Camping 101. Transitioning from backpacker to camper.
If the year of 2020 has taught us anything is to embrace the fact of how unpredictable life could be. No matter what you have planned, life can take an unexpected turn and change your route drastically.
As every travel addict I had my entire year planned and even booked. How else can you travel while holding the 9 to 5 full time job? While I am not brave enough to join the team of those who left everything behind to be a true nomad, I am still considering myself a frequent traveller. Or so I was before the global pandemic.
In order to adjust to the new sort of normal I decided to take advantage of a less popular style of exploring, camping. To follow the trend of road tripping in the USA I am adding the “tenting” to my bucket list.
While I’ve done numerous road trips in America, I haven’t experienced much of a camping side of it.
How do you switch from an International traveling to camping? How to shift from flying to driving? It is quite a transition and here is what I’ve learned as a newbie.
1. invest into quality gear
While the Teardrop trailer is on the dream list due to its price, you can still camp like a pro with a good tent. I decided not to go over the $300 range. Discounts and deals on sport goods can get you a great deal. I shopped at REI and was debating in between Nemo and Marmot. Both seem great for the price. After testing out the Nemo I am satisfied with the choice made.
2. Look for alternatives to the popular destinations
Who doesn’t want to spend time in Yosemite on the 4th of July? If the goal is to avoid the crowds, head to Sequoia, Mammoth lakes, Kings Canyon, Redwood instead. Also, try to get to your destination mid week. Weekends are the busiest time even in the normal B.C. (before Coronavirus) times.
3. utilize all your backpacking gear
No need to spend the cash on the new items if you can “recycle” something you already have. I get it, the perfect carryon backpack is not your first choice for camping, but instead of cashing out nearly $200, save it for the next trip abroad.
All toiletries, packing cubes, shoe bags, packable jackets, headlamp, all will be handy for the tenting as well. Bottomline, use the easygoing approach and accept a less perfect item to avoid unnecessary purchase. Unless, of course, pandemic treated you well financially and you feel like splurging.
4. create camping / tenting list
You can wake me up in the middle of the night and I will still be able to quickly put together stuff for backpacking through Asia. Because I’ve done it and I have an experience. Trying doing the same for camping and I will fail miserably. I suggest for all newbies as myself to create a packing list. Get organized and use the list until it becomes a second nature.
5.add the gadgets. It’s a modern camping!
How does watching a movie under the stars sound like? Like a perfect romantic trip! Order the phone or tablet holder to enjoy the movie while sitting in the tent. There are a variety of choices, but I like this one: 12” Phone Screen Magnifier Cell Phone 5D HD Anti-Blue Light Amplifier Screen Enlarger for Movies.
Was it an easy transition from a frequent International traveling to camping in the USA? Absolutely no. Moreover, my strong desire to explore other countries will never go away! However, I refuse to cry over the loss of traveling and open my arms wide to embrace a new way of seeing the world. The United States as a wonderful country I love with all my heart and I am happy to live and travel here. Plenty of states, parks, nature preserves to visit. I am finally able to check off the bucket list of fantastic destinations such as Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier park, Grand Teton and an endless list of cute small towns in Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, California, Arizona. I am sure, by the end of 2020 this list will be impressively long.
Can’t you agree that camping in your “backyard” is so much better than mooring over the closed borders? I wish you all to hit the road and discover for yourself a new way of traveling at least until the World keeps hitting the pause.