August 02, 2022
Being outside is incredible; it is just as simple as that. Just by regularly getting outdoors, you are boosting your immune system and overall mood, enhancing your creativity and focus, elevating your energy levels, plus so much more. Camping is a luxury for many of us, a way to connect with nature and relax, escaping the everyday hustle and bustle to sleep under the star-scattered sky.
Few things bring me more joy in life than waking up in the morning, zipping open the door to my tent and feeling the fresh cool air on my face. But, to get to this moment, you must be prepared and set yourself up for success when going on an epic camping adventure. Apart from the essentials such as a tent, sleeping bag, food, water, hiking boots and a backpack, you will need much more to keep you safe and comfortable while enjoying your time outside. Preparation is critical when setting out on an adventure, so here are some tips and tricks to make your time more delightful.
When setting up for a camping trip, there are many things to consider. For example, how many days will I be out? Am I hiking into my camping spot or driving? Do I need that third bag of candy (yes, is the correct answer, always)? These are valid and reasonable questions to ask yourself when setting out on the adventure.
There is nothing like a cold sip of water on a hot day and a warm meal after a long, awesomely exhausting day exploring. But that is easier said than done, and I would often find myself with a lukewarm bottle of water, a granola bar and a couple of rice crackers to finish the night. This was until I decided to upgrade the basics as they were and started bringing insulated containers with me on all my adventures, keeping my water cold and my food hot; these were true game-changers.
So, you might have already started writing out your list of things to pack and have begun to overwhelm yourself with the number of items you need to bring. Don't stress; it will be okay, and we will cover more on how to make a packing list soon. Speaking of packing, let's talk about how you can be more efficient, so you don't find yourself with three pairs of sox hiding in your sleeping bag. An essential part of packing is to keep your readily used items close to you, near the top of your pack and the less used items towards the bottom. This will eliminate you searching through your bag to find that much-needed sandwich for lunch. Recently I have started using packing cubes as a way to organize my gear, and it has been a blessing. Not only do I not search for items regularly, but I have much more room in my bag, which makes packing much more effortless.
Okay, you've got your food sorted and a cold bottle of water and are feeling like an outdoorsy Marie Kondo with how tidy and organized your packing is, but it is time to think about the things you must bring when going outside. These items are essential to your safety and success on a beautiful camping trip.
Being outside is terrific, but you must remember that you are still outside in nature, and sometimes things go wrong, so be prepared for anything and everything.
A couple of things I always make sure to have at arm's reach are, for one, a first-aid kit, which is mandatory for your safety and the wellbeing of others around you. I also ensure I have a survival kit with various essentials such as a pocket knife, flint and steel, wire saw and many other handy tools. You never know when you will need these items, but when you are down to your last match trying to start a fire, you will be more than happy that you decided to bring it.
With your first-aid and survival kit, you will also want to ensure you have a headlamp, rain/weather protection layers and multi-tool. Recently, on separate occasions, I found myself incredibly grateful for properly packing my bag with these items because I encountered multiple situations where I needed them. For example, on a most recent camping trip, we found ourselves hiking in the rain, and if it weren't for proper preparation and a handy rain poncho, we would have been soaking wet, most likely needing to cut our trip short. It is clear that preparation is necessary, and being well versed and ready for anything is essential, so why not carry an item that can do many different things? I have taken a multi-tool on my trips ever since I can remember, and I am always thankful I do, as it has saved me more than once.
By now, I am sure your mind is overflowing with thoughts and ideas about what to bring and other essential items you may need. But let's take a step back, sort it out, and prepare. Properly.
So we have established the basics and some of the must-bring items for your camping trip, but now it is time to organize everything, adding and subtracting what is necessary. One of the best ways I have found to do this is by making a list. Days before your trip, write down everything you can think of bringing; as time goes by, you will add to this list when items naturally come to mind. The most important part of this list is to ensure your safety and success, but you do not want to overpack, so taking items out that seem redundant is very important. Remember, more often than not, less is more.
While I hope this article helps inform you and prepare you for your camping adventure, the best advice I have is to get outside and enjoy the beautiful serenity of nature for yourself. By doing this, you are building your knowledge base and becoming a more efficient outdoor adventurer.
Have fun, be respectful of the outdoors and relish in the beauty of mother nature.