Camping: The Essentials

Camping, like other activities, has a small learning curve. If we aren't used to being without certain conveniences, we might find ourselves stumped over an ordinarily simple task. Here are a few of the essentials of camping to help you along.

How do I make good coffee without my coffee pot?

When you open your eyes to the perfect sunrise and breathe in the fresh, morning air, nothing is better than a good cup of coffee. But there are no outlets, oh no! Here's what you do:

1. Pick up a stainless-steel percolator off Amazon before your trip

2. Once you have a nice fire going, grab a sturdy stick and rake a small bed of coals just slightly larger than the base of your coffee pot

3. Place your coffee pot on the coals

4. Sit back, smell the brew and listen to the sound of coffee percalating

5. Check out this How-To Video for detailed instructions on preparing coffee for a percolator

How do I go to the bathroom?

Going to the bathroom can be tricky. Gents, we all know how easy standing up is so let's just talk about the rest of the... ahem... matter.

1. Find a good sized tree (big enough to hide behind if you happen to be with a group) at least 20-30 yards from the campsite.

2. Determine where two roots split at the base and dig a hole between them with a stick.

3. Straddle the hole and lean back against the tree and do your bi'ness.

4. If you didn't bring TP (like you should have), find the largest green leaves to use (make sure they aren't poison ivy or poison oak!)

5. Refill the hole with the dirt/mulch that you dug up.

How do I charge my cell phone?

You don't. Let it die. That's kind of the point, remember?
...but if you absolutely must Instagram your flap jacks, try one of these.

What do I do once it gets dark?

Night time on a camp out is when the fun begins. Everyone huddles up close to the fire as shadows dance on the trees surrounding you. What you choose to do partially depends on the company. Campfires tend to bring people closer together and put them at ease. Have fun, get to know each other, swap stories, play games - the possibilities are endless. Here are a few ideas:

  • Ghost Stories
  • Card Games
  • Reminisce
  • Night-time dip in the lake (be careful!)
  • Star Gazing
  • Story Swapping
  • Truth or Dare
  • 20 Questions
  • S'mores & Hot Chocolate
  • Ponder your life

How do I not freeze at night?

The biggest mistake people make is going to sleep in the clothes they wore all day. The moisture from your skin and from the activities of the day will freeze making it nearly impossible to get warm. You'll want to pack an extra change of long-johns or a onesie or sweats. Strip off your clothes and slip into something dry. Be sure to wear a fresh pair of socks to bed (a beanie is optional). Another little trick is to boil some water in your percolator that you brought for coffee, pour it into your water bottle and slide it down to the end of your sleeping bag to help keep your feet toasty as your drifting off to sleep.