Hey there! We are back with our tips and tricks and this time we are covering hiking, camping and everything outdoorsy!! There is nothing that comes close to camping trips where intimate tete-a-tete with nature is concerned. Not to forget how cheap this lodging and boarding comes out to be. When we give suggestions to people for saving money on a holiday, camping makes it straight to the top of list. It is also our favourite because many places that we like to go to, do not afford the luxury of a shelter (let us not even talk about a run-down lodge here!). So here we are giving you handy tips to take along when you set out on your next camping trip which we hope is real soon!
1. Research, Research and more Research..............
Nothing beats well-executed research and we mean browsing internet as well as getting in touch with fellow travellers who have already been at your intended destination. Now research assumes a whole new meaning and importance in case of camping because you really are on your own and living off basics.
We swear by the tips and intel that comes from real travellers which is precisely why we bring all our dope from people who have been there and done that! Many travel websites have platform where you can get in touch with other travellers who are only too happy to share their experiences and learning. In fact you can get a lot of useful info on how to travel, places to avoid and expected weather on these platforms when you connect with the right people.
Two things about a camping trip – nothing is just a phone call away and there is no room service! If you are stuck up then YOU ARE STUCK UP ! So camping gear and its accessories is very important. Tents, sleeping bags, sturdy rucksacks/ backpacks, hiking boots and socks are the no-brainers to include. Apart from these- sunglasses, hand a feet warmers, rainwear, fire igniter, woollens, swimwear, poly bags, scissors, axe, compass, maps, rope, torch, water purifier and money are things that are as important.
We highly recommend carrying at least one woollen sweater for camping since most of the places cool down considerably after sunset. Besides it is better to have one and not need it than not have one and dying of its need!
Checkout our awesome Travel Store to buy all the above items. Most of them will be in the Travel Accessories section.
Carry heavy-duty torches or emergency lights so that you are not dependent on fire to light up the night. This is because you never know when the wind is high and sky pours down. Solar powered lighting equipment with an alternative battery source is highly recommended on long camping trips because you can only carry limited number of batteries. Do pack candles because they do not take much space and can be used in an eventuality.
To increase the spread of light within your tent you can place it in front of a small mirror (the kind you take along for shaving). Alternatively strap it on your water bottle with light facing the bottle. Water reflects and increases the coverage of light.
4. Intelligent Packing
Always carry lightweight items because you need to walk on a camping or hiking trip with your entire luggage. Pack light clothes, bags and accessories and while shopping for your camping trip too keep this factor in mind. Simple example is woolens that have a wide variety of thermals that keep you super warm but without weighing a hundred pounds! Another set of things that tend to weigh a lot is cooking utensils. For eating and serving, use disposables that are always feather-light. For stove look for material that weighs the least yet is durable.
Waterproof items like clothes, footwear, tents and sleeping bags are a big YES on a camping trip. Also keep in mind to pack quick drying clothing and towels.
At Bohotraveller, we place a lot of importance on your safety and this is why we strongly advise carrying a basic first aid box. Common medicines for fever and cough & cold, prescription drugs, band aids, sanitiser, anti-septic lotion, thermometer and insect repellant must form part of your first aid kid.
6. Fire it up Easy (.....and a warning)
Starting a fire at a camping trip is quite a hassle particularly with wet twigs and damp tinder. So carry agents that catch fire easily but are safe and compact to carry around. Though many of us carry fuel to achieve this task but we like camphor tablets more since they tick both compact and safety boxes. Smelling it is also good for curing sickness on high altitudes. Gather tinder like leaves, grass, wood shaving and bark that are available in nature and need not be carried. They are also easy to fire up! Place tinder on solid wood pieces to get the fire going. Secure your matchsticks, pocket torch and igniter in a waterproof packing to protect it from getting moist. You can carry a medium sized light barbecue pit along for camping.
Now our safety advice- Always clear the pit where you want to start the fire since grassy grounds can catch fire easily…and we mean a forest fire here. Extinguish fire before retiring to your tent unless you want to run for your life amidst a forest fire sometime later in the night!
7. Tasty even if not Gourmet
Just because you are camping does not mean that food has to be bland and tasteless. Carry your powdered spices in Tic Tac containers or pill bottles. They fit in easily in your luggage and have really low chances of allowing a spill out. Carrying dry and whole spices is a good idea but remember it is difficult to cook with them and you need proper utensils for infusing their flavor in the food. If you are carrying oil then apart from ensuring that it’s a spill-proof bottle, wrap it in a cling film and place it upright preferably in an outer pocket of your backpack. And plan every meal of the trip in detail and in advance.
Remember to carry foil, you can cook almost anything dry in the foil if you do not need to give it too much of a shake. Wrap potatoes or meat marinated in spices and just immerse it in the hot tinder to get a hearty meal out! Even if you are not carrying the barbeque pit, do pack an aluminum grate for cooking.We recommend investing in a camp stove which makes cooking much easier and fun . A medium sized kettle, pan, tongs and spatulas are also a must depending on what you are planning to cook during your camping trip. Carry a small portion of ready to eat and instant food, just in case!
Being close to nature does not mean that you shun everything electronic. Technology can come to your rescue in case of distress so make sure you are carrying extra batteries and power bank. You also need them for your camera to capture the memories of your camping trip and sending them across to us! Some of you there must be Kindle fans…..need we say more?!
Read: Our first instalment of the ultimate guide for buying a travel camera
9. Camping Apps
Continuing our tryst with technology, we also recommend installing camp apps on your phone. Remember to install the kind that works offline too. Apps like Every trail, Project Noah, View Range outdoors, Camp Finder, MotionX GPS make for good take alongs to your camping trip.
Now some of these apps will protect you from losing your trail whereas others come with great hacks and help in case of emergencies. But one thing to remember is to ensure that the app you are installing supports the region you are in because some apps are region and trail centric too. You can also install fun entertainment apps especially made for camping trips. Some talk about spooky camping tales whereas others help you gaze constellations!
Read: Our post on 25 Best Travel Apps to know more about some awesome apps for all kinds of travel.
10. Water check
Do you know that you can survive over three weeks without food but only three days or so without water? Well the point we are making here is to find out about water availability in the area you are going to camp at. If the weather is harsh and dry then make sure you have enough water on yourself. If you are going by car to your campsite, we strongly advise carrying your entire requirement. But when planning a hike, look for water source while deciding on the route so that you are not left high and dry suddenly. This will also ensure that your water availability remains predictable throughout your hike.
One point we would like you to remember- some water sources dry out during summers so do check before you go if your dependency is on naturally available water.
11. Camp with locals
It is always a great idea to camp near dwellings of locals if your campsite gives you this luxury. This is not only a safe way of camping but also a great way of understanding the local culture not to forget the valuable opportunity of interacting with them. Who knows, you might also get an invitation to dine with the family! This will also reduce the risk of dying out of hunger or thirst BTW (Point 10 right above this one).
12. Spread the Word
How many times have we seen flicks where people on camping trips get stranded for days together before getting rescued? The scary part is that many of these movies are inspired by real events. Remember 127 hours?
Yeah so if you do not want to be the inspiration for the next hike- gone-disaster movie, just keep a close friend or family informed about your travel plans. Also let them know when they can expect a call from you and then they can decide when to press the panic button. Rest assured, a rescue could be expected!
13. Stretched out Camping trip
What we mean here is a camping trip that lasts for a month or more. There are simple things to be kept in mind and a bigger preparation to help you on the long haul. Apart from all of the above tips, remember to keep ample spares of your vehicle so that you are not stranded in the middle of nowhere. Also plan your route in such a way that you drive or hike through populated towns and cities in-between. This will help you in replenishing your stocks and also give you an opportunity to let your friends and families know where you are. Carry identity proofs and emergency contacts in your luggage and pockets at all time.
So these were the camping tips takeaways from us. Do let us So these were the camping tips takeaways from us. Do let us know if you have something more to share by adding your comments .For more such tips, travel stories and destinations, explore Bohotraveller. Do subscribe for our latest updates and our comprehensive e-book that has an envious collection of tips and hacks for traveler.