• adhesive bandages
  • sterile gauze pads
  • antiseptic wipes or solution
  • bug bite spray
  • pain reliever
  • thermometer
  • latex gloves
  • eye wash or saline
  • medical tape
  • tourniquet

If you haven’t been a Boy Scout, can you learn camping skills? Of course you can. The Scouts teach essential skills that you can learn yourself. You just have to know where to look.

Camping doesn’t require any super secret special skills that you can’t learn unless you are a Boy Scout. All you need is the desire and will power to learn what it takes. Check out our guide for how to learn the skills you need for camping. This guide is for beginners, as well as those who want to go a little deeper.

Bring these 10 Essentials for Every Camping Trip

The Boy Scouts have a list of 10 essential camping items. These aren’t optional. These should be in your camping gear every time. Know them and bring them:

  1. First aid kit
  2. Pocketknife
  3. Rain gear
  4. Water bottle
  5. Trail food
  6. Flashlight
  7. Extra clothing
  8. Matches and firestarters
  9. Sun protection
  10. Map and compass

Why Having the Right Camping Essentials Is a Skill

The camping essentials are always the same. You may add to this list, but don’t take away from it. In addition to the basic needs of shelter, bedding needs, food and water, everything on this list is an important tool for your survival and safety.

Pick a Campsite That Fits Your Camping Skill Level

If you are a beginning camper, you may want to start with a site that has more amenities. Car camping sites are great for beginners. Car camping allows you to carry in your gear and park right next to the campsite.

This makes cooking, hanging out at campfires or sitting by the tent much easier than if everything had to be carried a long distance from where you parked your car.

As you become more experienced as a camper, you may decide to venture into more remote camping areas.

Remote camping areas do not have amenities like electric, water or firewood provided by the camping site hosts.

This means you will need to carry in all of your food and cooking supplies. You will also have to pack out any trash you produce while camping at a remote site.

How to Pack for a Camping Trip

If you are a chronic overpacker, you need to learn that packing for a camping trip is a skill. Less is more.

Pack camping clothing that is appropriate for the climate. Bring layers and don’t duplicate types of clothing.

Make a list of what you want and then pare it down to what you need. Think basic survival and then add on what you’ll need for activities and entertainment. Don’t go overboard. You can even purchase a list or a book that will help.

How to Build a Campfire

Building a camping fire is an essential camping skill. And it’s something you can practice at home in your own backyard.

Start by finding dry tinder and kindling to get the fire going. Once your campfire has burning, add larger pieces of wood on top of it. Keep adding new logs every 20 minutes or so until you have built up enough coals that you can cook with them safely without the fire getting out of control.

How to Administer First Aid When Camping

Learning camping skills doesn’t have to mean learning how to administer advanced first aid. But if you are planning an outdoor adventure that will be far from any medical help, it’s a good idea to learn some basic techniques.

When camping with children, make sure everyone in your group knows the basics of camping safety and first aid at all times. The essential items in your first aid kit include:

You may choose to purchase a fully outfitted first aid kit that is always with your camping gear.

For anything more than a minor scrape or sprain, know the locations of medical centers around you. Having this information on hand and not needing it is better than trying to figure it out during an emergency.

What to Do When Severe Weather Approaches Your Campsite?

Keep your eyes on the sky. Know what’s coming and how to react, down to knowing which direction you should run during a tornado or hurricane watch. That way, if an emergency does arise, you’ll have already taken care of any essentials like pets or valuables inside your vehicle.

Keep enough supplies in camping gear for three days, in case you can’t get out from where you are. If you plan to camp often, it may be worth investing in a weather radio to get advance notice of storms. Something crank-powered is especially helpful in case of emergencies.

Skills That Help You Be a Better Camper

All of the skills that help when camping don’t necessarily come from a survival book. We learn survival skills in everyday life that can make us better campers:

  • Decision making
  • Change management
  • Sportsmanship
  • Courage
  • Leadership
  • Compassion
  • Preparedness

Being mindful of the skills we need in our jobs and with our families and bringing them to the campsite is one of the best things you can do to get to the top of your camping game. Add to that some research from the right sources, and you’ll be ready for the road!

Plan. Prepare. Learn what you can before you go. And bring your best self to the campsite.