Summer 2022 is shaping up to be an expensive one. With inflation soaring, it’s no surprise that families are canceling trips to Disney World and, instead, heading back to nature.
There couldn’t be a better time for it.
The world is a mess – and it doesn’t look like things are going to get better anytime soon.
Between the ongoing effects of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, political upheaval, and a possible food shortage coming, families are thinking about how they will protect themselves if things get worse.
One idea is to bug out and go off the grid…which brings us back to summer vacation.
If you plan to go camping or hiking this year, seize the opportunity to make sure your whole family knows the essential survival skills they’ll need to survive.
1. Identify Edible Plants
Knowing how to forage for edible plants is an important survival skill. You need to know how to identify edible plants as well as those you should never eat. Take time on your hike to identify specific plants and make notes of the ones you are unsure of so you can look them up later.
Better yet, make it a game! Use these Edible Wild Foods Playing Cards and send the family on a scavenger hunt.
2. Safely Start, Build, and Extinguish a Fire
One of the most important survival skills is knowing how to build, maintain, and extinguish a fire because there are so many uses for fires, including providing heat, cooking, and signaling for help.
While you are outdoors this summer, spend time honing your skills with fire and make sure the rest of your family learns the basics. Start by teaching everyone how to find good fire starters or kindling. Then, work on the different types of fires to build. Finally, teach the importance of safely extinguishing a fire.
3. Cook Food Over a Fire
Bugging out will likely involve saying goodbye to the conveniences of modern life, such as microwaves and ovens. That’s why it is necessary to know how to cook food outdoors over a fire.
Fortunately, there are several emergency food products that make this process easy and enjoyable. My Patriot Supply’s emergency food pouches are ideal for camping and outdoor enthusiasts. They are lightweight and easy to pack – and easy to cook! Most of the food pouches only require water and heat.
For example, you can easily whip up a pot of Ready Hour Mac & Cheese. Simply add the contents of the pouch to 4½ cups of water, bring to a boil over the fire, simmer for 15-20 minutes, and remove from heat.
You can make it even easier with a Solo Lite Cooking Kit.
4. Catch Food
Your time in the great outdoors provides an opportunity to learn new hunting or fishing techniques – or improve your skills. And it’s the perfect time to teach your youngest family members. When kids make the connection between catching their dinner and eating, they’ll learn a skill for life.
Take time to learn how to fish without a rod using only gear you have in your bug-out bag or can find in the woods. Create traps using materials you find.
5. Navigate without GPS
As much as we love our digital navigational tools, you may not want one if you choose to bug out. (You likely won’t want anyone to access your location, which these devices allow for.)
Therefore, it is critical to learn how to navigate without a GPS device. Learn how to use a compass, find North with the stars, follow the water, and draw your own map.
6. Find Water
Water is essential for survival. Make a point to teach your loved ones how to find water on your outdoor adventures this summer. Explain how to follow animals to find water, paying attention to birds and insects to see where they lead. Then, take time to teach everyone how to collect water from sources like rainwater or morning dew.
The lesson shouldn’t stop there. You also need to know how to purify water. Spend time boiling water and trying out your filtration devices.
[Related Read: 13 Unique Places to Find Water for Survival]
7. Pack Essentials
When it comes to bugging out, you’ll be taking only what you can fit in your bag or vehicle.
Success comes down to knowing what is essential and what isn’t.
Primitive camping provides this opportunity. Before you head to your outdoor adventure, spend time carefully evaluating what you are packing and weighing its usefulness. Which items will help you survive far past your campsite rental dates? What items could you live without?
8. Test Your Gear
If you have thought about bugging out, you likely already have some bug-out gear (or at least an idea of the type of gear you think you’ll need).
The problem is that many people buy survival gear, put it aside, and never try it out. Then, when they find themselves in a survival situation, they have no idea how to use it.
This summer, take some of your gear with you on each outdoor trip and spend time testing it all out.
Not only will this help you learn how to use your gear effectively, but it will also show you which tools are more useful than others.
9. Proper Sanitation
You can’t neglect the importance of cleanliness and proper hygiene even when bugging out. Aim for spending time outdoors without restroom facilities. This will provide your family with an opportunity to learn how to practice safe sanitation, such as shoveling and burying what you’ve left behind.
10. Set Up Shelter
Yes, you should definitely use your tent when you’re on a family campout. But take our advice and spend a day and night challenging your family members to build different types of shelters using only minimal survival gear (i.e., tarp and rope) and what they can find in the woods.
Use the outdoors to your advantage this summer, friends.
Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply