So, you wanna _________?

So, you wanna go camping and you aren’t sure where to begin.  theDIHEDRAL is here to help.  Camping is a relatively inexpensive way to achieve novel experiences in novel places.  While camping can be cheaper than staying in hotels and Airbnb’s there are some upfront costs you’ll have to endure.  There are also some creature comforts you’ll have to forsake.  The good news is that as you gain experience, the costs will decrease, and a new standard of comfort will be achieved. 

My first bit of advice would be to say “yes” if someone invites you on a camping trip.  If that happens, there is a good chance that you can just borrow their gear and see if it’s something that you enjoy without having to make that initial investment.

If you are planning on just jumping in and hoping for the best, then here are a few things to consider.

Time of year.

The time of year can make all the difference in the world.  Sweltering in a tent during the height of summer will have you running for the comfort of an air-conditioned hotel room, never to return to the world of camping ever again.  Likewise, freezing your butt off can have the same effect.  An underrated point to consider is mosquito season.  If there are too many mosquitos, then what starts off as a voyage of connection can quickly turn into a miserable and unwanted torturous pile of hell.  Camp at a time when the stars align, the weather is nice, the mossy’s are chill, and the stoke is high!

The Crew.

This one is simple.  Camp with people who don’t complain!  When camping, one should expect that things won’t always go according to plan.  Sometimes it rains, sometimes you fall asleep on a nest of fire ants, sometimes you accidentally set your shoes on fire, sometimes you get poison ivy, sometimes you run out of gas, sometimes you lock your keys in the car.  Do you know what never makes these things better? That one person who complains the entire time.  That person is the worst, and they make everything horrible. Even if that person is your best friend and you really want them around, it just isn’t worth it.  The “worst” experiences I’ve ever had while camping always turn out to make the best memories! Camp with people who understand that.

The Location.

Now that you have the crew and the date picked out, it’s time to find a destination.  My advice on this is to be in nature.  KOA, Yogi Bear, and similar fast food style chain campgrounds can serve a purpose, but these places kind of just amount to sleeping on the ground.  This is your chance to immerse yourself in the beauty of the outdoors.  Look at the stars, breathe in the fresh air, listen to the symphony of the birds, crickets, and toads.  Driving two hours further for the right spot will be worth the trip, don’t settle for mediocre when you can have splendor.

Food.

Treat yourself.  There is something about eating delicious food when out in the wilderness.  It feels like two worlds that were never meant to interact have a chance to collide in the most magnificent ways.  With a little meal prep and a little planning, you can be enjoying 5-star cuisine in the most spectacular restaurant on the planet. So go ahead and buy that port cheese, and pack that pesto (precook the noodles) because tonight you will be dining with the gods!

Gear

Depending on where you’re going, my guess is that you’ll need a tent or hammock for sleeping.  A sleeping bag is strongly recommended, as well as a sleeping pad.  A pillow can make a big difference as well, so if you have the room, it will be worth it.  If not, you can always sleep on whatever your clothes are packed in.  You’ll need a cooler for your food, and lots of water.  I was able to price all these things out on Amazon for less than $125 (total).  Cheaper than a night in most hotels!  Now depending on where and when you’ll be camping the gear could be more important and thus more money, but for just the basics $125 can get you going!

Sooooo…if you wanna go camping, just stick to these basics and you should be able to not only get through, but also enjoy a few nights out in nature either solo or with the crew.  If you have any questions or want some specifics, I am here for you.  Just write or comment below, and I’ll do whatever I can to help!

Happy Camping!

Carrot

33 Replies to “So, you wanna _________?”

  1. Most important: Clean up after yourself. In 2020, when people discovered “social distancing” campsites — at least in Colorado — were full of TONS of stuff people left behind. Rangers and BLM guys were hauling that stuff out on Bobcats, the machine, not the cat.

    Personally, I don’t think anyone should go camping at all, ever, until they understand that it is a very high privilege and the price is responsibility toward the ONE being that will love us no matter what (in her own weird way). Nature isn’t a commodity.

    The best camping companion I ever had was my Chinese brother. I realized anyone from a 3rd world country (it was 1984) is probably pretty adaptable, knows how to boil drinking water (though we didn’t), can cook over a small stove and is happy to have any kind of mattress. 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Martha, you are 100% right, nature isn’t and can’t be some personal dumping ground. Packing in your waste seems so obvious. When I’m reminded that not everyone seems to understand that the world isn’t their personal maid/butler it’s really shocking. Seeing videos of people knocking over boulders, or marking trees, and rocks with the name of their love interest and favorite band is just a sad reminder that outdoor etiquette isn’t an inherent and obvious trait.

      So on that note, maybe the KOA’s and Yogi Bear parks serve a bigger purpose than I originally thought.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I want people to stay in camp grounds with amenities up the whazoo. I learned a lot one year on a mountain behind Mt. Palomar. The X and I had a VW camper van. We got to the ranger station and, it being California, there were nine million rules for campers. The ranger loved our “rig” because of its small size and high clearance. “You go right ahead,” he said, “You won’t be tearing up anything. Just be sure to clean out your waste.” We spent two nights in a spectacular spot, watching the dome of the Hale Telescope open and close across the valley. We were visited by some cows. Heard coyotes, owls and hawks; watched the stars, left behind a place exactly as we found it. Better than tent camping, but, of course, you’re not backpacking in a VW camper van, otherwise it was a pretty pristine experience. Out here we always tried to bed down on rocks and hang our bear kit far away between two trees. With modern stoves, there’s no need for a camp fire unless you’re the Sons of the Pioneers or something… BUT people do it anyway.

        Recently some tourists “tagged” the natural arch here in the San Luis Valley. Public works and a high school class spent two days cleaning it off. It’s like people don’t realize how actually sacred some of these places are to people or that dumping not them or tagging them is desecrating a church.

        Sorry, I could go on all day 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That sounds like such a dream come true!!! I heard that they are bringing the VW Camper back in the next few years as an EV, but I am sure the price will be a little beyond the price point of what I could afford. How nice it would be to just pull up to a spot and not have to set up camp. I enjoy the flow of setting up camp, but there have been some cold or wet nights where it would be a stretch to call it enjoyable.

        Man’s desire to “conquer” nature is such an annoying aspect of humans. I would be all for early education on harmonious living, however I’m pretty sure people like DeSantis would use it as a way to vilify nature and we would be worse off than we are now…okay, now I need to stop or I’d go on all day as well!

        Like

      3. Well one good thing about an EV VW camper is you won’t be sleeping over the engine with the smell of gasoline. 😀 That said, I’d still like to have one… What man doesn’t get about ‘conquering’ nature is that it is suicide because — who knew? — We’re nature. OK, I’ll stop too…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I grew up with parents who loved to camp. I am grateful for those early experiences. It seems too many kids don’t have that, these days.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Inspiring post. I liked the words about camping “is inexpensive way to achieve novel experiences in novel places” really true!

    I enjoy camping in Mexico natural reserves, I’m from Mexico City. It gives a special peaceful and infinity enjoy of the nature.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I am going to be headed to Mexico City for a visit early next year. It’s such a great looking city, I can’t wait to to visit!

      Like

      1. It is! You need to stay over there to feel why it is a unique city. Tons of beauties in terms of history, architecture and nature!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Very informative, camping is something very adventurous i believe and somehow I got courage to do it. I found your article while reading of camping stories of the bloggers. It was a great time to read your blog. That’s for sharing. Happy camping dude.

    Liked by 1 person

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