Camping!

It's now the season to go camping, without as many weather concerns. Let the great outdoors guide you to the wonders of nature. Listen to streams and rivers flowing. Listen to the sounds of elk bugling, the birds chirping, and the squirrels chasing each other. Smell the fresh air and the aroma of a campfire. Feel the breeze and touch the trees. See the beauty all around you. Taste the wild foods and the foods you cook - berries, pine nuts, fish - everything tastes better when camping! Release your tensions and forget your worries - find peace and calm. Have fun!

Pack what you need and forget about things you don't need. Leave behind the distractions of technology. Remember that your phone is unlikely to get reception, so think of it as your camera.

Make sure you leave the campsite looking better, with less trash and man's influence, than when you arrived.

Take enough food with you but try to make it nutritious, so you will have the right type energy to go hiking and such. Perhaps you plan to catch fish or forage for berries (later in the season). You may or may not have success, so you might bring a little extra food, just in case, but not too much. You really don't need feed yourself more than what you eat at home - gauge yourself because sometimes you eat less when camping, and sometimes more (it usually relates to your activity level). Make sure to keep food secure and not smelling - bears want to find food if they smell it.

You should put plastic bottles of water into the freezer a few days before you leave - pack cold foods in a cooler with the frozen bottles. As they defrost, you can use the water to douse your campfire, or wash your hands or dishes. I don't recommend drinking the water, however, as plastic isn't a good water storage system for consumption.

Bring appropriate clothes for the weather - check it before you go. Evenings tend to be cooler in the mountains, so take warmer clothes - jackets, long sleeves, etc. You might want to take a raincoat, one that folds into a small pile. Layers are the key. You can add layers, take away layers, and adjust layers as needed. Bring hiking shoes (some running shoes work fine, but be ready for them to get dirty), maybe muck boots if you get into mud, and appropriate socks (to avoid blisters).

Bring sunscreen and bug spray. Take a hat that shields from intense sun and keeps bugs off your head. Take some bandages and cleaning system - use soap that is biodegradable, but never wash into a stream (don't contaminate the water).

If you set up a campfire, make sure to keep it in a pit and don't let embers fly off. When done, douse the fire completely out - with dirt and water. Don't leave it until it's cool to the touch, or completely wet. If fire danger is high, don't even try to start a fire - you should use a portable food-heating system. There are several options that are suitable - backpacking food systems are ideal.

Go hiking when you camp - it's good activity, good for the brain and heart, and good for the soul. Pay attention to flowers, trees, birds, mushrooms, animal tracks and such. You might see some interesting things.

When camping - go prepared and take care of the campsite. Enjoy the nature around you and let everything go. Get rid of stress, unwind, and come back refreshed.

See more camping tips and products here!


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