Extreme camping, or living off the land, is an exciting challenge, but you have to be smart about it.
Make sure you have the information and the tools you need before you start out. Then enjoy!
Extreme camping basics for living off the land
If you are planning to 'rough it' while camping, it is important to know what tools you'll need as well as a few dos and don'ts. This sort of 'extreme camping' is not for the faint of heart. Knowing you have very few supplies and very little time to find food, water, and shelter means that you have to know what you are doing. Here are a few tips to help get you started if 'living off the land' is something you want to try.
A multi-tool is a great way to conserve space without giving up what you actually need. For instance, a simple Gerber knife has pliers and a knife. Another handy little tool is the Gerber Paxe. This is a full-sized hatchet that is mounted on a small handle. This makes cutting through the woods and building a fire possible when you are unable to carry a full-sized hatchet or machete. For preparing a meal, you might like to try a set of cookware that is stored within itself, wrapped all tidy in its own cleaning pot. This not only makes it portable, but it also keeps it together in one package. There are a ton of different multi-tools to choose from that you'll want to explore when room and weight is at a premium. Know The Facts Before You Forage If you are going to live off the land, you will need to forage. You may want to fish or hunt for your dinner, but game is not always available when you want it. This being said, you need to know what is safe to eat. There are some plants that will give you loads of energy because of their nutrient dense stems or berries. Then again, there are those that will either make you sick or worse. Eating a handful of certain plants, berries, or roots can be fatal. Knowing your plants is critical to survival in extreme camping. There are quite a few great books available today that list different plants in different regions. Along with eating what you forage for food, you will also want to know about medicinal properties some plants have to offer. Do your research before hand and know what plants are safe, which are good for alternate uses, and which ones to avoid at all costs. Be sure to purchase these books in easy to carry size because you will want to keep them handy. Remember, living off the land requires serious education.
Don't let yourself get cold
Now that you have the right tools and know what foods you can eat, you're all set, right? Not entirely. When you are camping out in the middle of nowhere, if your body temperature starts to drop, it is very difficult to get warmed back up. Other than feeling chilly and uncomfortable, why is it so important to stay warm? As your body gets cold, your limbs begin to move blood away from your arms and legs and to your brain and heart in order to sustain life. When this happens, it becomes difficult to move around and do things like build a fire, pitch a tent, or forage for food. If you let yourself get cold before you've done any of these basic survival tasks, you may not be able to continue. Remember to always pack extra layers of clothing to throw on when you get to your camp site. Then, immediately set up camp with a fire before you settle in to enjoy the evening. You also may want to invest in a solar blanket for additional warmth.