10 DO'S AND DON'TS OF CAMPING
A handy quick guide to check through before you venture out into the wilderness, here are the 10 do's and don'ts of camping.
SOME OF US ARE SEASONED OUTDOORSMEN AND WOMEN. HOURS AND HOURS OF TRAVERSING THE WEIRDEST SWAMPS OR THE LUSHEST FORESTS. TRIAL AND ERROR HAS TAUGHT US WHICH WAY TO CHOOSE WHEN WANTING TO OVERCOME THE STEEPEST HILLS RISING BEFORE US. SOME OF US ARE NOT. SOME OF US ARE JUST BEGINNING TO EXPERIENCE WHAT THE GREAT OUTDOORS HAVE TO OFFER, AND THAT’S NO WORSE IN ANY WAY. WE DON’T JUDGE! INSTEAD, LET’S LOOK AT A FEW DO’S AND DON’TS OF CAMPING. JUST TO GET PEOPLE STARTED.
Check your gear (bring a map!)
This might seem like a no-brainer, but there are many times where at the end of the long and hard day you sit there in front of the freshly fried egg without your precious spork. So go ahead, gobble it up with your hands or a makeshift fork from a stick. And think about what you did wrong.
So water, or a failsafe way to get clean water (whether it is by way of a well close to where you camp or by tablets or filters) is a must have. Matches or a lighter (or just use your Naimakka bracelet) for starting a fire. And a MAP and COMPASS. You might not have to use it, but if you find yourself in a situation where you’re lost, this will come and handy and might save your life.
Plan for a potential emergency
Continuing, planning for an emergency is essential. A first aid kit, bandages, disinfectant. The whole shebang. Make sure you know where you keep the kit, top of mind and all that, so you don’t have to search through your whole camp. Even if it’s only a minor injury, when the stress levels are high all kinds of preparation will ease the anxiety and help you keep focus on the important things.
Bring an instrument (or someone who plays one)
Can’t claim that this is AS essential of a Do as the ones above, but it is far more enjoyable. Living for a few days with natural light, you will learn that it’s generally easier and feels more sensible to adapt your activities for this as well. Most of you will not read a book by the fire light, or solve a crossword puzzle in your tent before falling asleep. Probably not.
Music by the fire light, however, is one of the most fitting ways to enjoy a calm outdoors evening. Harmonica, ukulele or even a guiro will serve you well those cozy nights with friends who may or may not be able to hit a note.
Hang your food from a tree branch and keep it in containers
Not much will damped your camping party’s good spirits like waking up to find your food supply molested by wild animals or overrun my various insects. Just raising your provisions above ground level will eliminate many of the risks of getting robbed. Of course, you need something to raise it up with, which coincidentally brings us to our next Do…
Bring your Naimakka bracelet
Again, for most of you this is given. With its breaking point at 249kg this bracelet made out of 2.4 meters of the highest quality paracord is useful in more ways than keeping food raised on a tree branch. As I mentioned it can help you start a fire, you can fish with it or set up shelter. And if you actually do use it, remember that we will send you a new one!
Assume that you are Bear Grylls
Don’t assume that you will battle with wolverines and expose yourself to extreme survival conditions, or worse that you will actually survive extreme survival conditions. This is not the type of camping I’m talking about. Or, it’s actually camping I’m talking about, and not throwing away all your gear to test your sense of manliness.
If you’re going camping, bring a tent or some kind of shelter. Canned food is not cheating. Neither is bringing gas. Set your own level and prepare for exactly that.
Harass the wildlife
This is kind of obvious as well. Part of going out into nature is to actually experience the outdoors and nature in its own right. Actually being a part of what is around you. As such, don’t let your trash make an offensive contrast against the natural beauty of the wilderness. Also, don’t feed the animals.
Be lazy with location
Don’t plan a camping trip and venture out on adventure with gear and food and backpacks and then pick a lousy camping location. As a friend said to be, the best part of camping is having a gorgeous and breathtaking view from your tent and your camp fire. So walk the extra mile (pun unfortunately intended) and be picky with where you settle. It is so worth it.
Lose your shoes
Whether it is after you’ve been busy skinny dipping after a few cold ones and need to walk back to camp, or you’ve slept snugly for a few hours and then find yourself in a pitch black forest with a need to do your… needs, keep your shoes around. Make sure you remember where you’ve placed them. I’m not saying I’ve had an experience myself that has taught me the importance of this. But it is important enough to be one of five Don’ts. So, don’t.
Let yourself be held back by anyone’s arbitrary opinions of what you should or should not do
Most importantly, you are the one who is camping. It is about you (and your accompanying friends and family) and your experience with nature and the outdoors. Make sure you have the right conditions for you to experience the most enjoyable trip you possibly can. If there is one big don’t I could leave you with, it’s this one:
Don’t stay inside!