A complete guide for your first camping trip – Part 1

A complete guide for your first camping trip – Part 1

I feel people backpack to fall in love with travelling: so they can setup camps and immerse in the uniqueness of the place that may not be a possibility if they were time-bound by a travel guide.

At The Gari Resort, our endeavour is to offer you an out and out camping experience.

Travelling is different for everybody, though. Nobody can tell you whether to do it or how to do it unless you choose to do it out of free will. It is not their place to tell you where to travel and why to travel or how to experience it. We are all self-confessed introverts on social media who don’t like to take part in social gatherings, or meet ‘new people’, but one thing this pandemic has taught us is that not to take any of that for granted. How we turned them down to appear cool when the opportunities presented themselves only to miss seeing people we thought we’d go meeting without. Going out was indeed a privilege which not many people can afford right now.

Although there are adventure resorts that offer planned camping facilities to couples, families and even corporate day outing, some people just venture out to embrace the uncertainties and with a purpose to learn the place, to know its history, culture, people, cuisine, weather, and alcohol. They believe in enriching their experience through camp set-ups and rental tents for exploring the side of the town or city that one might not find otherwise or if they took with a package deal.

It becomes easier as you continue to travel frequently without assistance. With each travel you come closer to yourself. The sun hits different everywhere. While it improves our social skills, it also takes us on a path to become the best version of ourselves because the more we see the more we experience and the more we challenge our own understanding of the world to learn about things that matter and the things that don’t. After going through challenging situations, we value time more. We take interest in different languages besides our own. Respect for other cultures grows deeper. We learn that everything is temporary. What we feel today may be the best feeling but tomorrow tells a different story and the definition of the term Best always punches up with experience.

There are too many ways you can shape your travelling experience. Either book an adventure resort and sit in your room, admiring the food or just wing it by staying in a hostel sharing a meal with locals while hitchhiking across the city, talking to people who don’t know your language. Both options have their mertis, flaws, do’s and don’ts. Let’s discuss hitchhiking.

Plan to visit some beautiful places and breathtaking locations atop mountains on foot and set-up camps along the way. What’s even more adventurous is when you have to stay the night or two inside a tent to experience the badlands, listening to exquisite birds amid the endless bark of green trees and trickling of the creek in a distance, or rustling of leaves above you while the musky fragrance of red mud wet with the rain drops infiltrating all your sensories to make them come alive.

Hence, camping is more exciting in practice than it is in theory. You get to take matters into your hands unlike your regular travel where your bed is already made up by someone and breakfast is laid out from the moment you open your eyes in the morning. That’s why, it is necessary to keep yourself informed about how camping works and what to do when you find yourself in one even if it’s a day out or a weekend getaway.

There are some things to remember before going on a camping tour.

Be prepared:

It simply means, make a list of things you’d need on your trip. We may get overwhelmed with the anticipation sometimes – to the point where we may forget to carry stuff we might need while camping. There will be a lot of firsts during your first trip. In other words, no phone reception, no WiFi, sleeping in the wild, facing extreme weather conditions, and witnessing exotic animals. So, it is important to expect the best but be prepared for worst.

  • Tents
  • Sleeping Bags
  • First-aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Pillow
  • Bin Bags

You don’t necessarily have to buy them for your first trip just you can borrow them or rent them since your future trips will depend on how your first trip was so don’t end up spending too much on the gear.

Having said that, you might require cooking tools like a pan, water bottle, spoons, knives, cutters, and spatula. Along with these, you will need enough food supplies, a yoga mat, to survive the camping trip and to carry that weight, your body must be actively involved in physical activities. So, put on your dancing shoes and start running, lifting weights, and working out at least a month before the trip. Trust me, it will help in ways you’d not imagine.

Don’t be afraid.

If you have fixed upon living outdoors, it means you have gone past all the other seemingly safer options of stay and finally decided to try camping. And just like attempting anything new, the thought of not doing everything by the book might seem a little scary at first but as you start contemplating the experience through landscapes and riverside campfires, you will begin to get relieved of a lot of worries and stress. Camping is best when experienced than documented. So, don’t stress over things you read on the internet about camping. Unless you experience it on your own, researching too much about it will be the death of excitement. Every camping site is different. Stress takes away the fun.

There will be times during your travel when you will feel like a hermit and start missing the joyous comfort of your beds and having to take care of your businesses in a safe space. Trust me, that will be short-lived because clocks cannot rewind, they only move forward. At the end of the trip, you will have empty cans and containers filled with the sunshine that tore through the trees and touched the ground, and memories of the sweet sounding birds singing atop the thick frond of palm trees. So, every time you see those jars you will reminisce your time out in the wild in the middle of the eerie habitat of green and brown leaves.

Form new connections.

A lot of us love what we do. Our lives are so driven by our jobs and social circles that any change in the curriculum results in ennui or boredom. Take the pandemic for example. We were made to work from home (some still are) at least till the number of Covid cases see a downward trend. There has been no consolation so far.

The government insisted people to avoid stepping out of the house unless absolutely necessary which made a lot of social animals (including me) nervous and anxious just thinking about what the future looked like if we are not allowed to go out and have a one on one conversation with our friends or meet new people.

Camping is a collective experience. It puts you through challenges that extend our understanding as individuals. Making decisions could be draining especially when you are new to camping. Forming new connections which travelling often brings not just helps us socialise better but improves our decision making skills. A chance to reform ourselves not only in terms of accepting the vibe of the place but to connect with a place’s pulse by accepting how different it is from our own.

Diversity is a sign of growth. It opens our mind to different faiths and endless possibilities. It means people with different cultural backgrounds coexist in harmony. Our understanding about the world changes and grows by learning that some realities are different than ours. There are some interesting stories out there that need our attention so it can change our lives. So we can come back home to some unforgettable memories and stories to tell people close to us hoping it would contribute to their lives in some way or the other.