7 Survival Tips For Beginner Hikers And Campers

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Pushing one’s limits can be exciting and adventurous; however, it can be dangerous as well. Most people get the thrill only when they are out of their comfort zone, but that should not be an excuse for you to jump off the cliff.

Table of contents

  • Adventure vs Survival
  • Supplies every hiker and camper should own
  • Survival situations and tips
  • Conclusion

Adventure vs Survival

Adventure and a survival situation should not be confused with each other. The former can also be described as an exciting situation, out of your comfort zone, while the latter is defined as a life-threatening situation that has adverse consequences.

Some typical adventure situations are jumping off a plane (skydiving) while a survival situation is when the primary parachute does not open, hiking to the top of a mountain and coming face-to-face with a fierce animal, camping alone in the jungles and getting lost on the way out. Is the difference crystal clear now? So, the thrill is going on an adventurous trip and not experiencing a survival situation. Don’t confuse yourself and walk the wrong path now.

Supplies Every Beginner Hiker And Camper Should Own

Not every hiking/camping item is essential for the trip; however, some supplies will make sure that you have a smooth and safe experience, such as:

  1. Water-resistant footwear and backpack
  2. Camping knives or a multipurpose tool
  3. Conventional compass/GPS, two-way radio and map
  4. First-aid kit
  5. Tent, sleeping pad or air mattress
  6. Rain gear and an extra pair of clothes
  7. Food, water and fire supplies
  8. Lights and batteries
  9. Sunscreen lotion and sunglasses

Survival Situations And Precautions

Beginner campers and hikers experience more unfavorable situations than experts because they are not prepared for the worst. Even a slight deviation in the plan may result in severe consequences, so it is better to be prepared than be sorry afterward.

Read ahead to learn about typical survival situations experienced by beginners in the wilderness, which can be prevented with some straightforward precautions:

  • Inform someone about your plans

Look, being a beginner to the world of hiking/camping, you don’t know about the uncertainties that could happen, which puts you in a tough spot. It is advisable to inform your friends and family about your plans (destination, routes, and leaving/returning time & dates). God forbid, if you get hurt severely, there will be someone who will come to get you if you don’t return on time. Otherwise, you may be stuck in the wilderness for a long time, which is quite dangerous.

  • Always carry a small weapon

Do you have a handgun or any knives for camping purposes? Keeping a licensed weapon is not just for hunting purposes, but for security as well. What if you have a face-off with a wild animal? A small gun will help you scare it off. Similarly, a survival knife or a multipurpose tool will help you build a fire (the traditional way), skin/dice meat & vegetables and even to cut bandages if the need arises. There is no harm in keeping a weapon by your side at all times.

  • Don’t wander off the designated track

Being a newbie in hiking/camping, you must keep this in mind that even though it is fascinating to try new paths, especially at night, it is equally dangerous too. Planning the route for the entire trip should be your primary step along with a disclaimer that you must stay on the designated way only. Wandering off to different routes may cause you harm, or you may even get lost.

  • Repellent sprays will be good for you

You may be planning to carry a mosquito repellent spray, but are you carrying a bear repellent spray? Yes, you heard it right. Precaution is better than cure. So, you must carry repellent sprays to prevent wild animals and insects from causing you any harm.

  • Research before you leave your home

Doing thorough research about the destination is essential because you should check the weather conditions, warnings, wild animals, water spots, routes, and a lot many things before you leave your home. This will help you in unfavorable situations as well as enhance the experience entirely. What if it is too cold or too hot? What if the dates that you have chosen are the rainy months? What if the area that you have chosen are off limits? Wasting time on finding the shortest path to the destination or looking for drinking water or any comparable situation will only be a hurdle on your hiking/camping trip. Experts make sure that they know the place inside and out before they put one step outside their home.

  • Don’t know your gear thoroughly

A small issue may get maximized if you don’t know how to deal with it, right? Being a beginner hiker/camper, it is apparent that you don’t know much about the gear as well. Purchasing the best ones in the market won’t keep you safe and sound; knowing how to use them properly will. So, practice with the gear in your backyard before leaving for the campsite.

  • Getting lost

The most frequent problem that newbies face is getting lost in the jungles. Everything looks the same, which can confuse you and lead you on a different path. What if you get lost in the night and are unable to find your tent? Situations like these are the sole reason one must do thorough research and keep a compass/GPS in their kit to avoid getting lost for long.


No matter how uncertain the Mother Nature is, a camping/hiking experience is not less than a heavenly experience because the beauty and calmness that it offers are incomparable. The situations and precautions mentioned above are not to discourage you in any way; rather, it is to make sure that you have a lovely experience.

If you have come across any other survival situation or want to point out another useful tip, then kindly mention it in the comment section below.

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About the author

I’m a 40 something father of two girls who loves the mountains, still plays in the sand, and enjoys being in the great outdoors. The mountains are always calling my name.

“Wilderness is a necessity” – John Muir

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