Camping & Survival

Are These 26 Essential Items Missing From Your Packing List?

Long, straight open road in the desert

There are still plenty of weeks left of summer before the kids head back to school. Need to beat the summertime blues, get out of the office, and reconnect with nature? It’s not too late to hit the road. Many of you probably already have the beachside condo reserved or the scenic route mapped out to Grandma’s house, while some of you are contemplating exploring an area closer to home. Whatever your plans—or not plans—are, have you considered what you will pack? Don’t roll your eyes. I’m not talking about your swimsuit and flip-flops. I’m talking about the bug-out/survival bag you should be taking with you. You have been thinking about this, right?

No? Well, if you haven’t, let me provide you plenty of reasons why a bug-out bag needs to go with you on your summer vacation road trip.

  1. You are particularly vulnerable on vacation. You’re in an unfamiliar location, quite possibly lost. You may stop and ask for directions or have maps out. Predators can spot a tourist a mile away. It is proven that criminals attack those they believe are an easy target. When wondering in a new place, you might look lost and rambling around with no direct purpose. Those who walk with determination, confidence and purpose are attacked or victimized less than those that do not.
  1. We let our guards down. On vacation, we are more relaxed. Maybe it’s all the sun, the cold, frosty libations, or simply just being away from the office, but we tend to reach a carefree attitude—or carelessness—that we tend to not reach at home. Letting our guards down, being carefree and being more relaxed means we lose sight of our situational awareness. I hate to tell you this, but even on vacation, you need to stay on code yellow and even maybe code orange because of the unfamiliar surroundings and all the different things going on.
  1. More than likely, you will be hundreds of miles away from home, where weather patterns are different from what you are used to. Extreme drops in temperatures can make for a miserable vacation if you haven’t prepared. Furthermore, if you are on the coast, you need to watch weather reports for hurricanes. If you travel west, you might need to worry about earthquakes, wild fires or landslides. Depending on where you are vacationing, there might be weather disasters you’d never worry about at home.
  1. Even if you have your car’s gas tank topped off, the oil changed and the tire pressure checked, car problems could arise at any time. While on a road trip, you might be stuck in a sketchy part of town, desolate area and somewhere totally unfamiliar. What if you pop a tire or run off the road out in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone service? Are you prepared to stay a night in your car? Will you have everything you need to stay alive and somewhat comfortable? Do you have a plan to keep the kids and yourself from panicking?
  1. Sickness, allergic reactions, bug bites and stings… oh my! Whether at the lake, ocean or in the woods, there are plenty of critters about that bite and sting. Some of them are deadly. For example if you travel from the east coast or the north to the south, you need to watch out for the brown recluse spider. If you live inland and are visiting the ocean, you need to watch out for jellyfish and sea urchins. In fresh water lakes and bayous, you need to watch out for alligators. Besides those animals, there are plenty of less harmful plants, animals and insects out there that cause itch, welt and rash. Being outdoors more means, you and the kiddos are more susceptible to mosquito bites and bee stings. Any number of things could possibly cause an allergic reaction—sometimes even a fatal one. You need to know how to tackle all the possible scenarios when it comes to first aid. Not to mention, there is always a chance of catching a case of Montezuma’s Revenge—yes, even here in the United States.

Get out your packing list and compare it to the following list. Are these 26 essential survival items on your vacation packing list?

How do you prepare for summer vacation survival? Share your tips in the comment section.

We have a plethora of camping and surviving articles. However, for the most relevant to your summer vacation, read the following posts:



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Comments (7)

  1. Maps are GREAT if you actually know how to read one, and don’t consume any power. A Cell Phone Booster and Antenna also comes in handy, along with the Retro Stand-By (CB Radio). And Lot’s and LOT’s of Water…

  2. Not a bad list, other than it doesn’t include………..a GUN(s)!
    Is the author suggesting that the “Guide to Transporting Your Firearm Across the United States” book will ward off evil and protect you?
    Good idea to read the book first, and pack appropriately- but no gun is not an option regardless of where your travels take you.

  3. Not a bad article. Part of my work is overseeing the safety and security of staff and consultants traveling all over the globe, and so many problems that people find themselves in are due to poor planning.

    The list is good, but I would also add a couple of items:

    A LifeStraw, which allows you to drink water directly from pretty much any source without having to wait for a tablet to dissolve.

    An Emergency Dental Kit (EDK). I lost a crown in Afghanistan once and I would have been hurting had I not been able to make an emergency repair to hold me over for a few days until I could get out and get to a dentist. The same could happen on a vacation if someone had a problem camping on a Friday night.

    1. Nice, Mikial. Lifestraws are an awesome add to a kit. I would have never thought of an emergency dental kit. That’s a great idea.

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