I've been DYING to camp out since... man, as long as I can remember?
I imagine I'd set up the tent with my friends together, set up whatever fire we needed together, walk/ hike around a little bit, bask under the sun, drink and talk by the river, you know the things you see so much on TV about camping and stuff. It looked so awesome to me. I mean it's not that I never did it, I was a scout, but never really put everything to practice.
Whenever I set on wanting to do the things that I want (especially when it comes to any little or big adventures out there), I would find all my ways to do it, with or without anyone to join me. I know it sounds dangerous and sometimes selfish... but *I think* I'm old enough to know what I want and I also know I have to be responsible for the decisions that I made.
So back to camping, last weekend, while I was looking for some Swiss Army Knives, I was talking to Morris about camping and our enthusiasm on camping shot up sky high! So that weekend I was determined. I told my brother that I want to learn how to set up a tent, I want to learn how to set up the fire, I want to learn how to sleep in the tent, I want to learn how to "make a toilet", I want to learn to do anything he's willing to teach me!
And my brother took the mandate seriously. Shook my hand on it, and told me to wake up early the next day.
The moment there was a bit of sun brushing me that Saturday morning, I immediately jumped from my bed and took the tent and all its equipment from my car and laid it out on the grass like a dog biting its toy waiting for it's master to play with it. I was SO STOKED.
My brother opened up the parts and started showing me all the necessary parts, explained to me where the camp should be situated at, what should come first, what should come second, I was looking at him and listening to him so diligently, taking mental notes to whatever he said word by word. I was so fascinated by his advises.
OK, I know I didn't "really" camp at the "woods" but it was an equally new experience to me as anything as the actual thing. So I'll lay down to you the little "tips" that I remembered from my Backyard Camping including the things that I figured would be good to share.
#1 - Get a good tent (preferably a simple set up).
For obvious reasons. Most of us have this fascinating idea of camping out in the wild but we often forget in getting a good one for ourselves. In fact, some of us still don't have even have tents, like I was a couple of months ago. I simply never thought of "camping" as an idea of a weekend activity. Now that I do, I'm so fascinated by the whole thing and I go by all these outdoorsy equipment that I feel like doing outdoorsy stuff every weekend.
I got mine from Giant City Mall for about RM 40. I HAD NO IDEA how to work up a tent before this, but I knew I needed it. So I skimmed through all the tents, I was looking for one that is affordable, good material (Nylon) coloured (I'm still a lady :P) and preferably enough for two. The idea of having a lot of people inside the tent sounds fun, but I was thinking since I've never done it, I should get used to the idea of sleeping inside the tent first.
#2 things to Bring (IMPORTANT, seriously)
I didn't really took a photo of what exactly I brought out for my backyard camping because.... the house door was probably like 2 metres away and I took that particular information for granted. But don't worry, I kind of remembered what my brother told me what to bring.
- Hiking Shoes
- Sneakers (if you can't afford hiking shoes)
- Swiss Army Knife (hehehehehe I want one of these)
- MATCHES / Lighter
- Cover yourself up in long pants and long shirts at night. I guess it's okay during the day, but to avoid having animals getting into WHEREVER entries there are possible at night while you'r dozing off, you need to cover up. Besides animals entering anywhere, it also slows down any possible injuries, caused by animals or whatever there are out there, and to avoid mosquitoes nibbling you (and Malaria).
- Maybe Mosquito Repellent
- Drinking Waters
- Some utensils for drinking and eating
- Torchlight / Headlight
- Bring all the necessary and you'd be okay.
For the Group
- TRASH BAG if you plan to trash the place, forget about camping. You're in it for the wrong reason.
- Food (wholemeal bread/ junkies/ canned food [they're the easiest to heat up with the fire])
- Portable radio/ speaker! People often take entertainment for granted. It would be good to have a bit of a background music to your surrounding, but if natural is a way to go, then by all means! No harm bringing everything! :)
For the Tent
- Sleeping Bag
- Blankets / cover ups / bedrunner
- Blow up pillows or whatever neck rests
#3 Open field, open field
This was relatively new to me, eventhough this is a pretty obvious understanding, but you should set up your tents preferably in an open field meaning better with no trees or branches jutting down. There was a tree right next to where I set up my tent the other day so............. THAT WAS NOT ADVISABLE.
#4 Set up your tent(s) during the day
"Let's do it early in the morning so that we can see things clearly". "What things do we need to see clearly?" "Urm, EVERYTHING *raises eyebrows*". My brother's words were bible because he has done this so many times that was involving Mercy Malaysia; so when he told me to set it up in the morning so that we "can see everything clearly", I knew it was not only logical but obviously the smarter reason.
"Make" your toilet somewhere of course further from everyone else, but also, best where when you'd have to run, you already know en route to the tents. And by making it, it means dig a hole.
#6 Start a fire
Fire is not EXACTLY a necessity when it comes to camping. But it is excellent acting as a light, a heater and even so as to scare animals away. In some woods, animals are easily threatened by the fire and will move away upon seeing one. Remember about bringing canned food / food to camping I mentioned earlier. Yeah, you can basically tie up the canned food or even whatever caught of the day was o.O, and heat it up with the fire. And supposed it gets cold, fire will be perfect.
My brother used candles to warm the logs up and eventually burn them up. You can just use matches or lighter either way as well. If there was one good tip my brother told me (which was relatively new to me as well) was, always pick up logs that are only on the ground. Do not pull any from the trees. Inviting, and dangerous.
And the most important thing of all, eliminate fire / all kinds of smoke before you sleep. You don't want to burn yourself........
Okay that's it. I think I covered most areas, and dragged my sister along. We went into my tent at about 10pm, was busy mesagging when suddenly brother popped out of nowhere telling me he's going to confiscate our phones because "THERE ARE NO LINES IN THE WILD". Whoosh, my brother was so serious. Mum was so worried for my backyard camping attempt, she kept asking me whether I was okay -______________- The door was less than 10 steps, I can even see her room lights -____________-".
MAN IT WAS SO MUCH FUN.
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.