The most important thing to do before you go camping is to make a plan. First, choose a camping site that suits you. You can go to a park, a forest or a camping site that is close to the city. Secondly, you should consider transport and accommodation, including setting up a tent or hiring a campervan. Finally, you should time your camping carefully and avoid going when the weather is bad or when there is too much traffic.
How to choose a campsite
If you are new to camping, a park may be a good choice. Parks are generally safer, with professional management, restrooms, and water facilities. In addition, there are many attractions and activities to take part in around the park to make your trip more meaningful.
If you would prefer some wilderness areas, then forests may be a better choice. Forests are further away from cities and can offer more privacy, tranquillity, and freedom. However, be aware when choosing such a location that it may not have a water supply or other amenities and you will need to bring your own food, water and emergency supplies etc.
Camping sites can offer better facilities and services than parks, such as laundries, swimming pools, supermarkets, etc. Such locations are also usually safer, and many people can share resources here. Make sure you book your campsite in advance and know the base's policies and service fees so that there are no unexpected problems.
Points to note on campsite selection:
Generally speaking, the best camping sites satisfy six main principles: near water, leeward, far from the cliffs, near the village, shaded, and protected from lightning. Tents should be placed on hard, flat ground where possible and preferably facing south or southeast with a view of the early morning sun.
Safe camping - The first time you arrive at a campsite, you need to look around your surroundings to see if the following 6 points are met.
look upwards at three points: whether the location is above the dead trees that litter the area, whether there are loose rocks overhead, and whether this is the only high point in the surrounding area;
Look downwards at three points: whether it is in a riverbed during the rainy season, whether it is in a basin or a ravine or low-lying area where flash floods occur, and whether it is near a cliff.
Different campsites have different terrain with corresponding camping requirements as follows:
Seaside - the most important things to guard against are tides and torrential rain, so set up your tent area above the surrounding terrain and on level ground.
- Avoid camping within 3 meters of the highest historical tide, in wave swimming and tidal areas.
- Avoid: Don't camp on beaches that are too slippery to prevent your tent from getting wet and waterlogged.
- Avoid: There are more mosquitoes on the beach than anywhere else, remember to pull your tent's mosquito net on the beach.
- Avoid camping in rocky areas, such as under cliffs, in sandy areas, and too close to mountains, to prevent the danger of falling rocks.
- Avoid camping in low-lying areas at the bottom of valleys, sleeping at night with too much moisture, and in rainy weather beware of flash floods and avoid rivers.
- Avoid camping under tall dead trees or beehives, where there may be falling logs and wild bee attacks.
- Avoid camping at the mouths of hills leading to water sources that are often animal watering points, which may be infested with fierce animals.
Once you have chosen your campsite, remove as many rocks, debris, etc. as possible and level the site. Remember to choose a campsite that is about five meters above the water at a relative elevation before setting up camp.
The campsite generally consists of four areas: a tent camping area, a fire and dining area, water and sanitation area.
If there are several tents in a tent camping area, care should be taken when setting up the tents.
- All tent doors need to be oriented in the same direction.
- Tents should be spaced at least 1 meter apart.
- A cordon (ditch) should be set up if necessary and a circle should be drawn around the tent area with an irritating substance such as lime or tar outside the tent area, which will prevent the intrusion of reptiles such as snakes. Or use methods such as the Shenzi alarm system.
- The fire area needs to be some distance away from the tent to prevent sparks from burning the tent. The best place to burn food is an area with an earthen or rocky ledge for digging and building a stove. The firewood collected should be stacked outside the area or upwind.
- The dining area should preferably have a grassy area for everyone to sit around, and the 'dining table' can be a large flat stone or on the ground.
- Water is usually taken from a water source, and water for washing and drinking should be kept separate.
- Water for consumption should be located upstream from the river, and water for washing and drinking downstream.
- In the case of lake water, the two types of water should also be separated and the distance between the two types of water should be more than 10 meters.
A safe shelter: a tent (house), a tide mat (floor), an inflatable mat with a pillow (bed), and a sleeping bag (quilt) are the four pieces that will guarantee you a safe, secure, and solid sleep in the wilderness.
The lighting system has different functions for each piece of equipment. The main light is used for table lighting, the hanging light assumes the brightness of the tent and the decorative light serves as a street light outside the tent. The role of the camp light stand is mainly to provide light hanging.
This fire-making kit is a must-have as the following explanation focuses on the correct use of the cassette stove as a whole.
Cassette stoves are commonly used by outdoor people because they are easy to carry and at the same time safe.
However, it has a relatively small flame and the appropriate tools must be equipped for a better life when lighting a fire outdoors. A spray gun heats up the stove to solve the problem of the stove not being able to be lit once or twice when the temperature is low; and a windshield mainly acts as a windbreak, as cassette stoves are the least windproof.
For outdoor kitchen equipment, it is best to choose an all-in-one unit because it is easy to carry, such as a pot and bowl set or a knife and chopping board.
As for food waste cleaning, it is important to ensure that there is zero pollution in the natural environment.
The resting area is vital to building, as it is needed for leisure activities such as talking around the fire, watching the lake, and drinking tea or fishing. The role of the canopy is similar to that of a pavilion in a park. When selecting the canopy, the main concern is its shading effect. Folding tables and folding chairs, on the other hand, are movable resting areas that focus on support and convenience functions.
Take care to purchase a water storage tank with a capacity of 20-30L; and a first aid kit, remembering to fill it with cold and stomach medication and other medicines.
Regardless of the daytime temperature, the wilderness often gives the illusion of another season at night, so pay extra attention to the following three points at camp
Wear long clothing and trousers to avoid mosquitoes and snakes at camp.
Prepare a pair of waterproof trousers to avoid water when choosing a lawn to sit on at the campsite.
Have a pair of hiking shoes for the wilderness to protect your ankles when carrying.
In terms of food, campers should take care to stock up on high-calorie foods such as chocolate, biscuits, etc. They are convenient for a quick energy boost.
It is a good idea to try and set up your tent at home or in the garden before you set off. Make sure you know how to support it properly so that it will stand up smoothly on the grass. If possible, pitch your tent on flat ground to avoid leaning and rocking.
Food storage is very important when camping to avoid total dependence on external supplies. When packing, take care to choose storage-resistant foods and appropriate containers to ensure they do not get damaged in ice buckets or backpacks. In addition, to avoid attracting wildlife, store food in plastic bags and then place them in metal boxes.
Keep your environment clean and tidy when camping. As well as taking some plastic bags for rubbish disposal, choose eco-friendly cutlery to avoid creating litter and keep the natural environment tidy.
Camping is a challenging outdoor activity that requires thorough preparation and planning. Choosing the right place to camp and taking the necessary equipment can make your camping trip safer and easier. At the same time, we should also be concerned about protecting the environment and keeping our campsites tidy and sustainable.