By: Court Rye
Camping is a favorite pastime the world over. This is especially true in modernized nations where most people have moved into suburban neighborhoods and cities. It’s a rare occasion to sleep under the stars and really be outside, and that’s partially because of the sounds and lights of our cities. Getting close to the great outdoors requires a step back in technology however, and a willingness to confront the wild! It’s certainly not for everyone, but anyone can do it…
There are many forms of camping to choose from including the most basic car camping, cabin camping, and what I would consider “real camping”, the kind where you pack a tent, lay down on the ground and sleep completely outdoors. For most people the whole point of going camping is to get outside and experience the sounds, smells, and freshness that only the wilderness can provide. It’s not always the most glamorous experience, bed head anyone? But it’s a special one that has its own benefits. It’s a time to connect with friends and family and escape to a landscape of peace and nature.
No matter how you plan to get to your campsite, you’ll need a few supplies once you arrive in order to make it a smooth experience. The first thing that comes to mind is a nice place to sleep, the ground is hard and most of us aren’t used to rocks and sticks digging into our sides. Buy or rent a sleeping bag that is rated for the temperature of the area you’re visiting. For added comfort (and insulation) consider an inflatable or foam filled pad to lay your sleeping bag on. If you’re using a tent, make sure it has a footprint so the bottom won’t get worn out and water won’t leak in. Footprints are basically just big tarps that the tent is placed on top of. Next, consider the type of tent you need. Will you need to use the rain tarp? How many people will it be holding? Finally, consider the food and beverages you’ll need to keep everyone happy, s’mores, and healthy, granola bars.
That’s about it really, you don’t need to over plan if it’s just for a night and over packing can actually make things worse! Study the area, choose a camp site and reserve it in advance if necessary. Study the fire laws and regulations in affect as well as the wildlife and then go camping!