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Survival/Minimalist Camping Recommended Resources

It may seem like being overly prepared defeats the purpose of survival camping, but trust me when I say it doesn’t. Most survival campers have years, if not decades, of training and experience. Very few wake up one day and say “Hey, I want to get lost in the woods and survive off of the land.” That’s not to say it’s not possible; I just wouldn’t recommend it.

survival camping resourcesI’ve put together this list of survival/minimalist camping resources to help you make the most of your experience and stay as safe as possible. These cover your basics like food, water, shelter, and fire.


Art of Manliness shares 19 edible plants commonly found in the wild.

You’ll find chicory growing in Europe, North America, and Australia. It’s a bushy plant with small blue, lavender, and white flowers. You can eat the entire plant.

Outdoor Life shares edible plants and tips to identify them.

To make sure you have a hickory, look for a “double” nutshell, with a husk that peels off revealing a nutshell underneath. And make sure you don’t get a buckeye, which also has a double-layered nutshell, but is poisonous.

The Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide to Over 200 Natural Foods book is a great resource with hundreds of edible plants.

Outdoor Life has a plethora of knowledge when it comes to fishing without gear.

Dip Net – A net typically used to land fish caught with hook and line can also be used to scoop up unaware fish as a standalone fishing method.


Instructables has a helpful, step-by-step guide on purifying water with easy to find items.

Create a water filter by removing the bottom of a bottle. Turn the bottle upside down (with the cap down) and put the following materials in the bottle.

M40 has a great resource page that’ll answer pretty much any answer you have regarding finding & purifying water.

In mountainous areas, just continue to walk downhill, and you will eventually find water. Water obeys the laws of gravity quite well!


Field & Streams has a collection of seven primitive survival shelters you should learn to make.

Debris Hut – Heap up a big mound of duff and detritus from the forest floor, then excavate a pocket that is large enough to crawl inside.


Gray Wolf Survival shares ten creative ways to start a fire (without rubbing two sticks together).

Steel wool can be ignited by rubbing both battery posts of a 9V battery, the battery from your cell phone if it’s removable, or wires from a 12v car battery on it. Here’s a quick video of a 9v and steel wool.

Skilled Survival gives step by step details for starting a fire with sticks.

Place the ember into the tinder bundle and blow on the ember to give it some oxygen. Oxygen will stoke the ember and help it to transfer the ember’s energy into the tinder material.

Secrets of Survival takes us to the core of fire making by showing you how to make your own flint to make fire with rocks.

Other rocks to look for: Agate, carnelian, jade, bloodstone, chalcedony, chert can all work for creating sparks by striking against steel.

This video gives directions on how to use various fire starters.

Share Your Survival Tips!

If you have a great resource for survival/minimalistic camping, please leave us a comment or contact us so we can share it!

How to Camp Like a Survival Expert

Survival Camping Expert adviceIf this is your first time planning a minimalist camping trip you can get a leg up with these tips. I’ve contacted some of my favorite survivalists and picked their brain for their expertise. If you’ve ever watched Naked and Afraid then you’ll no doubt recognize them.

If you’ve never watched Naked and Afraid you can find it on the Discovery channel and catch up on Hulu.

The experts I interviewed have years of survival experience and training. They’ve learned to survive in the wild with little to no tools or resources. They are definitely people I’d want to be stranded with if it ever came to that.

What are the top 3 things a survivalist should have for a minimalist camping trip?

Afften DeShazer suggests having a fire starter, a pot to boil water, and a knife. She points out that, if you have never used a fire starter, Vaseline soaked cotton balls will burn for hours. Use a lighter to light them and toss them into your pile of wood to help keep the fire going.

Jason Szabo suggests having a trusty blade, means of water purification and a fire starter. He gets a little more specific suggesting a machete or bushcraft blade and either a steel pot or water purification device for drinkable water. As far as fire starters go you can choose flint and steel, magnesium, or potassium permanganate.

What type of area should you look for to set up camp?

Afften: Depending on what kind of area you’re comfortable in I would recommend wooded area near river or streams for easy catching of fish, also more resources for fire and drinking water.

Jason: Shelter , use your surroundings and build shelter above ground most places. Keeps the bugs off and water from ruining your day, if you’re on the ground creepy crawlers can get on you, don’t turn yourself into a buffet.

If you’re in the wilderness without food, what should you do first?

Afften: If your alone in any area and need food, 1 of the first things you should do is start carving a spear and making traps. Look for animal tracks and make a trap on their route. Be alert and aware of surroundings. Get out there and look for anything.

Jason: If you’re in the wilderness without food, hopefully, you know how to trap and snare, build fish traps. Know your flora and fauna for the region to survive off vegetation if you aren’t well versed in hunting game.

Let’s talk water, what do people need to know about sourcing water on a camping trip?

Afften: Any water you would come in contact with you would want to boil and let cool before drinking. Unless the water is clearly moving and flowing I would not drink it. When in doubt just boil.

Jason: Source your water from streams and rivers and be sure to boil and purify it before consumption. If you’re in a rough spot dig to the water table and get yourself a quick easy fix to end dehydration.

Any advice for a first-time minimalist/survival camper?

Afften: Best advice for first-time campers be aware of surroundings. Keep your things in a safe area so you don’t lose them in the adventure.

Jason: Advice to a minimalist survivalist or wannabe survivalist, if your head is in the right place the body will follow. Know what you need to do to Macgyver materials in whatever location you’re in. Be well versed and studied in every aspect, region or continent. Go to a new place and know what you’re in for; nature will surprise you and rain on your parade at any and all times.

Jason leaves us with some sage advice:
Respect nature though it won’t respect you. Treat animals with respect, and mainly, know what you need to know to survive in the region you’re exploring before going, that way you aren’t caught by surprise.

Let’s Go Camping! Your Guide to Survival/Minimalist Camping

Minimalist Camping GuideWhen family or personal vacation ideas are dull and repetitive it can be hard to get excited. When what you want to do falls outside of your budget it can be upsetting. That’s when you have to think outside of the box and plan something new and exciting.

Camping is an affordable and fun alternative to expensive family vacations. Instead of spending a fortune on airfare, lodging, and food you can pitch a tent (or create your own shelter) at a campground or other nearby area¹.

Minimalist camping is an adventure on its own and can help prepare you for many types of disasters.

But, what is minimalist camping?

While your idea of camping may already be ‘minimalist‘ others prefer an RV or cabin. The general concept of minimalist camping is to pack light and depend on the land as much as possible.

Think foraging for food, purifying your own water, and making your own shelter.

Who is Minimalist Camping For?

Anyone can try their hand at minimalist camping. Nature lovers and couch potatoes alike can find pleasure in roughing it. You get to unwind, relax, and soak in everything Mother Nature has to offer and throw at you. Go at it solo

  • Go at it solo or invite family and/or friends to tag along.
  • Plan a team-building trip with co-workers/employees or escape the daily stress with your spouse/partner.
  • Escape the daily stress with your spouse/partner.

The only way to know if minimalist camping is for you is to give it a shot.

Over the next few days, we’ll be sharing helpful information to plan, execute, and enjoy minimalist camping. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect:

[sta_anchor id=”¹”]¹Be sure to check for public places so you’re not trespassing.