I have camped a lot in my life. Recently life got in the way, and I’ve not been able to do that much. With last year’s purchase of a Toyota 4-wheel drive pickup truck, it is time to start anew. It will take several steps to ensure comfort and success of future camping trips. I’m going to start with reviewing and/or revising my camping list, doing an inventory of the camping equipment I have left as I’ve given much of it away to my children. I am then going to begin the process of rebuilding the supplies and gear and doing some test runs to ensure I have the gear I need to make this an ongoing pleasant activity.

I’m a big checklist user and so I do have a camping checklist that I will attach to this. In looking through it I see that a lot of it has to do with taking kids along. Since both of mine have grown up, I need to rethink it from a minimalist perspective to determine what I truly need to lighten the load and yet supply enough comfort for my old bones. Before you dig into your camping checklist there are three main categories to consider: food and water, shelter, and then activity and/or recreation. For each of these you need to decide where on the spectrum you find yourself between minimalism and luxury AKA glamping. I think that I, unfortunately, fall into the desire for glamping and the carrying capacity of a minimalist.

I pulled out the list and I’ve attached a photo of it here. As you can see, I pulled out all of my camping gear and checked it off to see what I still had. I crossed off those things that are routine items around the house like paper towels and batteries since this was just a review to see if I needed to purchase any items for the first camping trip. You can see from some of the notes that I have both ends of the camping experience covered with gear, both minimalist and glamping. On one extreme I have a tarp for shelter and a backpacking stove to heat water. On the more comfortable end of this spectrum, I have a Thermarest mattress, cot, sleeping bag, tent, Coleman stove and an actual fold out kitchen. When it comes to the actual camping trip, I can decide if I want to go heavier or go light. At least I know that I have all the equipment that I need to make that first trip. One thing that I found in going through this is I did give up much of my off-road vehicle equipment and that is something that I will need to acquire before going too far off the beaten path. But in the realm of car camping, I could go this weekend and have a great time, but I won’t as part of this journey is all about planning and anticipating.

That’s it for this time. I have a couple of to-dos as I need to acquire a method to inflate tires. Since it is winter here in California, the first trip will probably be to the desert, and it is always beneficial to air down your tires for comfort and traction. For safety it’s good to have a way to pump them up when you get back to the pavement. Next episode we’ll talk more about how to decide where to go, type of campground or camping experience that you’re looking for, and how to detail plan for the actual journey. I hope to see you out there

Rebooting the camping experience

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