More and more, travellers are opting for an outdoor vacation. In these strange times, it seems that we value more contact with nature and the fact of being able to breathe some fresh air. In addition, they have forced us to have less contact with others, so losing ourselves in nature is, also, for this reason, the best alternative. However, there are many ways to spend a vacation searching for our roots in Mother Nature. On the one hand, we can enjoy some of the wonderful rural accommodations that we have in Spain, and, on the other, there is the option of something more wild and genuine: go camping. But do you know what essential equipment you should take to go camping? Maybe yes, but, just in case, here we leave you some essential things to bring to go camping.
Of course, the tent, or tent, is the fundamental element to go camping. That will become your home for the next few days or weeks.
The basic things you should know to decide which tent to buy are the number of people it has to accommodate and what kind of climate you are going to find in your vacation spot.
In terms of size, there is a huge variety, from the lone wolf and mating tents to family tents where you can even stand up. In addition, you can put extensions to create a kind of patio in front of the store.
Regarding the weather or climate, if you are going to spend a winter vacation, you will have to take into account the thermal protection provided by the tent, as well as the resistance to rain. If, on the other hand, you are planning a summer or spring vacation in nature, it will be better to choose a relatively cool tent. In any case, you can always put a raincoat and thermal reinforcements as accessories.
Another essential for going camping is the sleeping bag. In fact, if you are in a warm place and not invaded by mosquitoes, you may not even need a tent to sleep, spending a nice night out in the open, gazing at the stars from your sleeping bag.
When choosing a suitable sleeping bag, it is the same as with the tent: you must take into account the time that you are going to do in your holiday destination.
For warm places, you can bring a light summer jacket, while you will need bags that are warmer – and usually heavier – when you go to a cold place. That said, today they make down or synthetic sacks. The feathers are usually more expensive, but they shelter better in winter, they store better (they take up less space) and they are less heavy than the synthetics. Likewise, there are synthetics that are quite good, and the differences with those of feathers are reduced.
You should always take into account the temperature that is indicated on the bag cover. It is a good way to know if it is what you need.
Inflatable mat or mattress
It can be very romantic to sleep under a starry sky, in a forest where only the sound of animals is heard, or on a beach where you will fall asleep, lulled by the sound of the waves of the sea. However, if the terrain is uneven, your back will almost certainly complain the next morning.
To avoid this, you will have to get another of the essential elements to go camping: a good mat or an inflatable mattress.
The former has improved a lot in recent years, being now also inflatable. I remember my first mats: those fine things, with the appearance of a thermal blanket, the kind that the cops give to the victims in American movies, that hardly isolate anything.
Whatever your choice – mat or mattress – you must check that they fulfil their role: isolate yourself from the humidity and cold of the stone floor, and reduce any type of irregularity in the ground until it is practically imperceptible.
There are individual mattresses or for two people, is always heavier and more voluminous than the mats. Today, very good, light and space-saving mats are made.
Flashlight or headlamp
One of the most essential things to go camping is a good flashlight or headlamp. In my case, I prefer a front (the great invention of humanity), but to taste the colors. The advantage of the headlamp over a conventional flashlight (no matter how good this is) is obvious: it leaves your hands free.
Whether you stay in a campsite with spectacular facilities, as if you do it in one of basic quality or you practice wild and free camping, always, ALWAYS, you will need a flashlight to shine on you at some point, either to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, look for something in the store, or pick it up to go out at dawn.
Stove or camping gas
If you are going to take a short getaway to nature – for a day or two – you may not want to take a cooking item with you and decide to stop by with sandwiches, cans of preserves, energy bars and fruit. However, if you are thinking of a somewhat longer vacation, you cannot cross the stove – or camping gas – off your list of essential things to go camping, because you will have to eat hot.
When choosing a camping gas or stove, you will have to see if you decide on one of those that looks like a normal kitchen fire and has a hole for gas cartridges, or one of those that gas comes in a kind as a small cylinder (somewhat larger and more durable than cartridges) on which the iron and the platform are mounted to hold what we are going to heat. We personally prefer the former.
One of the most common camping gas brands is Campingaz , and you can find spare parts in any specialized camping store (and even some supermarkets and gas stations in rural and mountain areas).
Perhaps at first glance, it does not seem like an essential element to go camping, but I assure you that having a hammock completely changes the sense of camping, especially in warm places with soft breezes.
The world of the hammock has progressed a lot in recent years, ceasing to be that rag tied between two palm trees that you saw in shipwrecked movies.
Today, hammocks can have the capacity for several people, have various heights, have mosquito nets and many other features. The mosquito net will obviously be essential in hot and humid areas. You will deserve to have one to sleep, as we did, among the coconut palms (yes, be careful with the coconuts) of the Colombian Caribbean coast. It is much cooler than in the store, and rocking has its point to fall asleep quickly.
Finally, there are countless little things that we could include under the generic name of the camping kit. We are talking about such useful items as a multipurpose knife, a small emergency kit, a good mosquito repellent, kitchen utensils, a small chair, water purification tablets (or a water purification tube), waterproof covers for things, clothes and backpack, sunscreen, hats, etc.
Small things, but totally essential to go camping.