Camping Safety and Survival Tips

By Vince Vasquez, Managing Member of C2 Tactical

Arizona is an ideal state for nature lovers. Opportunities for hiking and camping are sprouted throughout the Grand Canyon state with stunning trails in Antelope Canyon, Flagstaff and Sedona, to name a few.

Camping can be a grand adventure for families or travelers, but it can also be fraught with possible misadventures. It’s important to be prepared before heading off into the wilderness, even when the goal is to have a blast. Situations can easily become out of control due to various circumstances.

To help Arizona residents stay prepared, indoor range C2 Tactical –located in Scottsdale and Tempe—offers disaster preparedness courses with experienced instructors. Here are some expert tips on preparation and skills to know before a wilderness adventure.

Have Basic Tools Available

A multitude of things can happen on a camping trip. While the goal is be surrounded by nature, that also means being—sometimes—far from civilization and other sources of communication such as internet and cell service. What if you fall on a hiking trail? Become separated from the group? Encounter a not-so-friendly animal?

Basic tools to have handy on a camping trip include a first aid kit, solar phone charger, matches emergency food, a knife and a flashlight.

While there are plenty of tools to have on hand, these are crucial. Experts also advise to have a book on plants in the area in the case you have to eat your surroundings to stay alive.

Learn How to Light a Fire

For campers escaping civilization during the fall, learning how to create fire is a vital skill to know before packing the car. Stranded outdoorsmen will likely feel a cold wind this time of year. Many campers will flock to Flagstaff where temperatures are much colder than Phoenix as the elevation is almost 7,000 feet.


How do you start a fire? Place tinder in a fire ring then build a small teepee shaped stack over the top. Use smaller sticks on the bottom—the feather sticks– and taller on the top using full sized logs for a fire base structure. Make sure the stacks are perpendicular. Light a match under the feather sticks and protect the fire from wind until it grows steady.

This isn’t an easy skill to master but it can be done with practice.

Know about H20

The body can only live for three days without water—so campers need to know where sources of water are.

If camping in areas with natural springs, be sure to err on the side of caution and not drink directly from the source. A LifeStraw or other water filter is extremely important to be safe. Always pack a steel pot to boil water in the case you don’t have a filtration system.

If neither of these options are available, tie an absorbent cloth around your ankle and walk through the dewy grass. This might offer enough for a drink. Always become acquainted with the water sources where you’ll be camping before you venture off. It could save your life.

Have a Plan

When arriving at your destination, have a plan. This means, a meeting spot in case you become lost. Navigation is also a skill to know before the trip. A compass is fantastic. If your group can’t read a campus, teach people that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West.

Having simple plans in motion before camping or going on a hiking excursion are extremely important. These aren’t easy skills to master but, the wilderness is huge, and you might be glad that you took the time to educate yourself!

To learn more about C2 Tactical and disaster preparedness courses please visit,

Vincent Vasquez is a former broker who left his day job to focus on his passion in helping individual with the sport and persona protection. He started C2 Tactical in 2013 with a location in Tempe and by 2018 opened a second location in Scottsdale. Voted “Best Indoor Gun Range in AZ,” Vasquez built a brick and mortar that not only offers fun indoor shooting ranges but also educational courses, fun events, bachelorette parties and shotgun weddings.