Ten on Tuesday
Ten Things to Take on a Camping Trip
Let me preface this list by saying that I don't find camping per se all that attractive. I enjoy the wonders of nature as much as the next person, but after a full day of great outdoors I would like to sleep in an actual bed under an actual solid leak-free roof, preferably with modern plumbing immediately available, by which I mean that I don't need to get fully dressed and leave shelter in order to use it. Call me a hothouse flower if you must. I'd make an exception if I had nowhere else to sleep, due to lack of either decent hostelry or funds. In the former case the scenery had better be drop-dead, and in the latter case I'd better have a really good reason to be there. My list presumes that I am miles from nowhere and must be prepared for anything.
- Tent, extremely waterproof, with fly and ground sheet ditto.
- Sleeping bag rated to 40 below. You understand that there's no way I'm going camping between September and May. Still, see above, prepared for anything.
- Camp stove and lantern(s) with plenty of fuel. All of my water will be thoroughly boiled. Scenery that doesn't include a body of fresh water by definition fails the drop-dead test.
- Heavy-duty pot with lid ditto. See above, thoroughly boiled.
- Food. In this category I'm not too picky; I can subsist for at least a week on beef jerky and cold cereal. Since I haven't fished in 30 years and have never shot a gun, I'm taking the minimum necessary foodstuffs with me.
- Bug spray and sunscreen. See above, if I insist on summer I'll have to be prepared for the standard hazards.
- Long underwear, several sets, preferably merino wool, and socks ditto. Since I brought the sunscreen I'm guaranteed at least one cold, damp day.
- First-aid kit.
- Knife and hatchet for campfire construction. Scenery that doesn't include trees by definition fails the drop-dead test.
- Camping companion(s). You didn't think I was going to carry all this by myself, did you?