Camping Skills Every Person Should Develop

Camping Skills Every Person Should Develop

by

George Cummings
November 20, 2021
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There’s a lot more to camping than just setting up a tent and enjoying the wilderness, as any seasoned camper will tell you.

With lots of important skills that make up the art of camping, learning how to do them well will result in a much more enjoyable and comfortable trip for everyone involved.

What are the most important camping skills? To camp safely and comfortably, you should have basic skills in first aid, survival, cooking, geography, planning, packing, and more.

It can take years to become proficient in all of these things and it requires a lot of real-world camping experience to get it right, so don’t expect to learn them overnight.

To ensure your next camping trip goes smoothly, you should spend some time brushing up on these crucial skills and to know which ones exactly you need, we’ve created a handy guide.

These represent just the beginning for handy camping skills and how you can go about mastering them.

The Camping Skills Everyone Needs to Know

Trying to survive in the middle of nowhere is a skill in itself, and the art of camping encompasses so many smaller skills that you need to learn.

We’ve rounded up some of the most important ones and what you can do to improve on them, making you the most prepared camper possible.

#1 Survival Skills

#1 Survival Skills

Nothing beats the peace of mind you get from knowing that you can survive in just about any situation, and when it comes to camping, it’s even more satisfying to have this knowledge.

Survival skills will come in handy not just while you’re camping but if anything goes wrong and you need to rely on mental and physical stamina, rationing food, surviving a natural disaster, and building shelter until you can get back to civilization.

To improve on these skills, there are dedicated courses you can take, or just spend a little time on each area and master each category.

The objective is being able to survive in an SHTF situation with just the bare minimum, so that’s your goal while learning these skills.

#2 First Aid

#2 First Aid

Camper or not, it’s always handy to have some first-hand knowledge of first aid to take you through life.

However, it’s when you’re camping that you’ll really need to rely on these skills because your access to real-world medical help will be limited.

To start with, you’ll need to learn the basics of your first aid kit, what each of the components is for, and how to use them.

Secondly, enrolling in a first aid course that teaches you the basics like treating an insect or snake bite, setting a broken leg, and how to perform CPR will ensure you’re ready for anything.

#3 Cooking

#3 Cooking

The good news about cooking while camping is that you don’t need to be a master chef just to keep everyone satisfied.

You do, however, need to know how to make the most of having minimal food and prepare meals that are nutritious, comforting, and tasty, without the convenience of your kitchen close by.

Camping cooking is done with the bare minimum of utensils and no appliances, requires careful meal planning, food rationing, and knowing what camp-friendly foods actually taste good.

However, it’s not that challenging to learn and you can practice at home by cooking some meals in your back yard using a makeshift camp kitchen to get an idea of what’s involved.

#4 Preparation

#4 Preparation

Preparation is a huge skill in itself and it’s one that you’ll need to have mastered before any camping trip.

Included in this talent is the ability to meal plan, write a list of required camping gear, know what clothing you and your family will wear while you’re gone, book the necessary campsites, and prepare for just about any situation, good or bad.

Unfortunately, preparation isn’t a skill that can be learned overnight, and most of the time it’s the trial and error that allows you to learn what works and what doesn’t.

The best you can do is to start planning the trip while it’s weeks away and making a lot of lists to ensure you don’t forget a thing.

#5 Geography

#5 Geography

The chance that you’ll have your smartphone and the latest version of Google Maps while camping is fairly slim, so learning some good old-fashioned geography is a must.

This means, being able to read the lay of the land, study areas, and understand the variance in heights and landscape.

With an understanding of the terrain you’re camping in, you’ll be less likely to get lost and ensure that you’re sticking to safe areas when you swim, walk, and set up camp.

This skill takes time to master though, so be prepared to do a lot of reading and get real-world experience in the wilderness learning how to assess geography around you.

#6 Packing

#6 Packing

Although it might not seem like much of a skill, the difference between a professional and an amateur packer will be glaringly obvious when preparing for a camping trip.

Over time, you’ll learn tips and tricks to make the most of the space you have, but you can do some trial runs in the meantime to see what works.

#7 Campsite Setup

#7 Campsite Setup

A campsite can look pretty basic at first glance, but if you’ve ever set one up before you’ll know there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

There’s a lot to learn about positioning, finding the right area, knowing how close to the campfire you want to be, and being able to put the tent up without a hassle.

You can easily test out setting up a campsite at home by going through a dry run and cutting down on the time it takes to assemble everything before you get there.

We also recommend trying out all of your gear before you head off so you can avoid surprises once you arrive at the campsite.

#8 Animal and Plant Recognition

#8 Animal and Plant Recognition

There’s no shortage of wildlife, flora, and fauna out in the wilderness, and knowing what’s what will help you out of a jam.

This way, you won’t accidentally mistake a venomous snake for a non-venomous one, or accidentally eat a poisonous berry thinking it was safe to do.

There are loads of helpful guides available that display the most common plants and animals you’re likely to encounter, depending on your location. Otherwise, you might bring along a book or guide just to be sure.

#9 Navigation

#9 Navigation

This one goes hand in hand with geography and is just as important, especially when you can use the two of them together.

Navigation is all about knowing where you are, being able to read an old-fashioned map and use a compass, all of which will help you find your way home, or wherever it is you need to be.

Learning the basics of navigation is fun and it can be self-taught, with just a few tips from the internet.

If you really want to speed up the process, enrolling in a survival school that teaches you how to navigate can help, even if you hope that you’ll never have to use them on a camping trip.

#10 Fire starting

#10 Fire starting

Knowing how to start a fire is one of the most helpful camping skills you can have. With this knowledge, you can cook your meals, boil water for drinking, roast marshmallows, stay warm, and keep your campsite illuminated, among other things.

The true art of fire starting is learning how to do it without matches, as there’s a very real chance this might happen to you.

Part of it comes from packing the right materials in your camping kit, but you also have the master the fire starting process with a lot of trial and error in your backyard.

#11 Knot Tying

#11 Knot Tying

During your average camping trip, you’ll be faced with plenty of situations where knowing how to tie a knot comes in handy.

Whether it’s setting up your shelter for the night or securing a kayak to the dock, a few clever knots can make the world of difference in the wilderness.

The good news about learning to tie knots is that you can do it at home with a few simple tutorial videos and a bit of rope.

You’ll only need a handful of knots that can be used for many purposes, and make sure you bring a few bits of trusty rope along on your camping trip to put your skills to good use.

#12 Finding Shelter

#12 Finding Shelter

Being able to seek out shelter is a crucial skill that can help you when you’re in a jam, and also assist you in finding the best place to set up camp.

The biggest lesson you can learn is knowing how to source natural formations like rocks and large trees that will provide the bulk of your shelter and then build on it from there.

The ability to find shelter is one of the most critical survival skills and you’ll feel instantly better knowing some tips on how to do it.

Spend some time in the wilderness practicing what you’d do in a survival situation if you needed someone to shelter and build on these abilities until you feel confident.

#13 Basic Hunting

#13 Basic Hunting

Imagine you’re stuck in the wilderness and your food rations have completely run out, and you’ll see why learning some basic hunting skills for camping are important.

We don’t mean you should learn how to use a bow and arrow to take down a deer, but knowing some skills on catching a fish or setting a trap to try and land your dinner can be helpful.

To learn the basics of hunting, you’ll need to speak with an expert, whether it’s your uncle or a paid professional.

Self-taught hunting is possible but it’s a lifelong process that requires a lot of trial and error, so be prepared to put in the effort if you plan on doing it this way.

Related Questions

Although designed to be an enjoyable pastime, there’s still a lot to learn about camping to ensure you get it right.

If you’re new to the thrill of camping and want to find out more, we’ve answered some commonly asked questions that can give you a push in the right direction.

Should I Cook Camping Meals Before I Go?

Should I Cook Camping Meals Before I Go?

It is possible to cook most of your meals ahead of time before you go camping, but there may be some things that are better prepared fresh.

Depending on how many people you’re serving and what facilities you have at the campsite, there can be a variety of pre-prepared meals that would be suitable for camping.

What Size Tent Do I Need For Camping?

The best size tent for camping should correspond to how many people will be sleeping in it and how much room they require to be comfortable.

Two adults should fit in a tent with 40 to 70 square feet space and a family of six will be able to enjoy 120 to 130 square feet of floor space in a tent, without feeling too squashed.

What Do You Need for Cooking While Camping?

What Do You Need for Cooking While Camping?

A basic camp kitchen setup should include a camping stove, frying pans, saucepans, cooking utensils, and a preparation area.

You could choose to set up more or less depending on your camping style and whether you have access to other cooking facilities at the campground you’re staying at.

What Knots Are Used for Camping?

Having some basic knowledge of knot tying can help you while camping, whether it’s setting up a tent, going fishing, or trying to survive in an emergency.

Some of the more commonly used knots in this situation are the bowline knot, phantom bend, phantom knot, clove hitch, and sheet bend.

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George Cummings

George Cummings enjoys connecting with nature, meeting new people, and making friends from all over the world. RVing and camping create the perfect opportunity for [him/her] to take part in these activities. After spending several years on the road and exploring the great outdoors, George Cummings shares some of his best pieces of advice on how to make the most of your time while camping. TourTheOutdoors is his way of helping outdoorsy individuals like [him/her] start on a right footing with amazing recommendations and buying guides.