A camping trip is definitely a great way to relax, to keep your mind off work and to escape from the chaotic reality of the city. Not only does it bring you closer to nature which can surely rejuvenate you and remove your stress, it is also an inexpensive way to have a vacation.
However, if it’s your first time to go camping one thing you should know is that it entails proper planning of the things to do and the things to bring.
Packing lightly and wisely is one of the most important aspects in camping that would contribute to the success of the trip. Remember, bringing the whole house just so you don’t forget anything won’t mean an enjoyable trip. In fact, this may even ruin the trip and be a cause for delay. It is therefore crucial that you are able to pack lightly without forgetting the most essential things you need to bring to camp.
First tip in light packing is to bring only the most essential camping gears and personal supplies. Be thorough in making your selection. Ask yourself questions like, “do I really need a lotion in the middle of the woods?” or “would bringing a board game make the trip more enjoyable?” In making your decision, always remember that a camping trip is supposed to be a back to the nature trip. And while bringing a catalytic heater like the Coleman ProCat™ Portable Catalytic Heater would ensure you of a comfortable sleep inside your tent which you need to recharge for the next day’s activities, bringing an electric hairdryer on the other hand is unnecessary and wouldn’t be consistent with the roughing it theme of camping.
Second tip is to create a things-to-bring checklist. This would be indeed helpful because it allows you to have an overview of all the things you’re bringing to make sure you don’t miss the important ones and you don’t bring unimportant ones. Divide your checklist into camping gears (tents, grills, sleeping bags and so on), first aid kit (medicines, bandages, disinfectant), personal items (soap, sunblock, hair brush) and other essentials (food, water, car keys, cash, map, camera).
Third tip is to look for camping gears that are made of lightweight materials and have more than one function. There are many light backpacking tents that are durable, and yet easy on the back. It is also smart to find camping equipment that can do several things so that you don’t have to bring along too many things. For example if you have a Swiss knife, then you don’t have to bring separate knife, bottle opener and cutter.
Fourth tip is to transfer meal ingredients, medications, lotion, shampoo and fuel into lightweight and small containers. Just bring the sufficient amount you need, adding a little extra for emergencies.
Fifth tip is to improvise and be resourceful. Use stuff sacks, clothes or backpack as pillows. Pick a campsite with a guaranteed clean and safe drinking water supply so that you don’t have to carry loads of heavy water in your bag. Use plastic bags for a variety of purposes like storing meals, camping gears, clothing, and for cleaning up the campsite. If you have wet clothes during the trip, be sure to dry them out in the sun before packing them again because the dampness adds extra weight and can cause your clothes to smell bad.
Always remember that aside from planning the camp activities, it is also imperative that you are able to plan carefully the things you have to bring. You don’t want to suffer from an aching back because of an overloaded backpack or to be in the middle of the woods without the things you need most.