Prepare for camping
Camping is the easiest, most affordable, way to clean your soul and declutter your mind – and it doesn’t break the bank.
Nothing beats the escape from everything that stresses you out, and substituting it for a calmness of mind and emotion.
Camping has been compared to socialism and people like to write about their first disastrous camping trip as if that is the nature of all camping. Even behavioural scientists has something to say about camping.
But, camping is no different from any other activity in your life: if you plan properly, you will enjoy properly. If you don’t plan, you will not enjoy.
If your preparations have been sound, you will no doubt enjoy your camping trip.
What to keep in mind
- Adequate accessories is a must-have.
- Sleeping bags should be of good quality and well maintained. If it is important to you, bring your own pillow.
- Prepare for bugs by packing essential oils and bug, mosquito and tick repellants.
- Store your food in the right containers and pack away everything at sleeping time every night.
- Get adequate exercise during the day so you will sleep soundly at night.
Etiquette is basic behaviour to ensure a pleasurable experience for all people who share the camping site.
It is those actions that fall outside the formal camp rules.
In addition to the basics such as keeping your noise contribution low and remembering not to litter and not to share your political and religious views with everyone in a 10km radius, think about this:
- Manage your pets. Even dog lovers prefer their own dogs and do not necessarily want to host neighbouring dogs;
- Manage your children;
- Remember that wet wood makes excessive smoke which ALWAYS blows right into your camping neighbour’s tent or caravan;
- Walking through your neighbour’s camp site might not raise a second thought with you, but it may be experienced as interruptive by other campers. Camp sites have borders even if it is not obvious demarcations;
- Arriving at a camp site only to find that the previous campers used it as a dustbin is not a welcoming experience;
- Arriving late at nigh and leaving early may require extra effort from you not to wake neighbours who want to enjoy their night’s sleep or want to lay in until the sun rises;
- Keep an eye on unattended fires, especially when the wind starts to blow;
- Be friendly. It ensures a positive experience for all.
Benefits of camping
- Escape the air pollution of the city, clean your lungs and soothe your soul. Nature has a relaxing and destressing effect on humans;
- Moving about in nature refreshes memory capacity and increases mindfulness and energy levels;
- Science indicates that we are wired to be outside and that nature makes us happy. Books have been written about the benefits of nature to humans.
Outdoors is a different world
Being outdoors, is a completely different experience from your daily life, so it is wise to mentally prepare your self for some changes:
- The sounds your are familiar with in the city, do not exist in nature. You may find it difficult to fall asleep the first night;
- Your bed, whether it is a Thabaphaswa accommodation bed or your sleeping bag and a stretcher, offers a different experience and may get used to;
- There are a lot of different activities available. You could hike, fish, watch birds, discover trees and other plants, jog, ride your mountain bike, swim in a farm dam, practise your photographic skills, have real conversations with your family members, or just sit and contemplate how lucky your are to be relaxing in nature.
You need to adequately prepare mentally and physically for a camping trip, because it will offer a different experience from what you are used to. But don’t make it such a preparation that it takes away the fun.
You should look forward to camping to get as much benefit from it as possible. Make your preparation and your travelling all part of your camping trip.
That way, you will arrive energized and be a happy camper!