Many people go camping to get away from our heavily materialist lifestyles. However, when you consider all the camping gear that's marketed to those who love to camp, it is possible to end up lugging around a substitute for your house and leading you to set up a small fortress away from home. Where's the fun in dragging all that useless stuff with you?
Camping is as much about mindset as it is about gear. Allowing yourself the space to just get going is the most liberating aspect of it all. Show the over-packers and consumerist campers just how camping should be!
It's all about eschewing the unnecessary. Don't be a gear-oriented camper! It'll clutter your experience from the beginning with all that long decision making. When in the great outdoors, remember that less is more and also practical.
The less bags, the less stuff already. Within that bag, you have to accommodate everything: clothes, shoes, bathroom needs and entertainment needs. Set the challenge and tell your merry adventure party that there is no more room. And veto large bags!
Have this basic rule: if you can't carry the bag for more than five minutes without wanting to put it down, either don't take it or lighten it.
To survive comfortably for a few days, the basics you need include:
Many campsites provide tables and seating, and nature provides logs, stumps, and other natural objects that your imagination can make good use of. Embrace it and you'll love it!
Really, all you need is your toothbrush, some toothpaste, one bar of soap, a small bottle of shampoo and deodorant. Also Dental floss is great for both teeth and lots of things that need tying up.
Stick with what you know works when camping, and that's the basics.
Good small fun items for the minimalist camper include a pack of cards, a Frisbee, your swimsuit and creativity.
You've had access to them all year round. Just why do you need to take them camping? Get wild and leave the electronic gear at home!
Rediscover conversations, story-telling, drawing in the sand/soil, and stargazing.
Do take a cell phone for safety, though, but turn it off. Camera makes the exception. Documenting the beauty of all you see and the happiness and tribulations of your merry bunch is definitely worthwhile.
Learn new ways to do things that you haven't thought of before. Nourish your creativity and sense of resourcefulness. Improvise! There are so many things that you can do and be resourceful about. This is in itself the fun and exciting part of camping.
If you head out to camp with the mindset that you're depriving yourself of luxuries and comforts, you're unlikely to enjoy yourself. On the other hand, if you have the mindset that you have enough for surviving, plus some treats and that the real purpose of the trip is to rediscover nature, the trip will be enjoyable and a healthy, rewarding challenge. You will learn much and discover things about yourself and your fellow companions that you didn't know before. And that is something gear can't ever give you.
11) A bonus for the aftermath: Campfire Cologne
Once you get back from camp, you’ll spend your Sunday night happy to be back. Sure, you enjoyed yourself while “becoming one with nature,” but you'll also relish that “real shower” and having a proper toilet. But then Monday you find yourself at work, sitting and dreaming of that lake you spent the whole weekend staring at. You can almost smell the campfire. Then, your boss emails you and asks you to do another thankless task and you get depressed.
The best way to perk yourself up after a long day at the office is to light some Campfire Cologne. It’s like incense, except it smells like a real campfire. It’ll make your apartment smell like your campsite—the one you long to return to.