The 12 Best Summer Vacation Activities for Preppers

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Author of How to Prep When You’re Broke and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course


It’s almost summer time! School is out (or will be soon), you may have time off work, the days are longer, and everything just feels a bit more relaxed without the usual hustle and bustle. Now is the time to really give your kids something to write about in the inevitable “What I Did Last Summer” essay when school starts back up.

Bonus! It’s also the perfect time of year to brush up on some of your skills with prepper summer vacation activities. Not only is it a fun way to pass the time, most of these activities are frugal too.

Here’s a list of the best prepper summer vacation activities.

  1. Go camping. This time of year, you won’t have to worry about getting too cold at night. Put down your devices and go stay somewhere wild and wonderful to camp with your family. Be sure to practice all of the necessary safety precautions at your destination. (If you’re new to camping, this book will tell you all the basics you need to know, and this book is a guide to freebie places to camp all across the country.)
  2. Cook outdoors. Go beyond the barbecue and try a sun oven or cooking over an open campfire.
  3. Go hiking. Take the family out for an all-day adventure. This is a great time to put on your bug out bags and test them. Are they too heavy? Do you have everything you need in them?
  4. Take a class.  There are lots of weekend classes in the summer. Get certified in First Aid or Wilderness Survival. Learn a bushcraft skill or a homesteading skill. The sky is the limit.
  5. Grow your own food. Even if you live in the city, you can use a teeny patio or balcony to grow at least some of your own food. This is a skill that could serve you very well one day.
  6. Pick survival-themed beach books. Even if you’re headed to the beach, you don’t have to leave prepping completely behind. Pick up an awesome piece of prepper fiction to enjoy while you’re lying by the water. (I am a huge fan of this series for grown-ups and here’s a list of some of my daughters’ favorite self-reliance themed books through their childhoods.)
  7. Send the kids to a summer camp. But not just any summer camp! Pick one in which they’ll be spending lots of time doing outdoor activities, many of which are the precursor to serious survival skills. Some programs to look for are archery, marksmanship, hiking, fishing, outdoor skills, swimming, and cooking.
  8. Go fishing. Hang up your shingle and head out. Fishing is a great skill for preppers. Not only is it incredibly relaxing, you are learning two very valuable skills: acquiring food and cleaning the fish. Bonus points if you cook your catch over an open fire.
  9. Learn to preserve food. If you don’t yet know how to can or dehydrate food, summer is the perfect time to learn, when produce is abundant. My book, The Prepper’s Canning Guide, tells you everything you need to know to get started. Hit the farmer’s market and grab a bushel of something delicious. Then go home and put it up to enjoy throughout the winter. (Here are some tips for water bath canning, pressure canning, and dehydrating.) My kids were always very proud to serve jam that they had made and preserved themselves to guests, and they also loved giving homemade jam as holiday presents.
  10. Go shooting.  If your family enjoys firearms, summer is a great time to brush up on your skills. You can go to a range, or to a place with simulations so that you can really up your personal defense game. Even paintball can be a fun way to improve your skills.
  11. Hit some secondhand sales. One of our very favorite activities is getting up on a weekend morning and heading out with a thermos of coffee in hand. (This is the only way my daughter will voluntarily get up early on a Saturday.) We go to yard sales, estate sales, flea markets, and thrift stores and come home loaded with treasures for only a few dollars. The stuff you find will often be of very high quality for a fraction of the price of newer, lesser quality goods. As well, if you purchase from an estate sale, you can often find extremely useful things like tools and kitchen devices.
  12. Go foraging. This is a great way to teach kids about edible plants. Grab a good local guidebook with high-quality pictures and head out to the woods with a basket. Then, come home and prepare your finds together in a delicious foraged feast.

Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list, and all of the caveats apply. (Don’t eat poison stuff, don’t drown in the river, don’t leave food in your tent and get eaten by a bear, and if you do, please don’t blame me for suggesting you go foraging, swimming, or camping.)

One of the most important things is to put down the devices, get away from the screens, and go outside. Spend some time in nature and some time away from your normal responsibilities. Really connect with one another and take a break from the demands of our normal lives.

What will YOU do on summer vacation?

What are some other good, family-friendly activities that build skills while being fun? What are your summer plans? How do you teach your kids prepper skills in an enjoyable way?

Let’s discuss it in the comments.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty; 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived; and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.

Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand You can find her on FacebookPinterestGabMeWeParlerInstagram, and Twitter.

Picture of Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

  • Very good work! I hope to try these activities next summer. But, as I live in Australia, it is currently winter. Would you be able to suggest some winter activities? Thanks

    P.S it doesn’t snow here, rather it is cold and wet, usually between 40-50 degrees F.

  • We have twin granddaughters who will be attending summer school for the month of June. Then one will be going to Zombie Survival School at the local Science Museum, the other will be going to Equestrian camp again to improve her skills. We’ll also be shooting on our range here at the homestead.

  • Sorry Daisy, I have disagree with the “Go camping!” in the summer thing.
    Too many bugs! And I dont enjoy smelling like bug spray.
    I WAS going to go do a multi-day camping trip in the late fall, but life happened.
    Going to do some long range shooting with the .22 pellet rifle, at 100yrds. Also will compete in a on-line, honor system, 30yrd competition.
    Started growing herbs indoors. Still a bit too cool to transplant them outside.

  • I have a different viewpoint on camping and all that goes with it. It is highly age dependent. Having long ago progressed through the Cub Scouts, then the Boy Scouts, and then the Explorer level (where I had a couple of wonderful summer trips to Philmont Scout Ranch in northern New Mexico — before which I had picked up the hiking merit badge that included a 20-mile hike) I have a realistic perspective.

    At the Cub Scout level we didn’t do any overnight camping although we did learn a little about cooking over an open fire.Some things that the Cubs learned to do would have too advanced for toddlers or the first couple of grade school year aged kids. Similarly at the Boy Scout level the local overnight camping adventures came along. As kids aged along toward or into the Explorer level more complex and often distant adventures like mountain backpacking (where we were taught to hang food from a tall tree so that local wild animals wouldn’t fight for such things stored in our tents) and canoeing adventures in distant states.

    My perspective is that whole family camping has different restrictions. It’s limited to what the youngest and least capable kiddos in a family can handle — or also possibly limited by medical or other physical issues that either of the parents might have.. As the youngsters get older the more complex and adventurous such camping and hiking adventures may become.reasonable unless there are other restrictions as discussed. In contrast both the scouts and the military don’t have to deal with whole family capabilities.

    Finally, there are times of the year and places where bugs are not a problem — and various defensive methods of keeping them at a distance in their own backyard.


  • Great site! Just found it, will be a regular. Been living the life for years, have camped and lived coast to coast, north and south.

  • Great list! I am spending the summer learning to beat the heat and prepping for winter in my new home, a camper. Things that will beat the heat will also help combat the cold. Started a couple raised beds, had the GD help with that. Going to learn pressure canning from DD MIL. It is going to be a busy summer. Trying to include the grands as much as I can!

    • You inspire me, so thank you. When I retire, my new home will be a camper. I’ve been researching solar panels, saving up for a Berkey water filter, a composting toilet and other things. I’m confident that I can do this and live a good retirement life. My needs are simple.

  • These are great ideas and I hope to implement some this summer. These aren’t relax on the beach ideas which is why I love them. I’m a busy body and have difficulty relaxing. These ideas can teach new skills to those who need them (i.e. kids) or make improvements and push yourself a little. My son, for one, needs pushed out of his comfort zone. My husband and I grew up in very small country towns being outdoors fishing, hunting and such. We now live in a suburb where my son doesn’t have access to things we did. We are attempting to get him uncitified, as my husband calls it. Trying to get him involved in activities that he doesn’t even realize are prepping so they’ll just come natural if the need arises.

  • Pretty much up stocking of items and cash on hand for me as well as my parent. TFOG cult members won’t be happy come November. May also add a few tasers as first line defense at the voting precinct.

    • Trump has double digit leads with Hispanics, and 18-34 year olds.
      Trump is up 20 points with Blacks.
      Asians have completely abandoned Biden with his DEI policies that punish them.
      Jews are leaning Trump as Biden’s commitment to Israel is questionable and his lackluster response to the anti-Israel protests.
      Previous Democrat donors who were worried about Trump now see Biden as a bigger threat,
      While you are buying tasers, the rest of us are buying ammo.

  • Great ideas Daisey! In addition to your suggestions, I’m going to gather some kids’ board games, and craft supplies so they can have fun outside. They’re going to transform broom handles into walking sticks for hiking. They can paint them and add trinkets strung through leather cords and put them through the hole I’m going to drill in the top. They will beg to go on a hike! I’m going to let them choose their own ingredients to cook individualized meals in aluminum foil pouches over the camp fire. They will dip just the tops of regular matches into Dollar Tree fingernail polish and let them dry in a Styrofoam block to make waterproof matches. We’ll have a treasure hunt in the yard or local park with directions in feet using a compass and a yard stick. I’ll teach them how to use a sundial to tell the time. We’ll make terrariums using empty 1 gallon jars and let them grow herbs and then we’ll use them for cooking. We’ll plant peppermint in the yard and make extract to repel ants. You just soak the leaves in cheap vodka for 2 weeks and put it in a spray bottle. We’ll also plant lavender and make mosquito repellent. We’ll plant a cherry tomato bush. Lastly, I’m going to make bug and insect bingo cards they can use when we go hiking. As you can see, I’m on a roll! 🙂 I can’t wait to do this with my grand kids!

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