Packing Tips for a Camping Trip

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Travel Features >> Packing Tips for a Camping Trip

Packing Tips for a Camping Trip

April 19, 2011

Camping is one activity which finds itself on the ‘To-Do List’ of every self-respecting traveller. Whether your reason for indulging in this ‘sport’ is to get your first taste of adventure, dance around bonfires with your friends and family or cozy up to your beloved in the snug environs of your tent, ‘annoying-insects’, ‘lack of basic amenities’, ‘stiff back’, ‘zero trace of civilization’, ‘blisters’, ‘running out of liquids and food’ and ‘coming in contact with poison ivy’ are some highly infuriating snags common to it all.

Nevertheless, if you pack right and take certain preventive measures, you will be saved from many-a-troubles of living in a tent along with the impediments attached. However, if you are new to camping and are clueless about what to take along, don’t fret- here’s a lowdown on the essentials that are imperative to your trip and are guaranteed to keep your ‘packing-blues’ away:

Food and Water: Ideally speaking, if you really want to experience real camping fun, a barbeque becomes something of a mandatory condition. You can pack along portable grilles or stoves to enjoy hot meals even amid the wilderness. But if packing groceries or a grille doesn’t feature as an absolute essential item in your mind, all you need to do is take along packaged foods-either in tins, containers or packets. Usually camping sites have an ample supply of clean water but if you have your own doubts, then you should take along plenty of liquids.

Clothes and Footwear: Clothes should be packed depending on the climate of the region you are planning on going to. You must also carry along clothes in accordance with temperatures of the day (morning and evening time) as well as the season (rainy, summer or winter). For day-time, airy clothes are best suited whereas night calls for a light-jacket or warmer clothing. Since camping is usually not an isolated activity and is often combined with hiking, trekking or other adventure sports, it’s a good idea to carry along comfortable track pants, jeans, loose-fitting clothes to combat perspiration. If you want to save yourself from sudden squalls, a plastic sheet (for your backpack) and a water resistant jacket (for yourself) is a must to pack. As far as the footwear is concerned, hiking boots are the order of the day. However, remember to break into them before you pack them for your trip. Don’t forget to carry along other comfortable footwear such as flip-flops or floaters as you won’t always travel in hiking boots. If you want to save yourself from stinking feet or blemishes, take along extra pairs of socks.

Tracking Devices: While going on a camping trip, it’s essential to take along an updated map of the region as well as of the campsite and a compass to tell directions. The technologically-literate person can make use of a hand-held GPS device in their pursuit of keeping on the right trail. A walkie-talkie is not only fun but a practical way to keep track of the members of your group or tent-mates, especially when you are outdoors. You can also pack along emergency radios as insurance.

Camping and Travelling Gear: When you are going for a trip, the kind of bag you take along is what makes all the difference. For camping, a backpack is the most suitable as it distributes the weight on the waist and hips instead of shoulders. If you really want to enjoy your deep slumber, pack along an inflated pillow too. It’s not the most comfortable thing in the world but will feel wonderful when you are camping out on the forest floor. Moreover, it is extremely important to choose the right camping gear and equipment in order to make your trip as comfortable as possible. Since you’ll be spending a considerable amount of time in your camping tent and sleeping bag, put a lot of thought into what suits you best. Make sure that you have a basic idea about the kind of tent or sleeping nag you need, before you hit the shop.

Photography Equipment: No trip is complete or can rightly be preserved in your memory without the aid of a camera. However, taking along your photography gear requires great care. Therefore, put your camera and its accessories in a separate bag so that you won’t have to shuffle through your backpack every time you spot an exotic bird or look up to find a shooting star. Moreover, it’ll also protect the camera from damage. Make sure you also pack spare batteries for your digital or video camera if you want to conduct your photo session(s) unhindered. A charger is bound to prove its worth when you go on a camping trip.

First-Aid and Medicines: Packing first-aid is the next important (or the most important, depending on your outlook), thing to pack along with the right clothes. It is advisable to make a basic first-aid kit containing ointments, band-aids and medication. If you are on prescribed drugs, don’t forget to carry them along. Also, make sure you pack spare spectacles just to cover problems pertaining to loss or damage of the specs you are currently wearing. It’s also a smart practice to find out the nearest medical centre to your camping site and make sure that you note down the emergency numbers in a small pocket diary or a mobile phone (i.e. if you are taking one along) and most importantly, keep them on you.

Toiletries and Items for Laundry Purpose: The most common way to separate your clean clothes from the dirty ones is to put them in a plastic sheet/bag. This way you don’t have to worry about digging your hands (or immersing your head) in your backpack when searching for wearable clothes. A plastic sheet/bag can also be used to divide Wet and dry clothes without the stench of the wet ones spreading through your bag. But if you would rather wash your clothes than keep them in a plastic sheet, you can try putting your washed clothes in a plastic clothesline to dry. If you really want to make the most of your camping experience without having to worry about carrying too much toiletries, the trick here is to be smart. You can simply carry a shampoo which can also be used as a body wash/soap. Pack along a hand sanitizer and you won’t really feel the need of a separate tissue or soap. But, if don’t mind carrying a little extra, you already know the basics.

Other Items of Extreme Importance: If you don’t want to get lost in the dark while roaming through a jungle, take along torches (with spare batteries). A Swiss knife and lighter/matchboxes will come in handy in more ways than one. In order to survive the bites of mosquitoes or bugs, it’s a good idea to carry along a bug-spray or a mosquito-repellant. If you want to escape the wrath of the sun shining brightly in the sky, carry along a sun-block lotion, sunglasses and a cap or a scarf. You must also note down the emergency numbers of the officials of your camp-sites so that they can be called when needed. We know that you are going camping to enjoy outdoors but carrying a mobile phone (with a good network connection) wouldn’t really disturb you quest for adventure. You don’t have to keep it on all the time, merely switch it on in case of an emergency. Lastly, no matter which trip you undertake, money is one item you must always carry.

Some interesting tips:

• As far-fetched and surreal as it may sound, every tourist who is thinking of camping out should pack along a duct tape. If you are wondering about the utility of this wonderful ‘device’, let us tell you something that’ll leave you amazed, if not outright fascinated. You can make use of duct tape to cover holes in your tents, to prevent blisters on your feet and even to hold up sprains and minor fractures in case of an emergency.

• Not too fond of nylon? Well, get used to it because a nylon cord will prove extremely useful while you are sleeping outdoors. If you want, you can make use of the cord to suspend food from trees and can act as shoe-laces when you are in a need of one. You can convert the cord into a laundry line or tuck away you camping gear safely with a simple nylon thread.

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