Do You Need to Have Emergency Camping Gear?

A lot can go wrong when camping outdoors. You could get injured, face bad weather, be bitten by insects, or get sick from eating something. Since help is often far away, it's crucial to carry emergency gear. In this guide, we'll explain what you need for these situations.

Do You Need Emergency Camping Gear?


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Absolutely. When you're camping, you're usually far from medical facilities and emergency services. Having the right gear means you can handle unexpected situations safely until help arrives or you can reach a safer location. Emergency gear can help you manage injuries, stay warm and dry in bad weather, signal for help, and ensure you have safe drinking water and food. Essentially, this gear helps keep you safe and can even save lives in critical situations.

What Emergency Camping Gear Do You Need to Carry?

Wondering what emergency camping gear to carry so that you're ready for any situation? Here’s a detailed list:

1) First Aid Kit


fully equipped first aid kit
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A well-stocked first aid kit can handle minor injuries and prevent infections when on a camping trip. Make sure to check and replenish your kit before each trip and that you have enough supplies for everyone in your group (if you're traveling in one). Also, keep a first aid manual and get some first aid training so that you know what to do when something happens.

Here's a list of first aid contents to include in your kit:

  • Aloe vera gel and sunburn spray
  • Bandages of various sizes
  • Bandaids of various sizes
  • Burn gel
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Gauze pads
  • Adhesive medical tape
  • Thermometer
  • Scissors
  • Insect repellent 
  • Sterile saline solution
  • Eye drops
  • Instant cold pack and heating pad
  • Splint device
  • Anti-diarrhea medicine
  • Tweezers
  • Pain relievers
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antihistamines for allergic reactions
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Anti-inflammatory medicine

2) Emergency Shelter and Reflective Blanket


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An emergency shelter can protect you from sudden weather changes. This can be a lightweight tent, a bivy sack, or even a large, durable tarp with ropes. They can be set up quickly and provide a safe, dry place to stay until the weather improves. Also, include a reflective blanket for extra warmth.

3) Water Filtration System


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You need clean water if you want to survive outdoors, but you can't always guarantee its availability in the wilderness. That's why a water filtration system is crucial. This could be a pump filter, a gravity filter, even a straw-style filter, water purification tablets, or a UV light purifier. These systems effectively remove bacteria, protozoa, and other harmful contaminants from rivers, lakes, streams, or other natural sources, making it safe to drink. Also, the best part is they're typically lightweight and take up minimal space.

4) Non-Perishable Food


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In case your camping trip extends due to an emergency, you need to have at least 3 days' worth of non-perishable. Pack foods that are high in energy and nutrients such as nuts, dried fruits, energy bars, and ready-to-eat canned meals. Also, include a manual can opener if you bring canned goods.

5) Tactical Paracord Bracelet


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Tactical paracord bracelets are made from durable parachute cords. They're like normal bracelets but can be unraveled and used for various survival needs such as securing gear, repairing equipment, or even fishing. Many of these bracelets also include additional features like a whistle, a compass, and a flint fire starter. Since they can be worn easily around your wrist, they occupy zero space.

6) Radio


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You're not always going to have cell service in the wilderness which is why you need to have a radio. Opt for a hand-crank model and solar panel that can receive AM/FM and NOAA weather alerts so that you don't have to worry about draining your batteries. This device keeps you informed about weather updates and emergency broadcasts that might affect your camping trip. Also, many emergency radios come with built-in features like a flashlight and a USB charging port to help keep your other devices charged.

7) Backup Batteries


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Always pack backup batteries when camping. They are essential for charging flashlights, GPS units, radios, and even your camera. Choose long-lasting, rechargeable batteries. Choose the right types for your gear, such as AA, AAA, or specialized batteries for cameras and GPS devices. Store them in a waterproof container to protect them from moisture.

8) Multi-Tool


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A multi-tool is a tool that can do lots of different jobs all in one. For instance, they include pliers, screwdrivers, knives, and even scissors. They fold up neatly so you can slip them into your pocket or attach them to your belt. Instead of carrying around a bunch of separate tools, you have them all together in a single tool.

9) Emergency Sleeping Bag


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An emergency sleeping bag is made from special materials that help keep you warm during an emergency. You can use it if you get stuck outside unexpectedly, like if your tent tears or you get lost while hiking. The bag is small enough to fit in your backpack without taking up much space, so it's easy to carry around just in case.

10) Headlamp/ Lantern


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A headlamp is a light that you wear on your head like a hat. It has a strap that goes around your head and a small light that shines in front of you. It's super handy when you need to see in the dark but still need your hands free, like when you're camping or working on something in a dark place.

Tips for Packing and Organizing Your Gear


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When packing your emergency camping kit, follow these tips:

  • When packing, group similar items together. For instance, keep all your emergency individual supplies in one accessible bag or compartment. Food supplies should be in another, and clothing in yet another. This makes it easier to find what you need quickly without rummaging through everything.
  • Pay attention to the weight of your pack. Only carry what you really need to reduce the strain on your body. Before going on your camping trip, try putting everything in your backpack and walk around your house or outside for a bit. Adjust the straps and move things around until it feels comfortable.
  • Protect your gear from the outdoors by packing them in waterproof bags. This is especially important for electronics, matches, and clothing.
  • Before you start packing, create a detailed checklist of all the items you need. This helps ensure you don't forget any essentials and allows you to prioritize your gear.
  • Always reserve a specific spot in your backpack for emergency items so you can access them quickly. Make sure everyone in your group knows where these items are.
  • After each trip, review what you used and what you didn’t, and adjust your gear accordingly for the next adventure.


How often should I replace items in my emergency kit?

At least once a year. Pay special attention to expiration dates on medical supplies and food items.

What should I do if my emergency gear gets wet?

Dry your gear as soon as possible to prevent damage, especially to electronic devices. If possible, store gear in waterproof containers or bags.

How do I know if my water filter needs replacement?

Check the manufacturer's guidelines for filter life, which is often based on the volume of water filtered. Inspect your filter regularly for signs of wear or clogging.

Is it necessary to have a physical map if I have GPS?

Yes, always carry a physical map and a compass as backups. Technology can fail, and batteries can deplete. The only thing that you can rely on is traditional tools.

How can I learn basic first aid before my camping trip?

You need to take a basic first aid course from organizations like the Red Cross or watch instructional videos from reputable sources online.


Don’t wait until it’s too late to prepare for emergencies while camping. When you invest in the right gear, you can enjoy your outdoor adventures with peace of mind knowing that you’re ready for whatever nature throws your way. For top-quality emergency equipment that you can rely on, check out Emergency USA. From emergency blankets to paracord bracelets, we have everything you need during an emergency situation. Shop with us today.