Now we established where and how were are going to adventure in the outdoors, we need to start planning what we will need as far as camp, kitchen and transport of the essentials. Once again I go to a list. Yep as you know I am a list guy. Love lists, have all sorts of lists, some updated some waiting to be updated and well truth be told, some that should have been thrown out years ago. But I we need to plan and as far as I know a list is a good starting point.
So here we go…
1 The camp.
“The camp” includes all you need to camp besides the Kitchen and then how you plan to transport ( Carry) your camp and Kitchen.
Besides these, that leaves:
Sleeping areas normally will be tents, tarps and hammocks, where sleeping pads, blowup mattresses or cots are set up as sleeping areas. They can be single or multiple covers.
They will typically be used as sleeping and changing/ personal storage area for clothes, packs ,bags etc.
Remember if you go tarp…privacy is very limited unless your tarp is big enough to go to ground if using as a hammock sleeping area.
Tents can be convenient to a point. Typically if walk- in camping they are heavy and bulky. Hot humid conditions can be uncomfortable if ventlation is inadequate. Some things to consider when purchasing. There are many factors to consider, but these are important #1 being waterproof. First time using them, I would test them out in the backyard before committing to take with.
Something else to consider is if its a community tent.
Who is carrying it. They will have the extra weight and bulk. How easy is it to put up. Quickly if needed. Does it take 2 people …three?. Although car camping illuminates most of these concerns. Being comfortable in putting it up. Will save heart ache when you get to the site. And if you do it wrong, well lets just say the first rain or wind will let you know.
Single sleeping means each to their own.
No Matter what they choose the same things should be considered for each personal area. Typically each to themselves. But remember everybody is responsible for community areas. All should share the load and responsibility. Its just good camping etiquette.
These areas also include the Kitchen area but I am keeping it separate. Areas where in a group/family camp, would typically be the dinning area and Kitchen. Besides the fire pit in the evenings, these are the most used communal areas.
The Kitchen requires a lot of planning. Obviously in a group camp the meals are planned with the whole group in mind. It requires the basics of planned meals for the length of the camp, then storage for the planned meals. Snacks and drinks (besides water which you cannot have enough of ) should be considered as well. The type of camp ground you have chosen should be able to let you know if basic’s such as Ice, water and wood are available. If not you will have to plan accordingly. More storage for water carries ice boxes, etc. (Pro tip) If you bring single use water (case of purchased water) You can pre-freeze many and they will double as ice for the first day or 2.
Ice that melts in your ice chest should not be drained out. Keep it clean and you can use for doing dishes and general clean up. Another water saver
When planning the meals consider non heated meals. During the day simple salads, sandwiches etc. which require no “cooking” will save on cooking gas and wood. Breakfast and Dinner for me has to be a hot meal, preferably around the fire.
Eating plates, this is a personal preference for many, I am not a fan of paper plates. It creates more trash and mostly not reusable.
Consider plastic or metal eating sets. Ones that will last you many camping trips. Same goes for eating and cooking utensils. Don’t go disposable. Everybody can bring their own or share someone who has a set that’s has extras.
Cooking and cleaning. These are chores most don’t enjoy. Be sure to make everybody aware the tasks will be shared. Even, make a roster if needed. Sharing is caring people. Clean up and cooking takes a lot of time and WATER. Keep that in mind when planning your water needs. As a solo camper I was shocked at my first time out how much water I used for these tasks. I had to carry all my water and by the second night I was already getting low and had to conserve water. Even group camping be sure to Take a water purifier with you. May just need it. More on that later.
These could be special areas. Kids play area, games area or such things. Once again a communal area so same rules apply.
These are communal areas and users should be responsible to tidy up when done. One thing about camping is everything has its place. If you keep to that and put things where planned for, it makes for a clean safe tidy camp. Nobody wats to stand on a soda can or some toy not put away when you get up for a toilet charge in the middle of the night.
Most of this assumes a family or group camp. Things are a lot simpler if you are going solo. To a point!
You just don’t get to share . Anything. That means you carry, make camp, cook and clean. One thing you will find is you will be busy. But you will be pleasantly surprised its a good, even fun busy. The set and prep of a solo camp can be daunting, especially if you have to gather and prepare wood for you fire. Its time consuming. I do find I sleep well when camping solo. Need I say more.
One word of advice if this will be your first Solo trip.
Keep it simple and stay close to home as you can. Consider it a test run. I can almost guarantee you will be making a lot of changes to everything after your first hack at it. It will get better as you go. Plan carefully and be as safe as possible. Take what you need and don’t scrimp, Better too much first time, than to little, which can turn bad very quickly. Trust me. I do 98% of my camping alone. I have no friends!!. No I do, They just prefer car/ family camping, rather then the very basic style of almost minimal I prefer. With the solitude of the outdoors and the challenge at my age is why I find myself on my lonesome. Just my choice. Even so I am careful when planning a solo camp. Its just good sense. As I said you will learn what you need and what you don’t soon enough.
This is the part where planning badly can be a make or break of a camping excursion. Much depends on where and how you plan on getting to the actual camp site.
Drive-in/ Car camp.
Most car camping means being able to have all you goodies in a car and drive to with- in a very short distance of the camp site. Maybe at most 50 to 100 ft. This is the biggest plus to car camping. You are no longer limited by walking and carrying in all your camp essentials. Well to a point.
You still need to plan the carry and storage of all. You carry bags, boxes, ice boxes, coolers, stoves, kitchen table etc. etc. should be chosen carefully.
Carry bags. The bigger the tent, the heavier and bulkier it will be. Be sure the carry bag it comes in, is solid, that means its not going to tear easy and has strong reasonable handles for carrying. If possible strong ( larger) wheels at one end makes life easier. Same goes for your Ice Chests, Kitchens carry boxes and personal baggage. Games, chairs, tables and kitchen sinks included.
Going solo this is where most first timers fall short
Yep been there done that.
Before you decide on pack size and what you need, you need to beware of your limitations on just how much you can carry and how far you need to carry it.
Make a list of what you THINK you will need and then do it again reducing carefully. The most important areas are water, food and cover. Then sleep kit and of course you 10 C’s of survivability. The season obviously is the “determinenotor” on what you will need. Winter more, Summer less, spring and Fall more or less. tent or tarp, woolen blanket or sleeping bag. Water considerations, (is there a river or lake close), food, clothing and kitchen. All on your back……..
Your pack of choice can determine the success of your Solo camping trip!
There you go some considerations when planning your “camping essentials” for the camp. Obviously there is a lot more to consider, I cannot tell you all, as that after all is what camping is about, learning, outdoors and fun.
However PART III will cover some very important tips to consider, These will be personal must do’s. Plus camp Kitchen ideas and safety and survival essentials.
Stay tuned and all will be revealed, well almost all.
Read up , Make lists, Get things, Go camp. You wont regret it.
Remember Knowledge is a survival skill, get it from every source you can.
The Novice Survivalist