Many people choose a minimalist approach to camping and prefer to just take the bare essentials to really experience a closeness to nature and their surrounding environment. However, it is really a matter of personal choice and there are others who enjoy camping but try to make it as ‘home from home’ as possible.
There are lots of different things you can take with you on a camping expedition to increase your enjoyment. Just remember though that the more you take, the more you’ll have to pack and carry with you.
Creature Comforts – Sleeping and Relaxation
The home from home campers’ site will possibly come equipped with tables, chairs and other conveniences. You might also want an air mattress and pillows for sleeping. You might want to bring a hammock for sleeping or relaxation during the day and, depending on your location, a mosquito net might also be useful.
Bags of wood or other dry kindling might also be brought as it can sometimes be difficult to find dry wood for a camp fire, especially after a downpour. A small saw might also come in handy if you decide to find your own wood but you should remember not to cut down any living trees.
A basic first aid kit might be perceived as an extra or, in some instances, overlooked completely but it should be on your essential items list.
Burgers or Haute Cuisine?
Cooking can be as simple or as elaborate as you want to make it. For those who don’t fancy dry sachets of food, you might want to bring along a large metal pot which you can hang over the fire in which to cook a chilli or warm soup and, if you you’re your coffee with a touch of class, a coffee pot is useful.
Camp Entertainment and Leisure
If you’re going to be camping near a lake or stream you might choose to bring swim clothing along and you never know how shallow a lake might be in parts and what lies at the bottom so some waterproof shoes can be a handy precaution, especially for the kids.
For entertainment, most people enjoy a good, old-fashioned sing-along so if you play guitar, you might want to bring that along. You don’t want the kids to be bored so bring along some travel games like cards or draughts or some books. Games consoles, walkmans and even iPODs have all crept onto the luxury camping items list in recent years.
The choice is endless. The important thing to remember is that the more you pack, the more you have to carry. That probably won’t matter if you’re travelling by car but unessential bulky, heavier items can spoil a camping trip if you have to carry a rucksack on your back for long periods of time.
As far as camping extras go, however, it’s really a matter of personal choice. As long as any extra equipment you take is not at the expense of forgetting the essentials, it’s entirely up to you.
Holiday Camp or Wilderness Adventure?
Camping is great recreational activity and comes in a variety of guises. From campsites that are just like holiday villages to the adventures of true wilderness camping, you’re bound to find some ‘level’ of camping that is perfect for you. Bringing the right equipment will ensure that your trip is an enjoyable one and a camping checklist can help your preparation and ensure that you don’t forget something important which could ruin the whole trip. With each trip your camping checklist will probably change quite frequently – you might find, for example, that you prefer a kettle to boil water for your tea in than the same pot you warmed your baked beans up in so your list will inevitably need updating with each trip.
However, a well thought out checklist will enable you to stay warm and dry, build a welcoming fire, enjoy a hearty camp-cooked dinner, light your camp effectively and handle any minor emergencies that might occur.