Happy Earth Day 2010!
Earth Day started as a grassroots movement in 60′s (yes, the hippie era) to bring awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s environment; it was brought about as an effort to protect the environment.
But to me, Earth Day earmarks the beginning of camping season. I LOVE camping! I think it is the smell of crackling wood fire in the morning, the waft of fresh coffee from mug, the crisp chill and dew of the morning, the complete and utter silence held my nature as the sun is coming up. Well, those are some of the things I enjoy about camping.
What are your favorite things about camping?
Camping is a fun and exciting experience. But unexpected things may happen; therefore, it is better to be ready at all times. Equip yourself with camping gears and essentials to make your camping experience worth remembering.
Camping gears include the vital things used when camping like tents, sleeping bags, lights, and spare parts. Camping essentials refer to the supplies needed to sustain us during our stay namely the foods, drinks, toiletries, and more. Some of the basic things for camping are listed below.
Camping gear and equipment
It would be a big mistake if you will forget one of the most important things used when camping, the tent. You may survive by not bring a pillow or a blanket but, not without a tent that gives you shelter during the night. Make sure it is weatherproof and heavy-duty that can withstand any weather condition. [Here is one we just bought at Costco...]
Another important thing to bring is the sleeping bag, which comes in various thickness and size. This can give you both warmth and protection against creeping creatures while sleeping. Plus, the extra blankets and pillows. Hey, we family camp in comfort!
Sleeping pads and air mattress
Some people can’t sleep under uncomfortable conditions like in the presence of bumps or holes. It might be a wise idea to include an air mattress or a sleeping pad to ensure an undisturbed sleep. [The cheap twin size air mattress, found at Kmart, also makes a great floating device for the Kern River].
As a camper, it is important to bring several sources of light like flashlights, lamp and match. This will give you a little brightness while waiting for sunrise. [Tip: bring a propane lamp, because the fluorescent battery operated lamp puts off such an annoying light!]
First aid kit
A survival kit should always be part of the camping adventures. Freak accidents happen anytime and anywhere without a warning. Make sure you are equipped with first aid essentials such as Band-Aid, sterile gauze, betadine, alcohol and the like. [If you already keep a first aid kit in your car or camping supplies, make sure to update/replenish supplies annually. Old band aids just won't aid in wound care.]
Tools and spares
It would be nice to be ready for anything. Bring tools for repair in case your lamps become busted or a sewing kit when tents are torn. [A sewing kit is awesome to have on hand when you get those nasty splinters from hiking or handling the firewood!]
Portable stove and cooking utensils
Two-burner camping stoves are pretty easier to operate with a matchless lighting system. Just be sure to bring a couple extra cans of propane along. Find a good quality stove is made of a highly durable and long lasting material designed not to rust and extremely easy to clean.
Don’t forget the percolator. Which is essential if you plan on having that great cup of coffee in the morning.
Aside form camping gear and equipment, camping supplies are very much necessary to keep you on the go. These are foods, drinks, toiletries and miscellaneous items needed for your stay, which are also called camping essentials.
[Other items we have on hand: biodegradable cleaning soap, foil, lighter, paper towels, plastic bags (for trash), eating utensils, can opener, bbq utensils, steak knives, skewers for smores & hot dogs, mugs, cups (Amazon carries a great enamel dinnerware set for cheap - bought a set for my husband's Christmas present, last year)]
Personal hygiene and grooming
Everything pertaining to hygiene like biodegradable soap & shampoo, deodorant, toilet paper and toothbrush & toothpaste should be packed ahead. Not to mention the basic skin care essentials such as cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Do not forget any vital piece because this might spoil the rest of your camping experience. [Tip: Don't forget to bring the toilet paper!]
Food and drinks
Keep foods simple and easy to pack using ziplock bags. Instant and finger foods are perfect for this type of outing since there is limited water supply. Avoid food that entails a lot of preparation because this will just consume most of your time. Stay hydrated especially when under the heat of the sun to prevent dehydration. [Here is a BIG list of Campfire Cooking Recipes - I usually cook via the foil wrap method. Don't forget the drinking water, please! Stay hydrated.]
Mobile phone, batteries, camera, map and compass are just some of the miscellaneous things that should not be forgotten. Whatever might happen during the camping due to elements beyond our control, you can never go wrong with the help of this miscellaneous stuff.
When planning for a camping escapade, be sure to pack everything that you need for your stay. However, remember to bring only the light stuff since you will be doing lots of carrying all the way until you get to the camping site. Plan ahead and make a checklist to ensure everything has been packed. [I think we pack our whole house when we go camping!]
It might sound like a lot of gear and it may be (I know we harbor a lot of gear in our garage!). Plan ahead is key. My friends and I usually will buy a piece of gear each month. During the winter, look in the clearance aisle in the sporting goods section. Usually one can find awesome deals on the tents (I picked up a $160 tent for $30 this way via Target).
When it comes to cooking, take a look at bringing canned goods like baby potatoes, stews, and vegetables. Harder fruits like apples and oranges. Don’t forget to make the Banana Boats during campfire time! Kids LOVE them (so do I)!
And as for an Earth Day, please remember to pick up all trash and keep your campgrounds clean (it’ll keep the bears away, too!)
You might also like: 10 Cheap Camping Tips