Young people have an appetite for trying new things. Camping out in the wilderness is one of them. However, what most first timers do not know is that camping isn't simply about packing your things and setting up a camp in the middle of nowhere.
It requires a lot of planning and decision-making. You have to decide where to go for a camping trip, whether the location you chose is warm or cold, what you're bringing and most importantly, how you're gonna keep yourself safe.
Here are some of the most important things that one should ponder over while planning a camping trip.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that it's not always legal to camp out or ignite fire at certain places.
You might have to face legal consequences if you break them. For instance, igniting a fire in the woods may be regarded as arson and you might even have to face jail time if caught.
If you're camping with a large group then there will probably be people with different choices and special diets which you'd have to consider.
For those who are vegetarian, vegetarian BBQ is a good option, a lot of people who are unaware of this might ask, "Is a vegetarian BBQ even a thing?" and the short answer for that would be yes.
Do remember to buy meat from Halal butchers before you head to the camp so you can create a meaty muslim-friendly BBQ when you're there.
If you are not camping near a river where the water supply is unlimited, you have to remember to bring a lot of filled water bottles. There is a good chance that there would not be any shops in the jungle to purchase water so better come fully prepared.
Camping requires a lot of energy thus keeping yourself hydrated is really crucial. If you are left with no water supply during the camp trip, it's best to start making your way out of the campsite and head home.
Remember to do your research before you head to your campsite. It's very important for you to know the weather conditions and temperature of the desired location so that you can prepare accordingly.
If you're in a cold area, keep in mind that you have to purchase winter tents. This might seem obvious but believe me, I've seen people taking summer tents to cold areas and struggle to get through the brutal cold at night.
Summer tents usually are open from two or three sides and surrounded only by nets to let air in, which of course would not be very pleasing if the temperatures are near freezing point.
Moreover, you should also remember that if you're using a weather app on your phone then the temperature shown on it is of the town or city and not of the actual area that you're camping at.
For example, if you're camping in the premises of Nianzishan, China, then the temperature on the app will be of the city, which means your actual location could be way cooler.
To conclude, make sure that you're prepared for low temperatures unless you're very sure that the campsite you're heading to is not freezing.
Campers are infamous for the fact that they usually do not clean up after camping. This generates a bad image in the mind of the locals. What's worse, it would harm the environment and ecosystem of the area in so many ways.
So please, don't be that person. Bring along with you a huge trash bag to clear the rubbish before you leave the campsite. That way, no animals will get harmed.
A lot of campers tend to permanently scar the area where they camp. Uprooting entire trees for fire wood, digging soil, harming wildlife and the list goes on.
If you do any of those things, you might get barred from camping in that area again by the authorities. An alternative would be using fallen branches instead for fire wood and bring your own food from home so you don't have to hunt for food.
Insect repellent creams and lotions are easily available in convenient stores, so remember to purchase one and bring it along with you for your camping trip.
Since there are a lot of bugs out there, some being way more harmful than others, an insect repellent would work as your secret weapon to shoo away the creepy crawlies.
Apart from cooking, fire also serves as a defense mechanism since it scares away predators and wild animals. However, sometimes when you are grilling meat, you might attract some unwanted attention from brave wild animals.
When that happens, take a burning stick out the campfire and swing it near them. Before you know it, they will be running miles away out of fear. Be sure not to hit them, they probably just want to try your tasty grilled beef.
While many campers tend to carry licensed weapons, not everyone should. You need to be experienced enough to carry a firearm for safety. If mishap happens, medical centers and hospitals might be too far away for you.
You can keep pocket knives with you but in some countries such as China, keeping knives is illegal and can be confiscated. The best option is to bring a whistle to call for help or have an emergency contact in case something does not go exactly to plan.
While many people focus more on what they're going to cook and eat out there, I believe that overall, the most important thing for first timers is how they're going to keep themselves safe in a foreign environment.
If you're bringing someone experienced with you, then just follow their lead. Otherwise you can get tips from them before embarking on your journey.