How to Camp Survivorman Style With Kids

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Today we have a unique guest post for Travel Tuesday! Beyond the Tent is here to share some tips on how to camp Survivorman style with kids! Beyond the Tent shares their experiences camping with 7 and adventures along the way!

This made me want to get camping even more than I already was! I’m also working on a camping with toddlers post so look for that in the future! But now I’d love to introduce you to Beyond the Tent!

My name is Ryan Cunningham and I run Beyond The Tent with my wife Kelly. Beyond the Tent is a camping blog about our families adventures. One thing that got us into camping is the show Survivor Man, the first survival show on TV back in 2004.

I’m sure you have all seen the show Survivor Man, if you haven’t it’s a pretty simple, yet brilliant concept. Lee Stroud, aka Survivor Man, is dropped off in remote wilderness areas with nothing more than a few odds and ends and cameras to film himself “Surviving” in the woods. His adventures usually last for 7 days and we get to see him building shelters to stay dry, starting fires from almost nothing to stay warm, finding water in amazing places and hunting (eating some disgusting things too) to get his food.

Here is a fantastic clip just in case you’re curious:

While I am not suggesting you go to the same lengths as Mr. Stroud, you can still have fun making camping feel rough and “Survivor Man” style with you kids. Here is a few ways to do just that.

How To Camp Survivorman Style With Kids

Create Your Own Shelter With A Tarp & Rope

This may sound primitive but your kids will think it is super cool. You will have to find tree and tie the tarp off to each tree. This is a great way to practice knot tying and to discuss how to angle a roof so rain will run off. Be sure to check your forecast before doing this one!

Cook All Of Your Food Over The Fire

This one is so simple and yet so fun for your kids. You don’t need to hunt or fish for your food (although eating your own fish is always super fun), just cooking it away from any kind of stove will be super fun for your kids. This Hamburger Tinfoil Meal is a perfect meal to cook over the fire that also tastes delicious.

Start Your Fire Without Matches Or Lighters

This one is a challenge but if you do it you will be so proud of yourselves. I am actually trying a handful of different methods this weekend and will let you know in the comments what works well. What I would suggest trying is the Coke and Chocolate Bar method (as this will be most fun for the kids).

Take your chocolate bar and rub it on the bottom of the can. Wipe off the chocolate with a paper towel and repeat several times. This will shine the aluminum to a mirror like appearance. Next get some dry grass (or similar tinder) and use the bottom of the can to shine a focused beam of light at your tinder. This can take a while so be patient.

A good backup plan is to purchase a flint stick from a camping store, this is nearly as fun and 10x easier!

Find Your Own Water Source

This one is tricky, but still very fun. If you have a water purifier this one is actually doable. Any camping store should carry a handful of different options for water purification for $50 or less. Never drink water that is standing still, find a creek, stream or river that is moving quickly and away from any obvious animal homes (beaver dams) and make sure to purify it properly. If you’re not feeling up to this one, use the purifier to purify water from the campsites water supply for a still fun experience.

Hopefully these few trips will make your “rugged” camping experience with your children feel a bit more rugged while still keeping life easy for you. Have Fun Camping!

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Allison Waken is a wife, mom of boys and Phoenix, AZ native. She has been creating inspiring content for All for the Boys since 2011. Allison loves travel, movies and spending as much time as possible with her family while she can!


  1. Thanks for this! Very inspiring. My kids love Survivorman, so this would be super fun to try!

  2. Thanks so much! Great ideas! Chocolate bar and a coke can..hmm that's a new one! 🙂

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