Posted by on October 25, 2016 10:00 am
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Categories: Camping Hack

Camping out of doors is one of the great pleasures of life. It’s also a great way to practice some of your bug out skills. Fun or not, consider your next trip to the forest or desert as training for when things are a little less pleasant.

And, when the unpleasant happens, how you camp during the bug out may be just as important as bugging out itself. A guest author (who just might be Ms. Joey Holmes*) at the American Preppers Network wrote a detailed article on Clandestine Camping. This is the concept that merges responsible stewartry of resources with tactical evasion. It is a must read. Here’ my summary:

Understated And Unobtrusive

Discretion is the better part of valor, it is said. So it is with clandestine camping. A bug out situation implies you’re trying to avoid something. That means laying low and keeping quiet. You want to disappear from eyes and ears (noses too when possible).

Some tips to consider:

  • Stay as far away from other people as you can;
  • Stay quiet;
  • Kill the lights at night;
  • If your friends can’t do those first two things, reconsider taking them along;
  • Be responsible with your fires. Remember: green wood equals smoke; smoke equals attention; attention equals bad…;
  • Move your camp frequently.

Pick A Good Camping Area

A good campsite should offer the following:

  • It should be concealed from the sight of others;
  • It should offer as much protection from the wind and elements as possible;
  • It should be clear of debris and obstacles;
  • It should be near water – but not in danger of flooding.

Pick a spot that even you can barely recall how to find. If you leave yourself markers make them as inconspicuous as possible.

The Right Equipment For The Job

The number one consideration for camping (backpacking) gear is weight. This is followed very closely by utility of function. A three-pound gizmo you just couldn’t leave home without will get heavier as your trudge along. Keep that in mind. Only take what you must.

Take stock of your condition, the terrain ahead, the weather and season, and other factors. Your equipment is there only to assist you in escaping and surviving. And it must be light so you can move rapidly. Keep it simple out there.

Setting Up The Clandestine Campground

First you make sure you are as discreet as possible. Then you find the perfect spot. Now you have to make camp. Follow this order of operations:

  • Build or erect a shelter;
  • Ensure security – from intruders and animals;
  • Fire – fires serve many purposes yet they are potentially dangerous and might give away your location – use your head when you use those matches.
  • Consider your water and food requirements.
  • Be quiet. Shhhh…

Photo by Cool Camping.

“Leave No Trace”

This is the mantra of the backpacking and outdoors community with good reason. Even under normal circumstances you should make next to no impact on the environment. Pack it in and pack it out. Take care of nature and she will look out for you. Do this:

  • Leave no garbage whatsoever;
  • Pollute neither the soil nor the water;
  • Bury your wastes;
  • Put out, turn over, and bury the ashes from your fires.
  • Use biodegradable and natural soaps, etc.
  • Do not disturb the balance of nature.

Photo by USDA.

Always remember that when you are out in nature – which you should be with regularity – you must be responsible. And be respectful. No waste, no want.

If you’re bugging out to avoid danger, then practice extra precautions. Doing so will allow you to remain out of sight and out of the hearing of most other people. When you “get out of Dodge” you don’t want the locals following you.

*Joey Holmes is the editor of Cool of the Wild, an online resource for outdoor lovers. She has endless enthusiasm for any excuse to get out there and enjoy being active in the outdoor world, and loves sharing this passion to inspire others to find and follow their own dreams.

Related: Tips for using an open flame outdoors!

Perrin Lovett writes about freedom, firearms, and cigars (and everything else) at He is none too fond of government meddling.

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