May 01, 2023
9 CAMPING ESSENTIALS
- Knife: A knife is one of the most important tools you need when you are outdoors. It can be used to cut your way through dense foliage, catch fish, slice food and even cut clothes if ever needed for bandaging. Pick something small and sharp, preferably with a jagged edge and a casing around it. And make sure to use it only under adult supervision.
Navigational Aid: These days, most of us rely on our phones and their GPS and maps, but you need to carry a compass and a thematic map too and you must learn how to read them! These are especially useful for when you have no cellphone service or your phone battery dies out.
Clothing: The clothes you carry will depend completely on the month of travel and the location. But as a general rule, pack light, carry clothes that can be layered and bring along something waterproof too. Always pack in extra pairs of socks and a belt, as these can come in handy for first aid too.
Garbage Bags: On a campsite, garbage bags have multiple uses. Apart from using them to dispose of waste, these waterproof and weightless bags can be used to repair a leaking tent temporarily and to collect drinking water that drips from the leaves of trees.
- Tent and Ground Mat: If you don’t want to share your tent with others, we suggest you carry your own! Use a sleeping bag that protects you from the cold, mosquitoes and rain and don’t forget to add a sturdy ground mat to help keep you comfortable and your sleeping bag clean.
Fire and Stove: A camping stove is a must. There are many different types of camping stoves to choose from so pick the one that suits the trip. Gas canisters are bulky but perfect for long camping trips whereas spirit burners and solid fuel stoves work well on short camping trips. Also, make sure the adults on the trip don’t forget to carry a lighter or matchbox and an axe if you need firewood.
- Flashlight: A flashlight will always be your best friend on a camping trip. It’s also one of the simplest ways of sending SOS signals for those lost in the woods.
- First-aid Kit: Your kit must include adhesive bandages, regular-strength pain medication, gauze, low-grade disinfectant like Savlon or Dettol and basic medications.
Water and Food: A simple, large bottle with a strap is perfect for your water needs. As far as food goes, you can opt for a large variety of dehydrated and tinned foods. Carry some turmeric, salt and chilli powder, as they can also be used to keep ants and leeches away and turmeric can be used as an antiseptic on wounds and cuts. The easiest foods to carry for instant energy are chocolates, nuts and bananas. And always remember to keep your campsite clean; do not litter.
7 THINGS YOU LEARN WHILE CAMPING
Be it an overnight camp or a longer one, you are sure to go home having made a new friend or two and learnt a few things, such as a new skill or a few new words. But the most important learning comes in the form of personality development. Here are some lessons you will learn when camping.
- Handling Different Situations and People: When you travel away from home, you might end up living with strangers. Now, each person behaves differently in different situations. You will thus see how people behave in different environments and also learn how not to behave in public.
- Making New Friends: Not all of us are outgoing, but we all need friends. At a camp, you may be separated from your best friend or be put into a tent with someone you don’t like. The experience will teach you to accept and make friends with people who have completely different personalities than yours and may have even been brought up differently. From them, you will learn about new cultures and values and get to experience different ways of being.
- Solving Problems: By working with a diverse group of people, you will also learn different ways to look at and solve problems—some micromanage problems, whereas others have a collaborative approach. Both these sets of people will get results, but the path to the end will be very different.
- Thinking Out of the Box: When you are camping, you are forced to tend and fend for yourself. This will teach you to figure your way around tough spots and also make you responsible about your belongings and your safety.
- Respecting People: Learning to respect people means learning to respect others’ points of view. This is one of the biggest learnings from the experience of camping.
- Learning New Skills: These new skills could be anything from sports and acting to art and trekking. This kind of exposure will also make you appreciate and respect different types of skills.
- Living Independently: As you learn to stay away from your parents, you will learn to fend for yourself and ask for help when needed. You will also learn to be forgiving and selfless. Together, these give a huge boost to your self-confidence.
5 INDIAN STATES WHERE YOU CAN CAMP
- Uttarakhand at Rishikesh and Mussoorie
- Rajasthan at Jaisalmer
- Himachal Pradesh at Spiti Valley and Kasol
- Maharashtra at Pawna Lake
- Karnataka at Nandi Hills
3 NEW CAMPING WORDS TO LEARN
- Fire Pit: a designated area where you can build a fire.
- Propane: a bottled fuel source used with camp stoves, barbecues and other equipment.
- Tarp: a large, waterproof piece of material used to protect items from rain and moisture.
THE ONLY CHECKLIST YOU WILL EVER NEED
1. Your Campsite:
- Is equipped with toilets and showers
- Is child-friendly
- Is in a secure region
- Has no known wildlife sightings
- Has cellular network
2. Pack Your Gear:
- First-aid kit
- Camping mattresses
- Camping stove and fuel
- Extra batteries
- Insect repellent
- Food and water
- Additional equipment like games, rafts and canoes
4. Details: Make sure you leave these with your parent or guardian.
- Contact numbers in case of an emergency
- Camp details
- Flight, train and vehicle details
REFLECTION: Let’s Go Camping!
Do you like to go to camping? Write a short note on why.