Whether you’re going camping for just one day or a whole week, it is impossible to predict the course of all events. Sometimes we face challenges for which we are completely unprepared, but they might be crucial to our journey. No cooking stove, no matches, no drinking water, opening a can without an opener or sharpening a knife – all the inconveniences we can encounter both camping in the middle of the woods or climbing high up in the mountains. To face those challenges you will need some survival skills. They will help you adapt to unexpected and difficult situations, that can be very dangerous at times.
Start a fire in a few minutes
Your matches got wet and the lighter went missing? Here is one of the survival tricks that will help you quickly light up a fire. Use a can as a lens. Scoop up some dry leaves, sticks, etc. Take some chocolate or toothpaste and spread it on the bottom of the tin. Then rub the bottom of the can with a piece of cloth. When it starts to shine, rinse the can with water. Next, direct the sunlight on the tinder pile using the polished side of the can. Smoke should appear within a few minutes. When that happens, start carefully blowing and add flammable materials.
Can’t find any dry leaves around? Cotton balls with a bit of wax will do the job. Light up a candle over cotton balls, turn it at such angle that the flame melts the wax onto the cotton. When the wax sets, put it under a pile of branches and light it up.
No drinking water? Filter it!
Lack of drinking water does not mean that you have to drink rainwater or water from the river. Just cut the lid of a bottle (preferably a gallon bottle), make two holes on the opposite sides, tie a piece of string and hang it up on a branch. Then put some gauze on the bottom of the bottle, put a layer of dry sand and then crushed charcoal (from the fire) – make several layers. Finally, pour in water from the river or some rainwater. Wait for it to filter and boil it. Do not drink such water without boiling.
Open a can without an opener
Canned food is the basis of a camping diet. Although more and more cans are equipped with convenient ring-pulls, what if you forget to pack the opener, or when the ring-pull breaks? Use a large metal spoon! Just grab it firmly and make dynamic movements along the edge of the lid with the rounded tip. It is important to focus on one spot. When the spoon breaks the lid, enlarge the hole by driving the spoon further around. Do not have a spoon at hand? Not a problem! Find a rough stone and rub it against the edges of the lid until they crack. Then just squeeze the can to lift up the lid.
Make a stove out of a can
Broken camping stove or lack of it is no longer a problem if you have a metal can at hand. If it is a food can, just poke about 20 holes in the top of the can or make a small, rectangular hole on the bottom. If it is a soda can, cut off the bottom of the can and cut off an equally big the from the top. Make a small hole on the side. Cut out a lid and fold both parts. Pour in some alcohol or put in some bark or small sticks. Set it on fire, wait until it warms up and place a mug with water on top to warm up. Remember to spare some more wood or alcohol that you used to light up your stove.
Sharpen your knives
When camping, a knife has multiple other uses than just cutting food. It can be used, for example, to make bonfire sausage poles. But what to do when your knife is blunt? Grab a ceramic cup, turn it upside down and start rubbing the knife on the edges of the cup, keeping the angle of inclination at 20-25 degrees. After several minutes, the knife will be sharp again.