Camping is usually a safe and relaxing experience—but it never hurts to be prepared for an emergency when you’re miles away from civilization with iffy cellular service. Packing a few essential pieces of safety equipment on your next camping trip can help you avoid an unforeseen incident that could ruin your trip (or respond properly to one so its impact can be minimized).
Below, we’ve compiled a list of the most vital pieces of safety gear you can bring on any camping trip. From wild animal deterrents to medical supplies and signaling devices, you’ll find everything you need here to go camping with complete confidence. Let’s get started!
How to Choose Your Safety Equipment for Camping
Before you buy safety equipment to take camping, you’ll want to think about what distinguishes high-quality items from unreliable ones. Here’s a list of criteria you can use to make sure you’re buying the best items in their class:
- Materials: Safety equipment of all kinds needs to be durable, but it also needs to be lightweight.
Tip: Stainless steel makes a great beginner’s material of choice for blades, due to its durability and relative ease of maintenance, whereas aluminum is light but strong and works well for containers holding consumable items like flares or first aid products.
- Visibility: Safety equipment is no good to you if you can’t find it when you need it. Make sure anything you buy will be highly visible—even in the dark.
Tip: Look for gear with hi-vis color schemes (generally neon yellow or orange). Also, consider purchasing gear with reflective strips to make them more visible in low-light conditions (or use reflective tape to add your own).
- Reusability: Not all safety gear can be used more than once. Consider how you’ll deal with an emergency if it recurs during your trip.
Tip: Consider buying value packs with multiple items of the same kind in them. And for reusable safety gear, ensure that it’s not too difficult to maintain or reset between uses.
Our Top Picks for Camping Safety Equipment
Morakniv Bushcraft Knife (Orange)
Price: $56-66 CAD
Where to Buy: Amazon
Fixed blade knives are generally better than folding models, since the hinge is typically a weak point where the blade can break off. This one also has a stainless steel blade, and comes with a highly visible neon orange handle to help you locate it more easily when you need it.
Fox 40 Classic Safety Whistle
Price: $12 CAD
Where to Buy: Amazon
There’s a reason these are among the most popular safety whistles in the world. Not only are they loud as all hell (115dB, in case you’re wondering, which can be heard up to an entire mile away), but they also come in a ton of highly visible colours and are reliably made.
Adventure Medical Kits Backpacker First Aid Kit
Price: $33-50 CAD
Designed for 2 people on journeys of up to 4 days, this kit comes with easily labeled pockets and a quick reference guide to help you use it as soon as an injury occurs. The instructions are also bilingual, making it more accessible—and it has a reflective logo to help you find it in low-light conditions. The contents include medicines, patches, and bandages—plus EMT shears and a 10cc syringe to help you cut off clothes, prep dressings, and clean wounds.
Frontiersman Bear Spray (2-Pack)
Price: $90 CAD
Where to Buy: MEC
What’s better than 1 can of bear spray? If you guessed 2 cans, you’re absolutely right. You don’t want to fend of one wild animal, just to end up inside another one because you ran out of juice. These cans from Frontiersman come in a highly-visible orange color, and have a range of roughly 9m. They also have glow-in-the-dark safety clips so you can find them easily at night.
Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 Lantern with Powerbank
Price: $100 CAD
Where to Buy: MEC
This versatility lamp provides area light on one side and focused light for detail work on the other. But better yet, it can be charged via USB or by a hand crank on the side—meaning you’ll always be able to use it, no matter how far off the beaten path you get. Major points for reusability here.
Have Confidence in Your Next Camping Trip
Bringing the right safety gear on your upcoming trip will help you stay safe and enjoy your experience. For more suggestions on what to pack, check out our guide to the best camping cookware!