Monthly Archives: February 2016

How To Plan Meals for A Camp Trip

How To Plan Meals for A Camp Trip

Camping is a lot of fun for many people, who love to travel and have a good time. However, there are certain considerations that you have to keep in mind when going for camping. Usually, for a majority of people, the most important consideration is to ensure that they have sufficient, good food to sustain themselves during the camp. You need to ensure that the food can be cooked, or is available at the camping site, especially if you are going out with kids or family. Without adequate food, your trip will not be really interesting or pleasurable. Here’s how you can plan and ensure the availability of sufficient and good food for the trip:

Consult Others: While planning your camping food recipes, you first of all need to find out how many meals you would require. You may even ask for the opinions of other camping members or participants as to what type of foods they would prefer.

Storage Space: If there is a lot of space available to carry things with you, you have the alternative of bringing a couple of additional meals. This helps in case some food is ruined or spoiled, or if the participants choose to eat a bit more.

Food Options: Snacks and beverages are the most common options added in the food list. The main part of the food for camping trip can be any kind of protein-rich foodstuff, like beans, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, etc. You may also consider potatoes, bread rolls, cooked ears of corn, or even rice. Salad or green canned vegetables are a good option to be included in camping lunches and dinners. However, the kind of camping foodstuff, that you would think of taking along, will very much depend upon the sort of camping you will be doing.

Camping Style: If you are considering a backpacking camping style, the meal options may be very limited, such as dehydrated food. On the other hand, in a recreational, vehicle camping or cabin camping style, you have many options regarding the food that you can carry, as you would have space as well as the basic amenities of a home. However, it is very crucial to devise the camping food ideas well in advance, even though you may be located in a resort camping site, and may have a refrigerator, oven, and cooking stove. You should keep in mind that the cost of food at resorts can be really expensive.

Equipment To Carry: Food for camping can be as simple or as fancy as you desire. You may blend both types by cooking simple lunches or dinners, and making it elegant by following it up with wine in real wine glasses. You will have to be extra careful when it comes to packing those glasses for the trip though. Carrying a simple cooking stove can help you in coming up with varieties of good meals for camping trips. You can cook nearly any type of breakfast, lunch, or dinner food item, simply using a pot, a pan, and a stove. Moreover, foods in foil packets, prepared on a grill, are largely preferred as camping foods, and do not need any camping cookware. All you require is good quality aluminum foil, to form a sealed cooking package for vegetables and other foods.

Use Leftovers: You should not forget that dinner leftovers can be utilized to cook great brunches. For instance, the leftover corn scraped from the cob, and baked potatoes cut into pieces can be turned into a delicious hot meal, when mixed with scrambled eggs in a big frying pan. You may use some amount of bacon grease for frying, and also include any leftover pieces of bacon.

These were just a few tips to be adhered to while preparing for camping trips. In order to have a good camping experience, the above steps will come in handy to determine how many meals you would need, and what you can or cannot carry along.

What to Pack for Backpacking Trips

What to Pack for Backpacking Trips

Packing on a Budget

If you are planning a long backpacking trip in Europe, South America, or elsewhere, you have probably started to think about what to pack. Usually, backpacking trips involve a lot of travel by bus, train, or even hitchhiking, and getting from one place to another can often mean getting as close as possible and then walking the rest of the way. The reason for this is that backpackers are traveling on a budget and usually don’t want to rent a car or hire a taxi to take them everywhere they need to go. Traveling on a budget means packing light, and when preparing for a backpacking trip this can be one of the most challenging tasks.

Half the Clothes, Twice the Money

A handy rule of thumb for all types of travel is to bring half as many clothes as you think you need and twice as much money as you think you need. Unless you have a natural talent for packing light and being thrifty, it is probably a good idea to follow this advice. For almost all backpackers, from beginners to seasoned veterans, money is the first thing that runs out and excess clothing ends up being a burden. You can wash clothes on the road, whether in laundry facilities, bathroom sinks, or a local (clean) creek, but it’s much more difficult to come by extra money in a pinch.

Empty Space

Once you’ve cut the clothes you plan to pack in half, you will probably notice that you have a little bit of extra room in your backpack. Although it might be tempting to fill your pack to the gills before you leave for your trip, consider leaving a little bit of empty space. There are two reasons that this is a good idea. First, as you travel, you are likely to pick up a few new things. Even if you are not the sort of person who collects souvenirs, you may be given gifts by fellow travelers, you may acquire new books to read on the road, and you may realize that you’ve forgotten to pack something crucial and choose to acquire it as you go. If you find that you already have enough space in your backpack for these new acquisitions, you will thank yourself.

Packing in a Hurry

The second reason to leave a little extra room in your pack is that, on the road, you often don’t have time or energy to keep unpacking and repacking in the most efficient possible way. If you’re like most people, you’ve probably tried several different packing configurations already, just out of excitement for your trip. Although it’s good to work packing strategies out in advance, there will surely be some days when you just want to throw everything in the pack haphazardly and hit the road. Having a little bit of extra space in your backpack will give you the flexibility to repack in a hurry if you need to.

Odds and Ends

Every seasoned traveler has a certain number of things they think are indispensable for backpacking trips. The only way to discover what your unique must-have items are is to travel yourself and find out what you keep needing or wanting over and over again. If you are new to backpacking, you will probably hear some packing suggestions that don’t make any sense at all to you. It’s okay if you don’t see why 30 rubber bands could come in handy on the road, but don’t shun all these suggestions automatically. Consider packing some things you wouldn’t have thought of on your own, and you may be surprised at what you end up using. If you don’t find a use for them, you can always get rid of them later.

In addition to lots of rubber bands (useful for everything!), here are some suggestions for useful, multi-purpose items that you can pack without wasting too much space: plastic bags of various sizes, a padlock (this is a must if you plan to stay in hostels), a deck of playing cards, a sewing kit, a knife, a travel towel, a small flashlight, and a small pad of notepaper. Other backpacking and travel websites can be consulted for more comprehensive lists of suggestions, but with these items in your pack, there is not much you won’t be able to handle!

Winter Backpacking Checklist

Winter Backpacking Checklist

Winter truly is one of the most beautiful seasons for trekking. You don’t sweat much and nor is it very wet. There are, however, a few crucial things you need to remember. As it is going to be extremely cold, you need to carry the right type and amount of clothes. You will need one inner, thermal layer of clothing, through which you can get insulation. Above that, a lightweight layer of clothes will be required, which will regulate body temperature. Lack of water can lead to dehydration, which can further lead to drop in body temperature. So, drink lots of it. Make sure that your shoe laces or gloves are not too tight; they can constrict blood flow.

Checklist

Waterproof/breathable jacket and pants
Insulated parka
Wool clothing
Fleece clothing
Synthetic hiking pants
Base thermal layer
Warm coat (down or polyester filled)
Mittens or gloves (preferably wool)
Socks with extra set
Insulated waterproof hiking boots or gaiters (depending on type of backpacking)
Sleeping bag
Sleeping bag liner
Air pump
Pillow
80-liter backpack
Flashlight
Extra batteries
Knife or multi-tool
Snow shovel
Balaclava
Water filter or iodine drops/tablets
First aid kit
Repair kit
Utility bags
Insect repellent
Toilet paper
Camera
Lighter and waterproof matches
Tent (only after asking a professional; varies according to needs)
Bivy sack (alternative to a tent, specially if there isn’t much snow)
Trekking poles
Rope (for clothesline or bear bagging)
Whistle
Toiletries (razor, toothbrush, etc.)
Sunscreen (SPF 15+)
Spoon, bowl, mug
Cooking pots

Additional Tips

☑ Backpacking during winter means having shorter days to travel as much as you can. This means, you have to make the most out of sunlight time.

☑ The snow is just as unpredictable as the rain. Always inform a couple of people about your route. Don’t forget to carry extra energy bars.

☑ Cold temperatures are said to decrease battery life. Always keep your batteries inside warm clothes, when not in use.

☑ Carry foods that have proteins, fats, and carbohydrates; they all provide energy.

☑ Symptoms such as continuous shivering, a slurred speech, or lethargy might indicate hypothermia. Stay warm throughout your trip as a precautionary measure.

☑ If you’re traveling to great heights, make a camp base at mid-level, acclimatize to a height for sometime, and then climb higher.

☑ A frostbite can also affect your nose and face. Remember to keep these areas warm as well. Using a balaclava throughout the trip can help.

With this checklist and these tips, your winter backpacking trip will be smooth. Also, always remember to take a paper map; don’t rely on network while visiting secluded destinations.

Ultralight Backpacking Tips

Ultralight Backpacking Tips

Traditional backpacking is no more the norm in the trekking world. As such, there is no hard and fast rule as to what constitutes an ultralight backpacking. As a thumb rule, it is generally considered that ultralight backpack weighs between 5 – 10 pounds. You can lessen or increase couple of pounds as there is no rule book that states ultralight backpacking is strictly less than 10 pounds. Nevertheless, we will continue our discussion further by considering ultralight weight in the range five to ten pounds.

Ultralight Backpacking Tips and Tricks

It’s All in the Mind…
We’re accustomed to filling our bags with lots of unnecessary stuff. To become an ultralight backpacker, you have to get rid of the mentality of packing anything and everything you get! Yes, free your mind! Let it be free, lightweight. What do you experience if all thoughts are just washed away? Relaxation and calmness! Isn’t it? So, the same you have to do while backpacking. Challenge your traditional thinking. You just have to carry the necessary stuff, that is multipurpose and things that you absolutely cannot do without.

It’s All for the Body
Now when you carry light weight, it’s easy on your body too. You tire less, there is less injury to back, ankles or knees, and you can cover more distance. This is all good on the body. When you are carrying less weight, you feel less stressed and hence, you can actually enjoy the trip instead of feeling exhausted. If you are hiking with children, the less weight is an added advantage. You are free to handle children with ease.

What All to Carry
The best way for ultralight backpacking is to carry all the required things but in a light-weight form. This way you will have all that you need without having to worry about the weight. Another important tip is to remember that you have to carry the absolute essentials. Don’t carry stuffs like books, heavy hiking tools, camp shoes, etc., that you can do without. A good way to lessen your weight is to not carry things in duplicate. People tend to carry extra clothes, towels, etc., that really adds up to the total weight. Packing small tubes of sunscreen, toothpaste and other toiletries also helps in reducing the overall weight. Don’t forget to take into account these ultra backpacking tips.

There are some essentials that you would need – your backpack, a sleep system and a shelter. Here you can carry the light weight yet durable versions.
The light weight pack that can carry all your stuff is a preferable option. Go for such sleep systems that have lesser zips, ground pad weight and no hood.
Carry a down vest along to keep you warm. In case of shelters as well, you can pick up the ones that are made of light fabric. Though these require more care while handling or pitching and may not give you bug protection yet are light on your back.
You can also reduce weight by carrying lighter rain jacket or camping shoes. Other things like small LED light instead of a heavy flash light, smaller stoves or maybe stove and cook pots, water treatment tablets instead of water filters, are some of the other ways in which you can achieve your goal of ultralight backpacking.
You can make a checklist as well, to make sure that you do not miss out any of the essentials in the name of packing light. As to what should be on this ultralight backpacking checklist will depend upon the place you are going and the duration of the trip. So, a weekend trip would naturally require lesser things to be carried.

In the end, I would like to tell you that carrying less weight doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on your safety; that always comes first. Keeping that in mind, you can trade all the unnecessary stuffs for the bare essentials and enjoy your trip without stress. Happy journey.