survival weekend in NOVA

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my cousin and I are getting dropped off into a national park by the GF on an upcoming friday afternoon and she is picking us up sunday night, we decided we are going to only take limited supplies and i wanted some ideas of random household things you all think i should take to try to use and report back with the aid the item was in the wilderness.

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What is your plan B if things go wrong and you need to get out early or for what ever reason you're not picked up? If your cell phones still work in the Park, have them. Leave a "flight plan" with someone other than the GF. A "if we haven't called by 4 hours after our estimated get home time, call the search and rescue folks" type thing. God Forbid, but a traffic accident and you're on your own otherwise.


I'm assuming you have your preps with you. Considering the time of year, make sure you have shelter and fire backups. It can get cold fast and being caught practicing for an emergency can become a real emergency a lot faster than most folks can even dream.


Never do a dry run without a backdoor.


Just my not so humble opinion.

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-good tinder like dryer lint, vaseline cotton balls, surefire cubes etc, a couple ways to light it

-decent tarp or shelter options. a couple military ponchos and a couple heavy space blankets or something similar (overhead shelter & ground cloth) maybe a tube tent if you don't have these.

-adventure medical emergency bivy or poncho liner, something to keep warm while sleeping

-a good knife and multi-tool each


-mountain house or similar meals, tea or hot chocolate, a container to boil water in

-metal water bottle

-compass, map, GPS cell phone (charged and shut off) Have a way to navigate out and call for help.


You don't have to use all of this if you don't need it, but it will give you a way to stay fairly dry and get a warm meal and drink if things go badly. It would be a great time to take out your BOB that has these items and try them in the outdoors to see what works and what you want to change.

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Could you give us some info about the area?


Definitely a lighter or torch.

fire-starting logs (as a backup if you can't get it going without it).

A machete or hatchet

Water-filtration devices.

A pot.

A metal cup or container.

Fishing line (can be used for lots of things).

A flashlight.

Bug-spray (OFF Deep Woods)

Make sure you have 2 Gallons each of water per day (just in case, you don't have to actually use it)

A first-aid kit (just in case)

A sling shot

22LR (if hunting is allowed)

A dry bag for your stuff.



Keep in mind 2 is 1 and 1 is none. If your cousin has the same stuff, thats definitely OKAY.

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I primitively camp up there all the time man, where abouts are you going specifically? In Fredricksburg there are some awesome locations where you can 4 wheel drive way into the woods deep and not see a soul the hole time you are out there. Just make sure you have a map, compass and an idea of where you are at all times.


As far as ideas, these guys covered much of what I would suggest, but also I say you bring vodka, hotsauce and tampons.


Hotsauce in case you run out of supplies and have to eat anything really nasty (provided you like hotsauce), Vodka because it is obviously fun to drink and it also can disinfect wounds that you might get hiking out there and tampons because nothing stops blood like a tampon and if you need to make a tourniquet you can throw a tampon inside of it over the wound and it will very quickly stop the bleeding and it won't get too saturated to become ineffective.



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On further inspection, I realized that this camping trip already happened last month haha, never the less I'd like to hear an update of how it went (because that is my stomping grounds up there in NOVA).

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i was in fountainhead park. i went with my cousin, its where i usually go, however wegot rained out (he didnt pack rain gear or a tarp so we called it. but i plan on going again soon we were only out there for about 20 hours.

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yea.... he is new to all this, he actually had NEVER been camping before and his gear is VERY limited because he is very...... shall we say frugal with his money


Let me point out that this was perhaps a perfect ending to the trip IF your cousin draws the right lesson. Some folks will go the 'oh, camping is horrible' route and you've lost them. If he draws the 'oh, I should have prepared better' card then the trip was an absolute, resounding success. By calling it early, you hopefully didn't drive him away AND maybe got a prepping buddy in the process. Good luck and please let us know how it turns out.

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