How to Stay Safe While Camping in Arizona

If you are wanting to do a quick weekend getaway close to the Valley, camping may be a fun way to immerse yourself in the beauty Arizona has to offer. Though it is important to unplug, commune with nature, get some fresh air and connect with your loved ones, it is even more important to be safe while doing so. There are imperative skills and materials involved in camping to ensure that you are protected. 

Here, Vince Vasquez, managing member of C2 Tactical, a local indoor gun range that also offers self-defense and disaster-preparedness courses, provides safety survival tips that can help campers stay aware of their surroundings and potential hazards.

Bring the right tools and equipment

The key to staying safe while camping in Arizona is to be prepared. You can be hours away from assistance and may not have access to cell service and the internet. Staying positive is key to life; however, thinking of the worst possible situation is essential to set yourself up to handle a crisis.

A first aid kit, solar phone charger, matches, emergency food, a knife and a flashlight are all recommended items to pack for your outdoor getaway. A map and compass are also necessary in case you are unable to use your phone. Bringing an electronic navigation system is optional but can make all the difference in an unfortunate position.

Learn basic wilderness skills

Set a few hours aside before your trip to learn how to light a fire. Arizona has calm winters, but there is still a chill in the air, especially at night. If camping in Northern Arizona, winters can be intense and prepping for the cold is paramount. Anticipate winds and cold weather by doing some research about fires beforehand.

Watching a video may be helpful, but we recommend placing tinder in a fire ring and then building a small teepee-shaped stack over the top. Use smaller sticks on the bottom—the feather sticks–and taller ones on the top using full-sized logs for a firebase structure. Make sure the stacks are perpendicular. Light a match under the feather sticks and protect the fire from the wind until it grows steady.

We advise attempting this prior to your trip to make sure you have this tricky skill mastered. Make sure to have a lighter or matches and laundry lint or newspaper on hand to make sparking a fire easier.

Stay hydrated

The body can only live three days without water, so it is crucial to be aware of your possible water sources. A portable water filter, like a LifeStraw, is extremely beneficial to have in case you run out of bottled water. A steel pot to boil water is great to have in case your filtration system fails.

If you are in an emergency situation, tying an absorbent cloth around your ankle and walking through dewy grass can provide enough water to hold you over. This isn’t meant to rely on but can be lifesaving if there is no way to get water at the moment.

Have a plan

We talked about supplying yourself with fundamental gear to stay safe but sometimes prepping includes simple communication. Navigating the outdoors is highly difficult, so everyone should have a plan in place if anyone gets lost.

Going over which way is north, south, east and west can equip everyone with enough knowledge to guide themselves in case they get lost. Establish a meeting ground among your group in case of a scene like this.

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

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