January 9, 2013

Gone Campin’ (Part 3)

In Part 1 I have reasons to camp. In Part 2 I wrote about shelter, sleeping gear, lights, lighters, food, and stoves as the beginning needs for camping. In this last part, I will talk about some of the other goods that one needs to bring on a camping trip.

First is clothing. You want to make sure you have appropriate clothing. If you are camping somewhere cold, then layers are key. You will want to have long underwear, pants, thick socks, long sleeve base layers, shirts, fleeces, jackets, gloves, and even sock caps. If you are camping in warm weather, then shorts and t-shirts are the way to go. In both cases, you’ll want to have tennis shoes or hiking shoes as well as shoes for lounging. Crocs work well for the latter.

And you want to be sure to have changes of clothes. If you are camping somewhere without a shower, a change of clothes can really make you comfortable especially for underwear and socks.

Next, you want to make sure you either bring plenty of water or have access to a water source. This will be important for washing dishes, cooking, brushing your teeth, and even bathing if that’s an option. Obviously, water is necessary for staying hydrated as well.

For washing dishes and hands and whatnot, you will want to get a good camp soap that is biodegradable. There are plenty of options out there, but I really like Dr. Bronner’s. It washes clean easily and can be used for many purposes.

Finally, for washing purposes at least, get a big package of baby wipes. Ohmigosh, these will save your life. They clean you, your dishes, and even your dog. I also suggest getting the cucumber aloe ones. They are well worth the cost.

A good camp towel is helpful as well. Even if you do not bathe on your camping trip, you never know when you will need a towel.

And, of course, your libation of choice always makes the experience fun. Whether that is beer, wine, soda, or juice, sitting around a campfire with others while enjoying your drink of choice and telling stories is definitely fun.

One other item that will come in handy is a Swiss Army knife or a Leatherman. These multitools come in handy for everything from cooking to setting up camp to the fire. I bring both just in case.

Lastly, you will probably want at least bear spray although many also bring other means of protection. I always have bear spray because that is what I am comfortable having, but you should definitely be aware of what you will need for protection.

If you have ever been to a camping store, you know that there are plenty of other items to bring including mess kits, dishes, whistles, compasses, and oh so much more. What is really important for a good camping trip is awareness of where you are camping and what you will be doing. Do some research before heading out, and know what to bring.

Image Credit: Photos.com

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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