Double dipping: camping and prepping

Most of the prepping stuff I’ve read strongly discourages double-dipping, advocating in favor of fully-equipped bug out bags whose contents never get used for regular hiking/camping trips.  But realistically, who can afford to own (or has space to store) duplicate sets of camping gear?

The blog below actually has a pretty good method for keeping one’s camping gear pre-staged and ready to go on a moment’s notice, either for last minute trips or, of course, actual emergencies whether they require bugging in or bugging out.

I’ve linked the articles here, beginning with the most relevant:

Of course, the writer is mostly concerned about quickly and efficiently getting out of the house and up to woods after work on Friday afternoon or when an occasional random day-off presents itself.  However, this system is clearly useful for prepping, especially sheltering in-place but, with appropriate tweaks, for bugging out as well.

What I like best is that even if an emergency never ever happens, the work put into this system pays off immediately by facilitating quicker, easier, less hassle departures for recreational camping.  And, of course, there’s something to be said about practicing regularly with all your gear.


  • Comments (7)

    • 4

      Baloney.  I have double dipped for years.  It just takes a bit of discipline.  It also makes you get to know your tools.

    • 4

      Pnwsarah, another user on the forum, has had this dilemma with her gear as well. Here’s an old forum thread where she talks about if they really need to have a dedicated sleeping bag, and shelter for their BOB when they have nice ones in their camping equipment.

      • 5

        Thanks for this link, Gideon!  Super helpful.  In spite of the Prepared’s advice to avoid double dipping, it sounds like many preppers have made the rationale decision to break the rule when it makes sense to do so.  Both your link and other responses to this thread affirm my own decision to double dip BUT also provide a bit more information to help me do that in a more disciplined and nuanced fashion.

      • 3

        In a perfect world we wouldn’t have to double dip and that is the best practice. But realistically 99% of preppers probably do it in some fashion. The key is to be organized and disciplined. 

        The main warning against double dipping is for someone like a family of five that goes out camping and then when they get back just leaves their gear scattered. Then they are scrambling when the disaster hits and trying to build their BOB at that time.

      • 1

        Ha, glad you made this connection, Gideon, as I was thinking of it, too! Looking forward to reading Colorado Jones’ blog links above when I find some time to do so…

    • 4

      I have a very simple solution; on the rare occasion I go camping, I take the dual-use supplies out of my bug out bag and use them. Or I take out the supplies I DON’T want for camping, add some other stuff, and use the whole bag.

      When I get home I make sure to put everything back. If I went camping more often I might want duplicate supplies, but it doesn’t take much time to swap back and forth and long as you put it all away properly when you get home. 

      I second practicing with your tools. Camping is not necessarily a good analog for bugging out, but it is similar in that most thing are harder to use in the backcountry than they are in your living room. 

      I do keep a few duplicates of things (vs. bug out bag) in the car kit, but the car kit is mostly different stuff than the bug-out bag. And I might only have one or the other. 

      This perma-kit idea saves time and energy if you camp constantly, which very few of us realistically do. They mentioned camping 90 nights a year? I probably average 1 or 2. 

    • 4

      I’m a believer in having gear pre-staged. I add a tag summarizing what’s in the bag because I want to keep my “working memory” — so to speak — available for problem solving in an emergency rather than trying to remember what is pre-staged in what bag. Here’s an example — some water filters, Go Power charger, fire starter materials. label

      • 2

        That’s a good idea to label your bags with it’s contents. I have three emergency bags and whenever I need to get something from it I end up opening all three bags because of course it’s always in the very last one every time.