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Camping Gear Must Haves: Disaster Survival Edition


Natural disasters are happening around the world every day. Hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires, floods, earthquakes, blizzards, volcanos, and mudslides bombard our daily news. We also have to consider those emergencies that are man-made also. Domestic and foreign acts of terrorism are on the rise. Plane crashes, trains derailed, vehicle accidents and random public shootings rob us of peace and security. How can we prepare?


This week lives were lost, and whole towns were destroyed by floods in Kentucky. Southeastern Kentucky is my home. The Appalachian Mountains are my home. These are my people, my neighbors. 3 days in, and there are still many people trapped in their homes. In the last report, the death toll was 37, and hundreds are still missing. People from Western Kentucky are making their way East to repay the recent kindness they received during their own disaster. Early spring this year 4 tornados wiped out several towns in Western Kentucky. When this happened, the whole state went to clean up, deliver supplies, or raise money.


Some of those supplies came right out of packed camping supplies. Camping gear is not only useful for camping, but in the event of an emergency, that same gear could save lives. I have compiled a list of suggestions for camping equipment that could be helpful. But as they say, first things first. Packing and organization, as well as accessibility, are crucial. Equipment is useless if you can not access it or if it hasn't been maintained.

Most natural disasters can be life-halting for 1-3 days and some longer. Access your location to determine your supply list. My family and I have encountered several emergencies, and our camping tubs have saved our lives.

Camping Gear for Survival:

Choose bags or bins to secure all your gear. Please make sure this is manageable for one person to maneuver alone. You may need to store your things in more than one container or bag.

Containers for water: This can be water bought from the store or water bottles you can fill. Staying hydrated is not a luxury. It is life-sustaining. When camping or in an emergency, water is a necessity. Keeping water purification products is advisable also. You can find tablets, straws, and filters that will do the job.

Food: Nonperishables, protein bars, and dehydrated meals (MRE) can be used to be safe from starvation if you must retreat to higher floors, the attic, or the roof. 

Cooking Essentials: Keep those camping stoves ready with plenty of propane available. Remember the lighter or matches. This can also be used for heat. You can have a hot meal. My kids never complained when the power went out because they knew it meant the freezer had to be emptied. That meant plenty of food, buffet style. 


Hygiene: Our camping supplies include a small container with a handle and drain holes for each of us to fill with our toiletries. Make sure these are packed with the essentials like toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, and deodorant. These can be useful if again you must leave your home.

Tools: Your camping gear should include a hatchet, Knives, rope, and multi-tool, and never forget the duct tape. These can all be useful in emergencies. 

Lighting: Lighting is essential to allow you to navigate or accomplish what you need to in the dark, but it can be crucial to signal for help. Make sure you have headlamps, lanterns, flashlights, and plenty of batteries. Wind-up lights never need batteries, so grab one of those also.

Communication: I mentioned that lights could be used as signals but keeping your cell phone charged and having a backup battery is smart. A radio is another communication device that can be helpful in understanding the magnitude of the situation.

Sleep: Camp sleeping bags will keep you warm and provide some comfort. Sleeping bags are now made with modern materials to accommodate different temperatures. Travel inflatable pillows can make a night's rest more comfortable, and they also can float if needed.

First Aid: This piece of advice has come in handy many times. Pack your first aid kit with all the essentials recommended. There are many available on the internet. Make sure you add to that a week of personal medications. Some meds are not optional, and when a disaster happens, medications could be forgotten. Add a medicine box filled correctly with daily meds. Remember, you or someone else could be unable to express which meds they need. A weekly medicine box can keep you from a tragedy.

Escape: Sometimes, it is necessary to escape. Escaping can include wading flood waters, bugging out in a vehicle, and maneuvering through damaged buildings and debris. Having the tools mentioned above can be a gross asset. In the case of a flood, there are modern inflatable kayaks and even foldable ones. Having other PFDs in your camping arsenal could mean life or death.

Natural Needs: Ok, I mean the potty. I must confess, a potty for my tribe is a necessity, and it is for yours also. Camping potties are great for meeting that need when a privy is nowhere to be found—no need for fancy. Ours is a 5-gallon bucket with a potty seat on top, and garbage bags line the inside for easy disposal. A camping potty may not be pretty, but in an emergency that lasts even a few days can make it worth gold.

Camping gear is sometimes like bunny rabbits or cats. It can keep producing and doubling until you need a semi-truck to haul it to the campsite. The above gear is the bare essentials that can not only ensure a great camping trip but also save lives. And if your neighbor is in need, share.

Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.” Mark 12: 29-31

We must all be ready to show our love to our neighbors in need. There are spiritual emergencies and essential as well as physical ones. 

This week my cousin had heart surgery. When she came home to recover, we were all relieved that the surgery was successful. Just a few days later, we are now praying for her life. She has internal bleeding. We are pleading and praying using God's word. The last message I sent to her had a verse attached to it. It was Ezekiel 16:6. This verse has been used for many years in the Bible belt. It is the verse that stops bleeding. Generations and generations have quoted this verse and stood on its principles and their faith.

6 And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live. Ezekiel 16:6

There are other verses that Christians need to know by heart also. Don't just memorize them but write them in your heart. The most famous is John 3:16. You see it written and quoted in almost every corner of the world. Quoting it and being able to share its meaning and save someone's life are two different stories and 2 different results.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Being able to spread God's love is directly related to how much time you have spent reading His words. Most non-Christians can't understand God's love until they have felt that love channeled through his creation. They need us to act out His word, His compassion, His love, and forgiveness in our daily lives. Everyone is looking for the answers, and God calls us to be the answer.

Mark 16: 15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

You may ask, how am I supposed to proclaim the Gospel? Some versions even say preach the Gospel. Now I have hit a nerve. I have heard, “ I am not a preacher; that verse doesn't mean me.”  the original meaning in Hebrew means to declare and deliver with conviction. This verse in Mark applies to all Christians. We are called to declare God's nature and sovereignty. 

1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

So that's it. That is all we need to know, isn't it? To proclaim it, we need to know it and show it.

Know it- 

 Research verses that help to reveal the plan of Salvation. 

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” - John 14:6

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. - Ephesians 2:8-9

 Know where to reference:

Verses that encourage hope

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. -Matthew 11:28-30

Verses of Promise

By which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 2 Peter 1:4

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

"For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20

Commandment Verses

No, I am not saying you must memorize all 10 in order because Jesus summed them up for us! The first five Old Testament commandments are covered in the first commandment that Jesus gave us.

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 And Jesus replied to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. Matthew 22:36-38

The second commandment Jesus gave us sums up the last five of Moses’s commandments.

39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’ 40 The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:39-40

Show It:

Our lives must model the life of our savior. We must walk in love.

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8 Love never ends-1 Corinthians 13:4-8

 Give forgiveness.

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14-15

21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. Matthew 18: 21-22

 Live in peace. 

“Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you. Job 22:21 

   Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:6-9 

Bridle our tongue.

If anyone among you thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. James 1:26

Shine a light.

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. - Matthew 5:16

Demonstrate faith.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. - 2 Corinthians 4:18

Show courage.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. -Joshua 1:9

It doesn't matter which type of emergency we have. Whether it be physical or spiritual, God is always there with us if we acknowledge Him.

I can do all this through him, who gives me strength. - Philippians 4:13

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. - Proverbs 3:5-6

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. - Psalm 46:1

Say your prayers and count your blessings. Many people all over the world are experiencing the greatest emergency of their lives. Hold them up in your prayers and extend them, love. We must be the physical hands and feet for the Gospel. You can also let them borrow your camping gear! God Bless you! See ya at the campsite!



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