Earth Day: Camping is Fun

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. πŸ™‚

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

Tent

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…]

Sleeping bags

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].

Light

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.]

Miscellaneous

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!]

Conclusion

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!) πŸ˜‰

You might also like: 10 Cheap Camping Tips

23 thoughts on “Earth Day: Camping is Fun

  1. James

    Can you believe it i am over 30 and have never been camping in my life. This year might just be the year.

    i grew up going to summer camps but we were always in a cabins.

    living in California its almost a shame not to go visit the amazing parks

    Reply
  2. Alice

    You are so much more organised than me!! but oh how I love camping too… the smells, that feeling of being within nature – love it! That’s probably why I like living on the boat – kind of permanently camping but with a ‘little’ more luxury… hopefully, eventually!

    We are going to be packing the tent and heading off on a mini road/camping trip next month – Can’t wait!!!! Anyway, I have real internet for a few days so I’m having fun catching up with all my favourite blogs – off to check out all the posts I have missed here!! x

    Reply
    1. money funk

      LOL. It is so nice without the electronic gadgets, the hustle-bustle of everday life, for a time being. I am glad to hear your boat adventures are going well. I look forward to your updates. So, what will you do with your boat when you go camping? And then, you are traveling to your brother’s place soon? How exciting! How is your daughter and dog adjusting? Ah, your life… so magical!

      Reply
      1. Alice

        I agree… I think everyone needs a break from hustle-bustle occasionally πŸ™‚ Boat will be moored in a set place for a few months and we’re only going for a couple of weeks camping and then a couple of weeks later in the summer in Norway πŸ™‚ (staying in a cabin with no electricity – bahhhhh – there is a theme here in my life!!!) Daughter and dog are pretty happy with the boat, Isabella even more so now she has a pink room πŸ˜‰ a magical life it is… although you might not think that if you actually lived it with me complete with electricity nightmares, blocked tanks etc etc … LOL. xx

        Reply
  3. Aaron @ Clarifinancial

    I love camping and hiking too. I’m really more of a minimalist at heart and my wife wants to car-camp, even when we’re hiking. We’ll have to figure out some middle ground because she recently announced she wants to hike all the trails in the NC state parks longer than 1 mile.

    I always pack <20 pounds before water for trips. If you're ever looking to save weight, food is a great first stop. Dehydrated and dry foods save on weight, prep time, and trash you have to carry. Shelter is probably the next biggie.

    It'll be interesting to see how our gear changes as we take more trips together:o

    Reply
    1. money funk

      Oh, hiking, too! Definite. My husband and I picked up 2 local hiking guides. And when the sun allows, we try out new trails. Then leave comments on localhikes.com. You should try them out for finding good hiking areas. I use it quite often.

      So, you wife is joining the fun? Very cool. She may start a mile, but in no time… she will be hiking 5+. I love bringing the trail mix, dried fruits. Just stuff to munch on during the hike. Maybe I will tryout some Lara bars. Heard they are good for the run and energy too! Have fun hiking with the misses. πŸ™‚

      Reply
    1. money funk

      Oh ya! How could I forget. Or the board games and playing cards. Dis! You wouldn’t want to hear me sing, “kumbaya my lord” anyway (good camp song). I’d chase you and the bears away! LOL.

      Thanks! Real excited about passing that mark. πŸ™‚ More things to come about.

      Reply
  4. Little House

    I love camping and am itching to go! My husband and I have acquired quite the set up over the few years we’ve been camping. Much of our camping gear is stored in large, clear rubber-maid bins. Making it really easy to load and unload the car. We also have converted a fishing tackle box into a cooking tool box; spatulas, spices, ziplock bags, aluminum foil, just about any cooking accessory is stored in there. That way we don’t forget something! I gotta book my camp site now!

    Reply
    1. money funk

      Ya, we have more then enough junk camping stuff, too. πŸ˜‰ We use color coded bins for our stuff. Orange is Halloween, Blue or Dark Green is camping, Light Green is Christmas. Works out great! Oh, I love your idea for a converted fishing tackle box. I think my husbands would get more use from putting cooking accessories than fishing. LOL.

      Have you tried booking thru Reserve America? Makes my bookings hassle free. Plus it has really good site maps so you can pick what spot you want and see if its available.

      Reply
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  6. Mrs. Accountability

    I love camping. My husband and I haven’t been in over twenty years. We are now pretty much tied to the home front because we have dairy goats that have to be milked once daily. Sometimes I miss camping. Now my son and I do go to church camp, but it’s not the roughing kind of camping that I enjoy. It is at a church camp that has a kitchen that cooks all the meals, we have rooms with nice beds, etc. Will have to think about going camping some day again. Thanks for the great list, we have almost no camping gear currently, so I will keep it bookmarked for future reference.

    Reply
    1. Money Funk

      Oh, now don’t dis on church camp. I grew up going twice a year and LOVED it (especially when the boys snorted green jello thru their noses – ewww). πŸ˜‰

      Maybe you can camp near by and find a helping hand to cover the goats for a day or two. Gotta love the crackling fire and hanging with family during the night time hours. And I love, that essentially.. despite all the gear I listed, it can be done frugally. Many of times, we borrow equipment from our friends if we don’t have it (like tent stakes – we’re always losing them).

      Reply
  7. Brandon Schmid

    Camping is the best! I absolutely love it! There is just something about nature that brings out the best in me. At least that’s what I think lol.

    I do like the all-inclusive trips but camping has to be one of my favourite trips. Perhaps it is the feeling of a nice hot shower when I get home or the raised awareness and realization of all the amenities that I do have at home waiting for me: TV, shower, bed etc.

    Another thing that is great about camping is the fact that it is like 10 times cheaper than going away to a destination. I like that very much!

    Cheers!

    Brandon

    Reply
    1. money funk

      Yup, I totally agree about it bringing out the best in one.

      And after a 5 day camping trip, I look forward to a hot shower, too! But its great to get away.

      My family actually thought about playing super frugal when we went to Maui by camping, but it would have taken more planning then the time we had. However, anyone thinking they can’t afford to hit the islands…there are many of great camping spots to pitch a tent for cheap!

      Reply
    1. money funk

      Oh, with a bit of maple butter and nutmeg? πŸ˜‰
      I would like to try a new spot this year to widen my horizons. Luckily, one of my friends knows all the spots that are not overwhelmed with people. I like a bit more solitude. Not too much, just a little.

      Great thing to have on hand. Maybe I will need to throw one in our camping supplies. Would hate to be without warmth during an evening camping trip!

      Reply
      1. Forest

        Yum!! I just meant by themselves, they are yummy without anything (in fact off to find one of the stalls that sell them for 20cents here, right now). I’ll have to try the netmeg and maple butter though!

        Reply
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  10. Kevin

    I love camping… I try to go at least once every year. One of my favorite places is Algonquin Park in June or so… very few bugs and the weather is good, not too hot or cold.
    It’s always fun to cook up some yams and hot dogs and build a big fire, though I’m not sure how safe it is to eat caramelized food. I guess if not done too often, it’s fine!

    Reply
    1. money funk

      You do the yam thing too? I have yet to try that! Will do this upcoming trip. Which reminds me that I need to make reservations. πŸ˜‰

      Reply

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