Luchi Quines provides advice on everything you need to know before going camping.
Even if you happen to be the most urban person, you may still get the urge to camp out once in a while. But finding the right gear and all preparations required can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. When going camping, you can keep it simple, especially if it is for the first time.
Remember by keeping camping simple you can save money when you rent big-ticket gear. You can also bring the right clothes for the rain and cold to have great comfort. Besides this, you should bring enough food to satisfy your hunger. This article explains everything you need to know before going camping.
Essential camping gear
Camping is like living in a primitive cabin without the cabin itself. Hence, besides the tent, you need to pack everything as if you are going to a place where there is little or no furniture, stove, refrigerator, electricity, and there is nothing in the cupboards. You can have running water and even a community bathroom a few yards away in a developed campground. A standard campsite may have a place to park, a place to pitch a tent and a table.
You can always keep the initial investment low when you rent or borrow expensive items, such as a tent, sleeping bags, and pads. This is a better tactic than paying lots of cash for an item that may not last a single camping visit. That said, if you decide to invest in camping gear, below are a couple of things you need to consider before buying them:
If you have enough budget, then you can check the Expert Camper to purchase a large tent for camping. You see, a 3-person tent offers more breathing room to a couple while a 6-person tent is ideal for a family of four who can quickly get harmony.
You should also check the tent's peak height if you want a high enough tent to allow you to stand up. This can make moving around and dressing up easier to do. Vestibules outside the door are ideal if you want to stow muddy shoes and a tent with two doors may also help you avoid going through sleeping people for a late-night bathroom break.
Once you purchase a tent, make sure that you practice setting it up while at home first. Remember that a right-sized footprint, especially if you have a too-small groundsheet, may not fully protect the tent floor. It may catch water and place it underneath the tent if it is too big.
The sleeping bag
When choosing a sleeping bag, it makes sense to start by looking at its temperature rating. If your plans are only to go for fair-weather camping, perhaps a summer bag is all you need. However, a 3-season sleeping bag can offer more options for unpredictable weather conditions.
If you always feel cold or hot, you can adjust the 3-season sleeping bag accordingly. Even better, you do not need to have a super-snug bag like backpackers usually use, when you can take a rectangular camping bag that can give your body more space to move.
The sleeping pad
Finding your perfect campsite can sometimes be easy, but you need to have a good sleeping pad like a mattress on a bed. It should also have high-tech insulation to prevent you from losing lots of body heat during cold weather conditions. You can find big air mattresses similar to what your visitors sleep on at your home. But they lack insulation properties, so they can leave you feeling cold.
It is important to take specifications when you compare sleeping pads. If you get thicker, wider, or longer, it can be more comfortable and even warmer as it may have a higher insulation value called the R-value. It is a good idea to set your sleeping bag, tent, and pad quite early to avoid doing it in the dark.
Other crucial items
As you may be aware, campsites do not have lighting, so you need to bring your own. Even a flashlight can do wonders, though a headlamp can free up your hands to do other camp tasks. A lantern can also be useful for ambient light. Some campers also prefer to make a campfire for illumination, but you must watch for fire restrictions.
That said, you may also need a stove, making a classic two-burner propane camp stove an excellent choice. This is because you may not need to spend lots of money and prepare your morning drinks and cook breakfast at the same time. You need to bring a few fuel canisters with a lighter. But it would help if you lighted it while at home to ensure that it is working.
You may have a cooler at home, so it can probably work just well. But make sure that it has adequate capacity to keep a few cold drinks and perishable food along with ice that can keep them that way. You can find some coolers with extra-thick insulation to enable the ice to last a bit longer.
Plates, pots, and cups are also essential items you need to consider taking for camping. Keep in mind that you must bring everything needed to prepare food and consumption. You can go into your home kitchen and figure out all the items you need to take with you. And, you may need to have a scrubber, a towel, biodegradable soap, and a small washtub if you want to avoid taking dirty dishes home.
You can store all the kitchen gear in a single large clear plastic bin with a lid. This can make it easier to store away while at home and all the items will be ready when you decide to go camping next time.
Lastly, you may also need to take camp chairs, but these are optional if you do not mind sitting at the camp picnic table. To make camping a little comfortable and enjoyable, it is good to take with you a hammock for afternoon naps and for a place to sit.
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About the Author
Luchi Quines is a freelance writer.