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Camping - equipment part 2

Now let's have a look at a few less important objects that you might find useful or convenient on a camping trip.


They are a very good alternative if you don't like using brute force for hours before giving up in desperation. All casual pocketknives will do the job if you're camping casually. You should be fine as long as they have a knife, a small saw, a screwdriver, and a beer cap opener. More sophisticated people might also look for a corkscrew, small scissors, and others, depending on what you need them for. Sometimes a pocketknife won't be enough, though. A real knife with a bigger and more resilient blade will allow you to cut tougher materials as well, such a wood or rubber. An actual saw will even enable you to cut down a tree, while the pocketknife-saw will give up as soon as a branch is a little bit too large. Something similar to a hammer will also be much more convenient than stepping or hitting on something recklessly.


A small fire in the evening can be something beautiful. It doesn't matter if you just want a romantic atmosphere, if you want to boast with your fire-lighting skills, or if you want to cook the deer that you have just slayn. First of all you'll want to get some security in place, because nobody wants to be responsible for a forest fire. A large bucket of water should be around all the time, just in case the fire spreads too far. The campfire itself should preferrably be limited by some larger stones or other non-flammable objects, so that dry objects have some safeguard from the flames. Containers filled with highly flammable liquids or gases should be stored adequately safe of course.

The campfire should be made in steps, going from small and easily-ignitable to large and long-lasting. The very foundation should consist of paper, tiny brances, dry moss, or special fire starters. Those should set average sized branches on fire rather quickly. Once those burn, it will take some minutes until you can add large pieces of wood. Those should burn for at least an hour and will suffice for most things. However, if necessary, you can still scale up. Just be careful that the fire doesn't get out of control.

Using gasoline or propane gas to start a fire is strongly discouraged. They burn explosively and possess enormous amounts of energy. Spilling some gasoline or accidentally releasing a little bit too much of gas are an unnecessary high risk that nobody should take. Given how dangerous, environmentally harmful, and maybe even illegal that can be: it's better to use a lighter and some paper.

Prior to making a fire, also inform yourself about any restrictions. It is possible that local governments prohibit open fires in certain areas to avoid littering or forest fires. During extended times without rain it can also occur that government prohibit any open flames as such, as the danger of forest fires is simply too high. You wouldn't want to be responsible for this.


While many people decide against electronics on camping trips, there might be some small things that can be helpful. At least taking a mobile phone along should be considered, as an emergency might arise and help is needed. Given there's a lack of jacks in forest, you might think about getting a battery back. Those are basically batteries with the right voltage and current to charge electrical devices via their USB-port or usual power supply. They're available for everything from mobile phones, over tablets, to certain notebooks. Flashlights are obviously also worth taking along.


Be sure to recycle trash. Imagine you go to a place and first have to get rid of the waste of the person that has been here before. Wouldn't be all too great, right? Even small things can be useful to you at some point. Why not keep that plastic bottle around in case you want to refill it with fresh drinking water? Even if you don't have a use for it, at least trash it properly. We needn't destroy nature more than we already did, right?

--- Katie

[1] http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/california-drought-wildfires-rage-across-parched-state-after-four-year-water-shortage-photos-1515536

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