By Richard Jennings
Camping or going on a hike is a great way to destress and just simply disconnect from the hustle and bustle of our daily working lives. While it can be a pursuit of leisure, careful planning is still necessary to ensure that you get the most out of your experience. So, before you head out to the wonderful open fields and mountains of the countryside, take a look at our essential items you should have in your car.
If you are planning to go with a bunch of people and you know that you will be bringing a lot of things, you should not simply rely on your car space to accommodate everything. Especially when you are planning to bike or canoe, having a custom made roof rack for your vehicle can be quite useful. A roof rack specifically designed for your vehicle and your camping needs can be helpful. You can place bulkier and heavier items like your camping grille. When you have storage on top of your car for the bigger items, you can have more space for the comfort of the people you’re camping with.
A lot of us get too caught up planning everything about our camping or hiking trip. Sometimes, we tend to forget the essential items needed for ensuring that our car runs smoothly. Just imagine all the stress your vehicle has to go through when transporting you to your camping site, especially when you are driving long distances.
So, remember to bring a portable jump starter. If you can find one that can inflate tyres, that would be a better option. You will be surprised to discover that some portable jump starters can be as small as the size of your mobile phone. There are even some that can charge your phone!
Campers are generally happy when they are well-fed. In some cases, they say that good food and cooking can be one of the most memorable parts of the trip. So, make sure you pack tonnes of food and if you’re planning to grill, bring a cooler to keep the food fresh. Some camping staples include rice, pasta and cereal and they are the more affordable and convenient options.
Also, you should not forget to bring enough water. The common mistake of campers is estimating only the amount of water they are planning to drink. A lot of camping locations do not have reliable sources of water. So, what happens is they also use their drinking water for bathing, cooking, cleaning or first-aid.
Generally speaking, it is advisable to bring twice as much water as you think you would need. Remember that water shortage can have dire consequences, so do not neglect this area. If you are planning to go on a hike, then you can simply leave your water supply at base camp and just bring enough water to drink.
The great thing about car camping is you can bring a lot of things with you. You do not have to worry about packing light since you have enough space to bring all the essentials. As mentioned in the previous point, you can leave your heavy items at base camp if you’re planning to go on a hike.
If you want a convenient way of cooking, then a camping grille or cooking set would be ideal. In this way, you do not have to worry about starting the fire. However, you always have the option of bringing a fire starter and logs for an authentic camping feel.
Every camper knows how important it is to have a first-aid kit ready. However, if you have been camping for several times, you might forget to check that kit in the trunk of your car. So, before you head out to the mountains, remember to check your first-aid kit. Keep in mind that painkillers and other medicine expire and have to be replaced. You also have to consider the conditions of your camping site. You might have to review whether you need to pack extra sunblock, lip balm or mosquito repellent.
It would also be helpful if you have a wilderness first-aid training and certification. When you go camping or hiking, you are traveling at least an hour away from the nearest hospital. When it comes to medical emergencies, the first few minutes are very crucial. If you have the training to give first-aid to common wilderness medical concerns, you can potentially save a life.
When you are heading away from civilization, remember to bring enough light. It is true that there are car camping sites that offer electricity. However, if you are planning to go to a less crowded area, you might need to bring your own lamp and flashlights. Accidents can happen when you can’t see the path at night and you would not want to cut your trip short, right?
When determining the number of tents you have to bring, it is enough to just get the basic head count. You can opt to bring a tarpaulin that functions as a car extension. However, it is always best to bring a tent to have an authentic camping experience. Part of enjoying a hike or camp is planning where to place the tent and setting it up. It can be a fun and collaborative experience which you and your friends can bond over.
As a camper, it is important for you to respect nature and your surroundings. So, you also have to remember to plan how you will dispose of your waste. Bring enough trash bags to cover all the rubbish. Some camping sites have accessible waste bins around the area. However, if you are away from civilization, it is best that you bring your own trash bag. Collect your waste and bring them with you once you leave the area.
Image credits: Great Racks
Author: Richard Jennings https://greatracks.com.au
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