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Camping - equipment part 1

In the last article I wrote a bit about the basics of planning your camping trip. Today I'll go on to the equipment that you'll need. Please note that I'm neither a nutritionist nor a survival expert.


Basic protection

Most important is a place to spend your night. You wouldn't want to sleep an entire night on cold and moist ground, where you're vulnerable to the brute force of mother nature. That's why we use tents to protect ourselves. I strongly advise you to invest some bucks more and get at least a water-proof tent. Even if the weather forecast predicts perfect weather, there might be occasional and local rainfall. With most water-proof tents you are at least safe from average rainfall. Again, this is essential. As soon as the water pours into your tent, the holiday is in danger. You and your entire equipment will be soaked in water. Which gives you a good chance of being forced to walk home in cold and wet clothes with water running down your legs and into your shoes.

Sleeping opportunities

Another rather important part is what you'll use to sleep once you got yourself some basic protection. Sadly, we can't take our comfortable beds with us. Basically, you'll want something beneath that isolates you from the water and cold of the soil, and something on top of you to warm you up. Creativity has no limits here. Everything that does the job works. A camping mat is made for exactly that purpose, but you could also use an airbed or some layers of water-proof foil. On top of you you could use one or two thin blankets or a sleeping bag.


Obviously you want to eat as well once in a while, so that you come to your daily goal of roughly 10000 kJ. I recommend taking meals along that are rich in nutrients, easy to transport, and easy to prepare. You can't haul a half pig through the forest, your body won't be happy if you feed it sawdust, and you won't want to sit there cooking for 10 hours a day. There's plenty of information for this single topic, so it won't be covered here just yet.


The best would be water. It's as easy to carry as everything else and probably one of the most useful liquids with the least side effects. You need roughly between 2000 and 3000 ml per day, with tendencies to the lower or upper end, depending on your gender, age, physical condition, temperature, and some more. You should never eat snow or drink really cold water, when you are in a cold area. The coldness will deprive your body of its warmth, which means that you need even more nutrients to make up for it. You should also not drink hot liquids in hot areas, as they'll warm you up additionally, causing you to sweat, causing you to ironically lose water. The good thing is that water can be collected and distilled rather easily. Rivers and other moving masses of water should be preferred of course. Just to be sure, always check to proximity for hazardous objects in order to avoid poisoning yourself. Getting rid of dirty by sifting is highly recommended as well. Getting rid of diluted objects can be harder, though. If the pollution vaporises below 100°C, you can simply cook it. However, if it vaporises above 100°C, you'll need to collect all vapours that fume between 99°C and 101°C.

Medical supplies

Of course, you'll take along the medication that's essential for you, if you have an illness. Insuline injections for people suffering from diabetes, inhalers for people suffering from asthma, and so on. Considering to take along patches, bandages, clean or distilled water, pure ethanol, and others is worth it. In case of a more serious infection, or when unclean material comes in contact with an open wound, please consult a medical professional in order to rule out tetanus or gangrene. Getting vaccines for local sicknesses such as malaria.

Further information will follow the next days in another article!

--- Katie

[1] http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=91081&picture=zelt-camping
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