Camping in this century is a very different experience than it was even just a few years ago. But escaping our plugs and plugins is important, as is a well-planned camper.
When packing up for camping out, here are some things to consider:
- Modern lightweight equipment makes carrying all your needs with you much easier than it was for previous generations
- Select a two-person tent with a low profile if warmth and wind resistance are high priorities
- A tent with a high ridgeline allows for headroom and good ventilation while a fly is useful insurance against rain
- In fine weather, or in an emergency, a nylon tarpaulin or fly can provide a versatile shelter. Use a dozen or so strategically placed grommets or tie lines to sling it high as a “mess” tent or low as a snug sleeping shelter
- Consider your requirements before choosing a sleeping bag. A simple, rectangular bag is fine for unambitious camping. Tapered bags make better use of the insulation, while remaining comparatively roomy. Body-hugging, “Egyptian mummy” bags are the most thermally efficient and are ideal for extremely cold conditions as well as being low in weight and bulk
- To keep filling in place, sleeping bag walls are joined to form chambers or tubes. When the stitching goes straight through, warmth is lost at each seam; the most effective bags have offset baffles between walls
- Green stick damper — damper dough rolled around gum twigs and suspended above the flames — is one of the back-to-basic pleasures of the campfire
- In general, portable stoves provide a safer and more efficient way of cooking
Outdoor cooking essentials
To cook with ease in an outdoor kitchen, you need protection from the wind, a flat clean surface, pot grippers and a sharp knife. A small chopping board is handy. A head light that leaves both hands free is ideal around the campsite, especially when attending to close-up, detailed chores such as slicing and dicing. Other useful utensils include a wooden spoon and a plastic spatula. Wine cask bladders are handy for carrying water, weigh almost nothing and occupy very little space.
The best of campsites are sure to include the following:
- Lightweight water storage container
- Gas camp stove
- Lightweight chopping board
- Head light and battery
- Stuff sack for carrying food
- Lightweight groundsheet that doubles as poncho
A well-planned and organised campsite makes “roughing it” much easier. The next time you head into the wild, be sure to set yourself up for success.