This is going to be the most straight forward blogpost I’ve ever written. I’m just going to tell you why you should go camping and how to do it. I get this question a lot — people are interested in connecting with nature these days. I think that is extremely positive! But to many, the whole «into the wild» thing seems a bit scary, especially if you haven’t done it before. But trust me, once you get out there, you won’t regret it.
The benefits of wilderness camping
The idea is simple: You go into the woods or some other wilderness area and stay there at least until the day after. That’s all there is to it. But let me tell you this: If you haven’t been spending some nights out in the wild before, you’re in for a big, life-changing experience. I would say the biggest benefit from wilderness camping is the sense of freedom you get. Once you’ve proven that you can survive for a couple of days out in the wild, and you even had a good time doing it, you’ll immediately become less dependent on all the stuff the modern, so-called civilized society throws at you. You become self-reliant and that is something most people aren’t these days. You will feel strong, confident and you might find that you aren’t accepting any bullshit from anyone. Yes, the benefits of wilderness camping really are that profound. If you don’t believe me, try it and see.
How to start
Once you’ve decided that you want to go camping in the wild, the first thing you need to decide is if you’re going alone or with a friend or friends. I recommend going with one friend. You need to be able to decide when you want silence. (You’ll understand this one once you’re out there.)
You then have to find out where you want to go. Find a spot on your map that is not too far, but not so close that it’s too easy to get back to the car if you get a bit uncomfortable out there. I find that 30-60 minutes walking each way is ideal for your first wilderness camping trip. Also, it should be somewhere you can find even without a map, somewhere you can get to just by following some marked tracks.
You then need to pack your rucksack. If you haven’t already a good rucksack, buy one. And don’t try to save money on your rucksack. Try it on in the shop. Put a tent and some stuff in it. Get help from the shop assistant adjusting the straps. Get the rucksack that fits your back.
One important note: If you haven’t been out before, don’t start with winter camping. It’s a great and fun thing to do, but you need to have some basic skills before you do it.
What to bring
Everyone has their own preferences. A normal, modern wilderness camper will bring a lot of stuff and there’s nothing wrong with that if you can keep the weight down. I’m a bushcrafter myself, which means I like to use natural materials that I find out in the woods, so I carry less. But no matter what style of camping you’ll gravitate towards, when you start out, you should bring at least these items: