Nowadays, there are numerous options about how, when and where to go for your holidays. When there are comfortable options, some are interested to go closer to nature and experiencing staying in the tent. For some, camping life can be a life-long project, so people seasonally stay in tents for more than just some nights on holidays. If you have never tried camping and you were planning to try it soon, the following information will be for you!
Firstly, everyone who wants to set a tent should remember the legal aspect of it. There are countries where wild camping is illegal and in such a situation, we have to look for camping sites. Where all facilities, like running water, toilet, electricity are usually provided. When you are planning your travel, it is important to check about possibilities to camp - sometimes it is not allowed to set a tent in the private areas or national parks. For example, In Sweden and Norway, it is possible to camp everywhere, as a right of every woman and man to have public access to nature. Whereas in Danmark, it is important to find particular forests, that are approved for camping. Swiss law does not advise to experience wild camping, because of extremely high fines, so it is suggested to find a campsite better before your travel as hiking places are usually crowded.
Secondly, when deciding on camping we should decide either we include that in different physical activities, like hiking or kayaking, or we do just camping without other external activities. Maybe, it is hard to divide camping from hiking, but for some tent is a place to sleep, and not a style of activity. Therefore, choose in advance which activities you do and what exactly you explore. Probably, you can find a camping site within walking distance from the hike of your dreams.
Thirdly, the list of things - what to bring with you? I would recommend writing down the list, it will secure your travel plan. The important fact - to check what are the facilities at the camping site: do they have a grill, place where to wash dishes, cooking utilities, hot water, etc. Maybe, it is important to bring your pots for cooking on an open fire. It would be useful to check these facts in advance, in order not to be upset when you arrive.
Overall, the following checklist is the essential stuff for camping. For your comfort:
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping mat
- Portable charger and cables
- Torch and head torch (light)
- Everything that might be useful to repair the tent: paracord, gaffa tape, cable ties, sewing kit, tent repair kit.
In order to stay warm and weatherproofed:
- Waterproof jacket, trousers, umbrella
- Plastic bags for rubbish (to secure your cloth and sleeping bag from humidity)
- Clean and dry clothes to sleep in
- Woolly hat, gloves, and sunhat
- Suitable footwear
- Spare underwear and socks
- Sun protection and sunglasses (even if is a cold time of the year)
- Clothes from lightweight and fast-drying materials.
You might also need kitchen utilities:
- Lighters or matches
- Pots and pans (mainly a pot where you can boil hot water will be useful)
- Plate & cap
- Cooking and eating utensils
- Cleaning equipment for dishwashing
- Tin & bottle opener or basically, a swiss pocket knife
Finally, in order to stay healthy:
- Any toiletries you would usually use: soap & shampoo (better to take all in one)
- Basic medicines
- First aid kit
- Hand sanitiser
- Insect repellent
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
For me, the most useful stuff, besides the tent and sleeping bag would be - headlight, mat, blanket (or something to cover, like a warm scarf, if free space in the bag or car allows), water & windproof jacket, additional pair of warm socks (it will save your night), rubbish bags (to keep all belongings dry), some dry food supplied that you can cook with hot water (it is possible to check for those in special camping stores) and a personal water bottle.
Do not forget to bring travel insurance with you.
Remember that the list of stuff you can share among the group. It would be great to distribute items among members of the group, as well as to plan your diet in advance. So you can prepare ingredients beforehand from a place with better options, than a rural area, or simply get the demanded amount of the fast-cooked food bags for which you will need just water.
When traveling we always look for activities we can do around. There are several platforms where people share their hiking destinations, and this one can be one of the most often used is Komoot. It provides a range of hiking and other activities options based on your interests and conditions.
To finalize, it is important to remember that setting a tent and overnighting there requires patience and good company. It would be great to contact people who already did camping, watch a video of how to set a tent, and for some who are afraid of wild nature, maybe, insects, in particular, to have company for a safe night.