Enjoying the outdoors has always been my favorite activity in life. Depending on how far you need to travel to a favorite camping area it is fairly inexpensive and when you are properly prepared, very enjoyable.
Priorities for your outdoor adventure:
Water, Water, Water is first and foremost your main concern. When you leave the comforts of civilization you will not only need water for drinking but for washing yourself, your utensils, and maybe even filling the radiator of your car or truck. Of course I’m assuming you are taking a vehicle to your camp site. If you are backpacking of traveling lite you need to do some research of the area you plan to go and see where water sources will be and map them out. You can’t depend on the water being drinkable – free from harmful bacteria. So you will need to take a supply of purification tablets or get a water pump with a purification filter.
Fire – Keeping Warm:
Check with the forest service to see what types of campfires are permissible in the area you plan to be camping. Depending on what time of year it is, some area’s do not allow any type of fire because of severe draught leading to high fire danger. Most of the time, especially in designated camping areas you will find some type of camp stove for cooking and keeping warm.
Starting your Fire:
Take plenty of matches, if possible purchase some water proof matches. Other fire starting sources are propane lighters, and survival kits with Magnesium Fire Starter and Flint Fire Starter. They are small and easy to carry and in expensive. So no reason not to have one.
Take Plenty of Food:
Food that will spoil fast, like fresh meat – steaks, chicken etc. should be eaten the first night out or take a cooler with dry ice to keep it from spoiling. Take lots of canned food and remember to store in a cool shady area. Stock up on dried fruits, nuts, jerky, energy bars, things you don’t need to worry about, are nutritious and easy to carry. Also pick up some packets of freeze dried food.
You will most likely be miles from any emergency services so be ready to defend yourself if necessary.
You should carry a knife at all times. It has many uses and no reason not to have one with you. An axe or hatched. Very useful when gathering wood and just a great tool to have at your service. A pistol if you are comfortable with firearms and know how to use one is always nice to have. It’s a good idea to check with local authorities to make sure firearms are permissible in your area. Pepper Spray is one of the best devices for protection against bear, any animal and even humans.
All the Comforts of Home? No, You Won’t Have That, So Be Prepared and Think!
Are you taking a tent for protection from the elements, maybe winging it and just taking a sleeping bag. Or are you camping light but with protection by taking your sleeping bag and a bivvy bag for protection from the elements?
So what is a Bivvy Bag or other terms are Bivy Bag, Bivouac Sack, Bivi Bag?
Anyway they are light easy to carry sacks that you put your sleeping bag in and zip up around your bag and head giving you protection against, rain, wind, snow offering you a little more comfort. Some literally lay against your face. Of course you can sleep on your side but I prefer the ones that have frame work around your head giving you some breathing room. Much more comfortable. Most of them are waterproof and offer some insulation value.
Be prepared for all weather conditions. Even when it is warm make sure you take a jacket, sweatshirt, long pants, not just shorts, long sleeve shirts that you can layer and stay comfortable. Pack a hat with a large brim for sun protection and a stocking cap to wear at night. Be ready for rain. If you don’t want to take rain gear at least take a few large plastic garbage bags. Cut a slit at the bottom and put it over your head. They work great.