Kit Camp is definately a work in progress, an idea in active exploration. We’ve never done this before and don’t know of a precedence to go off of so we’re kind of making it up as we go. :) If you missed the earlier post about it and don’t know what I’m talking about, the original Kit Camp post is here.
Here’s the quick gist of what we’re doing: 72 hour Kit Camp is a self test and training event. Everyone is invited, we will meet at a parking location and hike a short distance to our first night’s camp. You are to bring only your 72 hour kit. The next day we will break camp 1 and hike a short distance to our second camp. During the day we will have several training sessions followed by the practical application of getting your camp set up. We will be addressing several topics in training that directly relate to what we are doing in camp. Kids are definitely invited – I’ll have all 8 of mine there. The purpose of Kit Camp is to give you training, experience and most importantly confidence that you can survive off of your 72 hour kit. The most important thing you’ll learn from Kit Camp is how woefully inadequate your 72 hour kit is and what you need to add to it (I fully expect to come away with a whole new 72 hour kit list for myself).
This update is mostly a clarification of some things I’ve seen in the comments and things that have been discussed with some potential campers. Several of you have had some legitimate concerns that I’d like to address.
Several people have asked how much we’re charging to attend Kit Camp. There is absolutely NO FEE. We want everyone to come and learn with us, we aren’t doing this for the money at all! Every author on this blog will learn something from Kit Camp, just as all attendees will. Most of the authors are experienced primitive campers but there is ALWAYS something to be learned. The only thing expected of campers is that they participate, learn and interact with the other campers.
Several people have commented that they really don’t want to hike or that their 72 hour kits are not the ‘hiking’ type. While we strongly suggest that your 72 hour kit be something you can cary on your back so that your hands are free, you will be ok with just carrying a duffel bag on the ‘hike’. We’re not going to go very far, certainly less than a mile. The point of hiking in is to mentally seperate us from the world and to help us live strictly off of what is in our kits. We want to get away from civilization to do this and that means getting away from our cars and trucks.
To help us make sure we’re only living off our kits, we want to hike away from vehicles so we aren’t retrieving anything from them or using them. We’ll probably ‘hike’ (walk really) a quarter to a half mile into the woods for Camp 1 and then hike another short distance for Camp 2.
So in short, the actual hiking won’t be substantial at all and we won’t be in a hurry. If your kit is in a duffel we recommend changing it to a backpack but you don’t have to in order to participate. The hike won’t deter you if you’re not in very good shape either, it’s just a short walk.
Some people have asked why we want to have 2 camps. It’s for the experience. On Day 1 we’ll get to our camp and have at least one class on primitive shelter building. After that class we’ll build our shelters for the night and gain some valuable experience. Well then examine each shelter as a group and discuss pros and cons of each and how they could be improved. Then you’ll sleep in that shelter. The next day you’ll break down that shelter and move to the next camp where you’ll get further experience in building your shelter and most importantly get an opportunity to practice lessons learned from the previous day. We’ll again visit each shelter as a group and discuss them. Then you get to sleep in your improved shelter and judge the improvements. On the third day we’ll have a group discussion yet again on shelters and share what we’ve learned.
Shelter isn’t the only thing you’ll get two experiences with. We’ll be teaching several other camp preparation techniques and you’ll get two tries at those as well. You will also gain experience and training on setting up a temporary camp while on the move – which may come in very handy in a TEOTWAWKI or SHTF type of scenario.
The main point of this Camp is to give you experience and confidence in yourself. The best way to do that is to do it in real life multiple times.
Some people have commented that they’ll have the expense of replacing their kit food once they’ve consumed it on this camp. My thinking is this – by participating in this camp and by eating the food in your kit, you will quickly realize that the food in your kit is not at all what you want in your kit! After Kit Camp, you’ll surely be wanting to stock your kit with different food supplies and you’ll be GLAD that the food that was in there is gone so you don’t feel bad about replacing it. :)
Several people have commented that they don’t have the right gear in their kit and aren’t sure they can do the Camp because of it. THAT is the whole point of the Camp! After Kit Camp you will KNOW what you want and should have in your Kit! That said, there are some things that you really do want/need to make sure you bring:
- A Tarp. Your tarp should be large enough that your entire family can comfortably lay down on top of it when it is folded in half. You will need at least one. You will be grateful if you have two.
- Rope. Every person that comes to camp with you should have at least 50 feet of rope in their kit, much more if possible. By rope I mean twine. Bailing twine or parachute cord (which is much more expensive) will work great, you’ll be cutting and using this to build your shelter and other things.
- A Knife. At the very least you’ll need a pocket knife, better is a lock blade knife. Best is a pocket, lock blade and hunting knife.
- Food and Water. You’ll need food and water for 3 days, but you should already have that in your kit.
- Light. You will be very grateful if you have a flashlight with you
- Fire Starters. At least some matches, you’ll be learning about lots of other options at camp.
- Sleeping Gear. You’ll want a sleeping bag or something you can roll up in – a canvas tarp will work just fine.
The only thing on this list that is absolutely neccessary is a knife. But surviving with only a knife is a more advanced experience than what we’re going for here.
You will be learning a lot about what gear you need, want and why. You will be receiving a lot of training on what that gear is used for as well. The most important thing to have at Kit Camp is YOU. We will not let anyone suffer or die – Preppers like your authors here are very into redundancy and over packing – I guarantee you there will be plenty of gear to go around!
We want this to be a fun and exciting time! It will hopefully be very educational for you, even very paradigm changing for you. If you know what you are doing and you have some common sense, it is very easy and fun to survive in the woods.
We haven’t yet selected a location or a date. We’ll nail down the date very soon. The location will probably be up American Fork Canyon on the Alpine Loop where primitive camping is allowed. But there are many many options to select from. We want to be in a well forested area preferably with a water supply nearby.
Your authors here will be doing some of the training. We have been talking to others who are experts in certain areas and have asked them to come up for either the entire camp or just to do a training session. There are two emergency prep vendors whom I’ve talked to about teaching some topics and presenting some of the gear that they sell in their stores. If any campers feel they are proficient enough in an area to teach it to everyone else, let us know and we’ll have you teach!
We want to make this a regular event, both in the spring and the fall. Return Campers will be very welcomed and will hopefully become trainers. We would love to have a HUGE group come out for this on a regular basis! This first Camp will probably be a little rough as we figure out the best way to do it, future camps will hopefully become very refined.
Are there other areas that I’ve left out? We’ll be posting regular updates as we get this thing figured out. If there is anything else you need clarification on, let us know in the comments!