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.
I’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!