“Camping: Camping is a very popular outdoor activity that includes outdoor accommodation. In camping city dwellers living in well-developed regions go out and spend some time in places that are very close to nature for enjoyment. Going to experience nature at undeveloped natural locations in the morning and coming back at night is regarded as a day trip or a picnic. It doesn’t lie in the category of camping. Camping is much more outgoing, and it requires the person to spend at least one night preferably in the outdoors living in a self-made shelter. The lifestyle of a person who does not have home includes activities that are common to camping. The common camping activities include preparing your food in an open fire, sleeping outdoors, exploring the nearby areas on your own, etc. The only difference between that person and a camper is the spirit of camping.
There are various types of camping that people do. They include:
- Cabin camping or rustic hotel camping: In this camping the camper has comparatively reduced contact with outdoors. People do not go on such camping to see wildlife and animals. They just want to spend some time outside in silence very far away from the noise of the city. People in such camping go to isolated places in their vehicles. At the night, they just sleep in a cabin nearby and not in self-made tents, unlike traditional campers.
- RV or 5TH wheel camping: This type of camping is similar to cabin camping. The only difference is that the camper does not stay in a cabin, he rather stays in recreational vehicle or 5TH wheel that is the reason this type of camping is named RV or 5TH wheel camping. In this camping, campers spend most of their time in the outdoors and perform some activities like they burn campfire for roasting and grilling marshmallows.
- Car camping: People consider this type of camping as the real camping. In this camping, people carry their belongings and equipments to the camping spot and then park their car at the campsite. Then they set up their camps. From this point, the campers are outdoors around the campfire performing different activities. In such camping, people are more close to wildlife than in other camping.
- Backpacking: One of the most adventurous forms of camping include backpacking. Camping becomes a secondary part in backpacking that mostly includes hiking trails in the midst of nature. All that a backpacker carries is a backpack with all his essentials packed in it. Comfort is secondary, and thorough preparation is a must in backpacking. Backpacking requires a person to be physically fit, mentally alert and psychologically strong.
This article talks about the type of camping that includes going to an outdoor natural site, setting up a tent and a bonfire and spending at least a day and night out there. It does not include hiking or backpacking and, therefore, involves lesser risks. It is recreational. Car camping or RV wheel camping, though is less risky than backpacking, and requires similar preparation. Any activity that involves spending time, living and eating in the outdoors can never be truly safe. From young students to adult professionals, everyone goes to camping. You must be physically fit to go for a camping trip. From setting up a tent to making your food, you are all by yourself. Self dependence is also one reason you should not ignore the risks involved in camping if you are not camping in traditional camping sites. Before planning to go for camping you must make sure of the following:
- Your distance from the emergency services- If you are camping in camping sites then these sites have their emergency services and supplies. But if you are camping away from them, setting up a tent in a plain area in the middle of a forest or up in the mountains then you must be aware of who to contact in case you need any help.
- Gather all the related information- Going outdoors and spending some time close to nature is one of the best ways of rejuvenating yourself. But while you do that make sure you have all the required information about the area you choose to camp in. Study the map of the area well and always keep it with you.
- Evacuation plan- Irrespective of whether you are out in a group or you are camping alone, you can be asked to leave at a moment’s notice. Make sure that you have an evacuation plan ready for a situation like this.
- Campfires- Campfires form an important part of camping. But once you are done and ready to go back you must remember to extinguish them with water. Using sand to extinguish them is the biggest mistake most people make because fires extinguished with sand retain temperatures up to 100 degrees Celsius for eight hours even after you can no longer see the flames. There is always a possibility of them reigniting and spreading which is not how you want to leave an impact on nature. Also, study the area you are camping in because not every camping site allows campfires. You may be fined or even asked to leave if you are caught setting up a campfire at a place you are not supposed to.
Once you have done the basic research you can start preparing for a camping trip. Here is a detailed list of the equipment and the preparation you will need.
- The right gear- One advantage of going in for car camping or RV wheel camping is that you can carry a lot more stuff as compared to when you are going backpacking. But you wouldn’t want to create a mess by carrying your entire wardrobe or your entire kitchen with you. If you are in a foreign country, or you have gone on a prolonged camping trip then in any case you need to prepare for a backpack with the essentials that are durable, space friendly and last longer.
- Sleep well- Camping is sleeping in the wilderness with the sky right above your head. Sleeping out in the open air is too risky. Therefore, you must carry a tent, a pillow, a blanket or a sleeping bag so that you can sleep well.
Make sure that you carry a tent that should be weather resistant. Try looking for the three season tent in the market. A three-season tent is for all three seasons that are spring, summer and fall conditions. The designing of the tent is done in such a way that it will keep the camper dry when it is raining.
- Carry things to fire up- If the site you are camping at allows campfires then you can pack some charcoal, lighting fluid such as kerosene and a lighter or matchsticks with you. You can also cook your food if that is what you want. Have enough water with you before you set up a campfire in case you need to put the fire out quickly, you don’t panic.
- Pack appropriate amount of camping food and drinking water: – Don’t always rely on campfires for cooking your food. If all you do is pack raw food and when you reach the camping site and realize the campfires are temporarily banned the only option you are left with is to abandon your plans and go back. Before going on, every camper should pack camping food like peanut butter, beef jerky, coffee and tea canned beans and soup. They are best camping food options as you don’t need to cook them, and they don’t spoil too. Avoid packing foods that are perishable especially if you are going for an extended camping trip. Perishable foods last you for a day or two but without proper storage such as in a fridge chances are they hey can go stale and lose all their nutrition.
Bottled water for drinking is a good choice but only if you are going for a trip that is 1 or 2 days long. Longer than that the water tastes bad enough for you to puke. In an outdoor environment, you need to keep yourself safe, fit and healthy. You cannot rely on lakes, ponds and nearby streams for drinking water. Even if you are car camping or RV wheel camping all you can do is carry water camphor that will not last you more than four days.
MRE or Meals, Ready to Eat are an amazing alternative to traditional camping food. They are gaining a lot of popularity against the age old peanut butter sandwich and roasted marshmallows. MREs or Meals, Ready to Eat are self-contained individual rations each packet of which contains the meals for an entire day. They also contain desserts and beverages. They have plastic eating utensils making them lightweight, and you don’t have to worry about cleaning your utensils. Also, if your tour is outlined by camping at different locations, then you can easily pack up all your belongings and move. All you have to do is fold your tent, pack you bag and move on. No need to gather your eateries and utensils and cooking oils.
MREs are packed in hermetically sealed environment ensuring that the nutritional value of the food is maintained. They are waterproof and impact resistant so they will neither go stale nor taste bland. They have beverages that include shakes, tea, coffee and water too.
- Dress well: Campers go in the woods while camping. Therefore, wearing cotton clothes is the best option for staying cool in the outdoors. These moisture wicking clothes keep your body dry and sweat free. Campers should also carry a sun hat, rain gear, hiking boots, etc.
- Grab the gadgets: These gadgets do not include games. These gadgets include
- Extra pair of fresh batteries
- Power bank for your phone
- iPod, if you like to listen the music
- Keep yourself clean: To keep yourself clean while camping bring toothbrush, soap, toothpaste and toilet paper so that you could stay clean and be safe from bacteria. The camper should carry a spare plastic bag so that he/she could keep dirty clothes in it. Carry another plastic to keep all the waste like leftovers, dirty disposable utensils, etc. in it.
- Pack First Aid Kit: A first aid kit is a must for any outdoor trip, especially camping. Here is what should be in your kit
- Personal medications
- Roll bandages
- Adhesive tape
- Antiseptic wipes
- Sterile gauze pads
- Cotton swabs
- Bug repellent
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Antibiotic soap
- Butterfly bandages
- Moleskin for blisters
- Add some extras: To make the trip more enjoyable camper can carry a camera, maps, a set of binoculars, folding chair, etc.
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