Camping has surged in popularity in recent years around the world. Some may find the healing power of nature irresistible, and others may see it as a good substitute for traditional holiday activities. Regardless of the intention, spending time in nature has proven to induce a state of physiologic relaxation. The relaxing atmosphere, beautiful scenery, good smells and fresh, clean air in the mountains all contribute to the effects of healing the mind, body, and soul.
With summer just around the corner, we step outside with seasoned campers Darrik and Riley from Campleout – meaning ‘camping couple on the way out’ – and asked them to share the tips and tricks to know when we’re exploring the great outdoors.
Prepare and pack accordingly
A perfect camping trip begins with suitable outdoor gear. You need appropriate gear but it also needs to be in good condition. Your checklist will depend on your preferred camping style. Whether you’ve decided to go tent camping, ultralight camping, glamping, caravanning, or even auto camping, you need to ensure you’re well prepared for your trip. Read more for a comprehensive packing list below.
For first timers, renting or borrowing some of the gear is strongly recommended to test out what camping gear best suits your needs after your first experience.
Consider the capacity of the backpack for both men and women. If you’re commuting, hiking, or going on day walks, then 10-30 litres is ideal. Overnight trips will need around 30-50 litres.
A good suspension system is essential, meaning the straps on your bag should fit well to your torso size.
Check if your backpack is equipped with a raincoat. Waterproofing spray can be an effective method to beef up your pack’s built-in weather resistance.
Shelter and Comfort
- Sleeping bag
- Air mattress/ sleeping pad
- Canister camping stove/ liquid fuel camping stoves, alcohol burning camping stoves, solid fuel-burning camping stoves
- Eating utilities (Cutlery/ bowl/ plate)
- Cooking utilities (pan/ pot)
- Lighting (headlamp, outdoor lanterns)
- Rubbish bag
- First-aid kit
- Personal (clothes, towels, hygiene stuff, tissue, insect repellent)
- Water (For each day of camping, you should have at least 2 litres of water per person. More water is required for cooking, cleaning, and hygiene activities such as dishwashing, handwashing, and tooth brushing. In hot and dry weather, you may need even more for hydration.)
Find an ideal spot to pitch your tent
Locating a fantastic spot for pitching your tent can take your camping adventure to the next level.
It is recommended that first-time campers practice setting up the tent before going on a trip. Make sure you understand how your tent works; this can make it easier to assemble your tent when you arrive at the campsite.
As a rule of thumb, always look for flat ground. You do not want to hang out or sleep on a sloped surface. A good flat ground of grass or sand is something you are looking for - try to avoid rocky surfaces.
Sun and wind exposure are also factors to be aware of. Before pitching your tent, you should look for a spot with a natural windbreak to avoid facing the strong wind. It’s not uncommon for a new tent to be destroyed by strong winds. You also don’t want to be fully exposed to intense sunlight all day.
When pitching your tent on sand, use suitable sand tent stakes and place rocks on top of the pegs to keep them in place.
Practice Leave-no-trace (LNT) every time you camp
This will minimise the impact of human activities on nature. Read more to find out how.
Plan ahead and prepare
Travel and camp on durable surfaces
Dispose of waste properly
Leave what you find
Minimise campfire impacts
Be considerate of others
Learn the art of making a bonfire
It’s wonderful to be huddled around a crackling fire with your family and friends. Here’s how you can build your fire for a sweltering party.
Use a fire pit that can vary in size and shape. If you use the portable fire pit, a fire-resistant ground mat is also needed.
Find dry leaves, dead dry wood, timber or bring your own firewood; make sure you have found yourself different thickness and sizes of firewood.
Gather small sticks and twigs and place them in the firepit as the base.
Place a bunch of dry leaves on top of it as tinder for the fire.
Use a lighter or matches to light it up.
Blow more oxygen into the fire with a blowpipe.
Finally, put more wood to build the fire.
Never arrive at the campsite without doing research
It is essential to be aware of the weather, location, and guidelines of the campsite for your safety and comfort, especially for beginners.
Never leave the fire pit burning overnight or unattended
A fire can spread within minutes so prompt intervention is required to control the flames.
Food should never be left out overnight
If you’re camping overnight, try keeping food in your tent or hanging it on a tree to keep wildlife at bay. Leaving it unattended overnight will tempt wildlife into the campsite for a midnight feast. Don’t forget to tie everything up to minimise the spread of the odour of food.
Dispose of your rubbish properly. Here’s how you can dispose responsibly.
Plan ahead and always bring extra plastic bags for rubbish; bring extra containers to collect wastewater.
Minimise food waste. You can plan your meals by making a shopping list and storing food for your trip in reusable containers at home.
Use biodegradable washing detergent if possible, or simply rinse dishes with clean hot water and wash thoroughly when you return home.
Images courtesy of @campleout
Gear up for the outdoors with our edit below.