Water and Food Tips When Camping
Are you planning for camping? Do you know the two most important things you need to know about when you go camping? Well, don’t worry if you don’t know about them. The two important things water and food tips when camping are given below:
The human body needs sufficient water more than almost anything else. Our bodies are made of up to 70% water and, if we become dehydrated our bodies stop working efficiently.
Humans need to drink at least 8 glasses of water in a day, even when doing relatively little, so this is multiplied when out in the wild. It is not, however, possible to just drink from any water source that you find. Water is, unfortunately, extremely likely to be infected with parasites or other disease-causing organisms.
You, therefore, have to be very careful when drinking water from a source of which you are not completely sure. If you are out for the day you should have arranged to carry sufficient water to cover your needs and have a back-up purification system. If you are out for longer you will need to purify your water as and when you find it. Unless you know a water source is safe (a spring in a high mountain area) assume it is contaminated and run it through your purification system.
Some small filter systems are available that can render even sewage safe to drink, alternatively, it is possible to use tablets or chemicals such as potassium permanganate to render water safe. If in doubt you should always use your stove to boil the water for at least five minutes after filtering to ensure the water is safe to drink. When selecting a source of water to purify look for the smallest, fastest running stream you can find as these are less likely to be contaminated than larger streams.
Never drink from a lake or pond, from very sluggish streams or from places where livestock congregate.
If you are stuck without access to a water filter or means of boiling water you can collect rainwater (on a plastic sheet). If you cannot do this you can make your own, rudimentary filter by placing sand topped with gravel in the sleeve of a shirt and running water through this into a bottle. Note that this will not be as effective as a proper filter and you may need treatment for bowel problems when you get back home. It is, however, safer than drinking the water untreated.
Under no circumstances should you drink seawater unless you have a proper desalinating filter which will make it safe. If you are stuck without water near the sea you will have to evaporate the salt water from a shallow bowl and collect the
condensate on a plastic sheet. This is extremely time-consuming, relies on the weather being warm and sunny and will generate only small volumes of water.
If you are going to be out in the wild on a long-planned trip you should have sufficient food to last you. When packing for your trip make sure that you have sufficient dehydrated high-calorie foods to last you for each day of your trip and two more. In addition to these foods packets of soup, chocolate bars (Mars and Snickers are high in calories) and boiled sweets all pack a lot of calories.
Remember that you will be burning more energy than normal when out in the wild so you will need to eat about 4,000 calories for every day in which you are walking 6–8 hours walking in the wild is no time to follow a low carb plan! You will be able to buy specialist camping foods in a variety of flavors from your local camping store which can often be cooked in the packet. You can then supplement with fruit such as dates, apples and bread. Do not carry raw meat although you can carry eggs in a plastic bottle for up to 3 or 4 days.
If you are hunting bring your kill to a safe area, close to your pick up point if possible, before butchering. If you are in areas in which Bears are common to make sure that your food store is elevated off the ground and that your storage area is 150 ft from your tent with your cooking zone 150ft from them both in a triangular shape.
Whether you are going out for a few hours or a few days you should aim to carry some supplemental survival rations with you. If you find yourself stuck, for whatever reason, without any food whatsoever it can be tempting to think about trapping some smaller animals for food. A human being can last an astonishing time without food so unless you know how to prepare traps safely and gut and skin an animal to render it safe to eat you would be best avoiding this.
If there are streams nearby you could try to get some fish either by making a rudimentary hook and line to leave in the water or by weaving a fish trap out of wood/grass. If you have done your pre-trip preparation properly you will know what berries and plants are safe to eat in the area.