During many day hikes over the years, I have threatened myself to level up to camping.  The last time I truly camped was in the Boy Scouts and my age started with a 1.  Still, I relish the time out in nature and would like to try sleeping to the sound of the breeze in the trees.

Now my idea of camping is "roughing it."  Sorry, but if you are towing or driving an RV, with a fridge and a Keurig, that's glamping.  If you are staying in a cabin or a yurt, you're glamping.  Roughing it means carrying what you need or want on your back, hiking a trail to get to a spot to camp.

With that in mind, I speculated on what I would need and like on a campout:

Backpack, of course.

Tent, sleeping bag and a light pad.  Gotta mind the weight.

Protein bars, trail mix, dried fruits.  I'll try cooking later.  A food bag to hold these.

Cord to hang the food bag from a tree limb.  Read about this tactic to disincentivize a bear entering the camp.

While on that point, bear spray.

Water bag, maybe a purifier.

First aid kit, a must.

Change of clothes, including thermal underwear.  Warm, waterproof coat.  Hiking boots.  Maybe sandals for summer.

Toilet kit.


Notebook and pens for writing.  Paperback book to read.

Finally, my Swiss Army knife.  Yes, I was a fan of MacGyver.

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This looks pretty good for bare minimum, sustainable camping for a night or two.  Now what if I consulted a book?

Sorry, too much weight on the trail. Develop a freeze-dried beer, and you will make millions.
Credit: moisseyev, Getty Images, TSM Media Center

The Boy Scout Handbook

Yes, I still have my copy.  What more does it suggest?  Quite a bit, but here's adding to the list:

Toilet Paper.  How could I have forgotten???




Bug Spray.  Sunscreen.

Swim Trunks.

Rope, in case the cord won't do.

Okay, if I plan this out carefully, I should be able to rough it with a short hike and not strain the knees.

Whoops, one more little thing Young Adults should bring:


I just remembered that the last time I went camping, in my mid 20s with my wife, we became parents nine months later.  Remember, be prepared.

Stay tuned for more on this new adventure.

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