For some, camping is almost a simple, natural exercise. For others just the thought of camping terrifies them. For many the definition of camping is staying at the Motel 6 instead of the Raddison. The thought of no concierge service is frightening. Nevertheless, each year there are those who venture out and give a camping a try for the first time.
In modern society camping has taken on many faces. All of us have seen the 40+ feet motor homes/buses driving down the highways with cars in tow. These are followed by the truck campers, and the travel trailers. Many people do not consider this to be camping but more akin to having a portable condo and parking it in the woods. I tend to agree with that in some instances.
Tent Camping is what I would consider to be real camping. Sleeping out in the open air, cooking over an open fire, and if you want a seat, grab a log or rock.
To be quite honest with you tent camping is not necessarily something you should just go out and try. It takes some forethought, planning and preparation to ensure that your trip will not only be enjoyable but safe as well.
The ideas here are just general ideas of what to expect and what to watch out for when going camping. The basics of what you’ll need when you go camping can be arrived at by simply looking at your daily routine.
Sleeping – At home this includes a bed, pillows and linens. Arising in the morning it may include a dressing gown, or robe and slippers. Oh, don’t forget the roof over your head. The roof can be solved with a tent, which not only will keep out the weather, but also keep out the insects that can plague you at night. The bed, pillows and linens can be replaced with a sleeping bag, pad and inflatable pillow. The robe and slippers may have to go, but you should take footwear you can easily put on.
Bathroom activities – Don’t overlook this aspect of camping. If you’re camping in a campground, usually toilets, sinks, and showering facilities are provided by the campground. Be prepared for a walk to get to these. No, do not shorten the walk by taking that campsite right next door to the facilities. You won’t appreciate the extra noise or possibly the smell.
Time to eat – You could just go with cold food, but I like my morning coffee and a hot meal in the evening as a minimum. Cooking can be accomplished in 2 basic ways. Open fire cooking in wilderness settings (not usually allowed in campgrounds) or using a gas camp stove. The gas stove is fast and convenient, but not very useful if you have to carry it very far. The open fire cooking is fantastic for wilderness settings but is a bit slower with more work involved rounding up and cutting up firewood. Oh, by the way, it may be called open fire cooking but you normally cook on the coals not the flame.
Attire – This is not the time to worry about fashion and style. Comfort is the number one guideline here. Be absolutely sure you wear comfortable durable clothing. If you’re going to be working around an open fire the clothing should not be too loose. Footwear should be very comfortable to walk in and you must keep your feet dry. The final consideration is warmth. Be sure to take along enough clothing to keep warm in the evening and early morning as it will be cool.
Well now you have some general ideas of what tent camping is all about and what you’ll need to take. However, this was only a general guide, I strongly suggest that you get a true camping guide before you venture out. It will make your little adventure a lot more fun if you’re properly prepared and equipped. On that note, I recommend this guide. The Beginner’s Camping Guide. Take a look at it and decide for yourself.