others. 

Woman admiring sunset view while while sitting on chair by camper van at beach

Being away from home doesn’t mean you can’t “camp in luxury.”

Affordability

Even the best traditional or rooftop tent on the market is a mere fraction of the price of a motorhome. So, when you don’t have a large camping budget, you can revel in the convenience of still being able to go camping, even if you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to spare. 



You Don’t Have to Unpack

While hiking or backpacking your way to a camping destination can be rewarding, it can be frustrating having to pack and unpack at each site you visit.

Car camping gives you the freedom to leave all your camping essentials in your car. 

If you have a ground tent, you can keep this within an easy-access part of your vehicle cabin, and if you have a rooftop tent, there’s typically no unpacking required. 



You Can Carry More

Accessing off-the-beaten path campgrounds can be a rewarding experience for the average hiker, but it can limit how much camping equipment you take.

Sometimes, you have to choose between comfort and convenience, which might impact your ability to enjoy your camping experience in earnest.

Car camping allows you to take as much camping equipment as you can fit in your vehicle, such as sleeping supplies, cooking equipment, and other activities to pass the time. 


#ad



What to Take When Car Camping

vw beetle car camper

Packing for your very first car tent camping experience can be exciting, especially when you’re heading somewhere new. Before you set off, make sure you’ve got the following equipment…

A Form of Shelter

Protection from the elements can be crucial in the great outdoors. Pack a tent that will protect you from wind, rain, UV rays, and wildlife.

Some people prefer the rusticity of ground tents and simple tarps, while others like the comfort and luxury of rooftop tents. 



Cooking Equipment

sausage and eggs cooking over campfire

You might not be close to any eateries on your camping adventure, so pack equipment you can use to prepare nutritious meals.

A camp stove is essential for beginner and seasoned campers, along with cups, plates, bowls, and cutlery.

Don’t forget the ingredients you’ll need for delicious camp food, like tacos, breakfast sandwiches, campfire nachos, and smores. 


#ad



A Source of Heat

A heat source can be crucial for comfort while camping in colder climes. Check your campsite’s rules on lighting campfires and consider alternative heating sources like camp-friendly heaters, battery-powered blankets, and reusable hand warmers. 


#ad



Bedding

A sleeping bag is essential on any camping trip. Make your purchasing decision based on the elements. For example, a winter-rated sleeping bag can be vital if you’re considering winter camping in the snow to take advantage of ice fishing opportunities.

Extra blankets might also assist with comfort and heat retention. 

It’s also worth considering your sleeping base. A stretcher, foam pad, or air mattress is often necessary for a traditional tent, while rooftop tents typically come with a plush bed pad designed for comfort. 



Final Thoughts on Car Camping

Car camping can be a fun experience for families, couples, individuals alike (and even pets), especially when you can connect with nature and enjoy the great outdoors.

When planning your next camping trip, consider the information above to enjoy as many conveniences and comforts as possible.

man skiing in snow with hunting gun

Don’t Let The Cold Win! | How To Layer Clothing For Winter

There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing for the conditions.

While you might think you only need a warm jacket when venturing into the great outdoors to go hunting or fishing during the cooler months, there can be much more involved in keeping yourself warm and comfortable. 

man drilling hole for ice fishing

Hunting, fishing or camping in the cold weather requires a knowledge of how to best layer clothing so that you can stay warm.

When the time comes to plan your next hunting trip into the wilderness, take a moment to consider the following information, so that you can learn all about how to layer winter clothing to feel comfortable enough to explore all that nature has to offer. 

How to Remain Warm in the Great Outdoors

When you put on warm clothing to head outside, your goal should always be to manage moisture, maintain your heat level for comfort, and create a barrier between the elements and your skin. 

man walking to box stand in snow

You might enjoy being alone in the outdoors… you just don’t want to be COLD and alone!

Not all cold-winter clothing is created equal. So, purchasing high-quality outdoor garments from well-known companies like Kryptek and others is a critical component of remaining warm in the great outdoors, but it’s also helpful to understand the science behind retaining your body heat to know how to wear your clothing appropriately. 

mule deer standing in the snow

You may not have the anatomy of a deer to keep you warm in cold conditions, but you can learn to layer clothing in a manner that protects you from the elements.


#ad



During winter, you’re often faced with many challenging elements, such as wind, rain, and cold temperatures. Heat is easily transferred from your body into the environment, and it’s easier to lose heat than it is to retain it. 

So, whether you’re ice fishing or hunting, you need to have knowledge of how sweat affects your body and heat levels. Body heat can be pulled away from your body much faster when it’s wet with perspiration than if it were dry. 


Prevent Moisture to Stay Warm

One of the best ways to stay warm, regardless of how you layer your clothing, is by being cold before you begin your hunting trip in earnest. If you add all your winter layers and then stand in front of a heater before venturing outside, you might start sweating and lose much-needed body heat.   

moisture

Moisture is the enemy when it comes to staying warm in colder weather, as it robs you of body heat.

So, as challenging as it might be to immediately venture outside to start hiking once you’ve put on your multiple layers, it can be essential for giving your body the best chance of retaining its heat. 



#ad


Layer Your Winter Hunting Clothing Strategically

When you’re trying to dress warmly in cold weather, it can sometimes feel like you have to pack an entire closet full of clothing when you go on a winter hunting adventure or that you have to wear multiple layers until you’re no longer comfortable.

However, if you apply the right layering strategy, you might be surprised at how easy it can be to prepare for an outdoor trip

Before heading out, read up on the weather conditions you can expect. This allows you to take all necessary precautions with supplies and provides insight into the type of clothing you need to take with you and what to wear when you set off. 




You’ll need to continually layer up and down on most hunting trips. Take note of how your body is feeling, and when you’re feeling too warm, take off a layer before you start sweating. 

If weather conditions change and rain or snow sets in, you can add more layers from your hunting backpack, including a waterproof jacket to keep your mid layers warm and retain your body heat. Weather conditions can change rapidly, so you may be layering up and down throughout your hunting trip. 


#ad


Adopt the W.I.S.E System

If you’re new to hunting, it may not be immediately apparent which clothing you should buy to remain warm, dry, and comfortable.

However, you might have a much easier shopping experience when you familiarize yourself with the W.I.S.E system. This system involves:

  • Wicking – Next-to-skin base layers
  • Insulating – Mid layers, such as fleece or a down jacket
  • Sheltering – Rain jacket and rain pants
  • Extra – Additional layers in case of an emergency, such as an unexpected snowstorm  
layering WISE system

The W.I.S.E system will give you a fundamental understanding of the basic garments to purchase, but don’t forget to buy wool socks, waterproof boots, hats, and gloves. 



Choose Your Base Layer

Now that you’re aware of the garments you require for the W.I.S.E system, you can learn more about each layer and how it contributes to your overall warmth, dryness, and comfort.

A base layer is a snug-fitting set of garments designed to wick sweat away from your skin to keep you dry. 

base layer

When choosing a base layer, go with wool, silk or synthetics, rather than cotton (photo credit: Wikihow.com)

While cotton can be a preference for everyday wear, it’s less suitable for outdoor activities like hunting.

Instead, opt for base layers featuring wool, silk, or synthetic fabrics. Your top base layer can be a long or short-sleeve shirt and leggings with these materials, paired with a high-quality pair of synthetic or wool socks. 



Choose Your Insulating Layer

Equally as important as your base layer is your insulating layer. This layer prevents the outdoor environment from taking your much-needed body heat.

insualting layer

The insulating layer will help maintain valuable body heat while in the cold weather. (photo credit Wikihow.com)

Typically, you would wear a wool or microfleece top, a puffer jacket, and fleece leggings. You can also pair your insulating layer with a wool or fleece hat and neck gaiter, glove liners, and insulating socks. 



Choose Your Sheltering Layer

If you are going on a hunting or fishing trip, you certainly like to see favorable weather conditions. However, weather conditions can certainly change, and sometimes rapidly.

sheltering layer

Wearing a sheltering layer is critical in protecting the insulating layer underneath. (photo credit: Wikihow.com)

You might be caught out in the rain or snow when you least expect it, and you need to protect your insulating layer at all costs.

Pack a sheltering layer, and you can be prepared for any eventuality. Typically, this layer consists of a pair of rain pants and a rain jacket, both of which need to be waterproof to remain effective. 



#ad


Best Materials for Winter Outdoor Clothing

When there are so many different types of outdoor and hunting clothing for sale, it can be hard to know what will be the most comfortable and practical. While there are many desirable options, some stand out more than others. 

For example, merino wool, a natural fiber sourced from sheep, is a moisture-wicking base layer that is odor-resistant and temperature regulating.

snow on evergreen trees

When adventuring outdoors in colder weather, merino wool is a great moisture wicking base layer that is also odor resistant.

You might also consider synthetic fleece as a mid layer option, which is both affordable and warm. Although, it’s not an ideal wind-resistant layer. 

Synthetic and down jackets can be an effective insulating mid layer, while nylon is ideal for keeping you dry. Some manufacturers create special membranes for nylon to form waterproof jackets for winter use. 



Final Thoughts On Layer Clothing For Cold Weather

Layering winter clothing is an integral part of preparing for any outdoor adventure or hunting trip.

so, before you begin planning your next trip, take the time to make sure you’ve got a full closet of winter options to keep you warm, dry, and protected from the elements.

Remember the W.I.S.E. system and have fun outdoors!