Into the wıld Getting geared up for camping
By T. Foster Jones
ON THE SUBJECT of camping, it’s good
news all around. The experience is just as rich
and rewarding as it’s ever been. And the
equipment that makes everything more comfortable has improved vastly over the years.
Whether you’re just getting started or it’s
time to upgrade from that 75-pound canvas
tent you’ve been lugging around, here’s a
quick list of camping basics. For the sake of
expediency, I’m going to confine the list to
those of a casual car camper (as opposed to a
backpacker): food, water, sleeping bag, tent,
flashlight/lantern and camp stove.
The beauty of car camping is that you’re
not restricted to the kinds and amounts of
food you bring. Stock up your coolers with
ice, drinks and fresh and frozen or packaged
food (don’t forget the s’mores ingredients!).
Estimate about a gallon of water per person per day for personal consumption. Take a
separate supply of water for washing utensils
or other needs.
The lower the temperature rating, the
warmer the sleeping bag will be. Consider
the coldest temperature you will encounter
during your camping trip and purchase a
Costco carries tents, sleeping bags, inflatable mattresses, cookstoves, coolers,
camp chairs, tarps, lanterns, fuel, flashlights and batteries as well as food, water,
and first-aid and dining accessories for
camping in complete comfort.
sleeping bag with a temperature rating 10 to
20 degrees lower.
Down insulation is light and compressible, but it doesn’t repel moisture well and
takes a long time to dry if it becomes wet.
Synthetic-insulated bags are less expensive than down sleeping bags, and also
heavier, but they dry out quickly.
Nylon or polyester shells are more resistant to wind and water than cloth shells.
Dome tents are designed with a low
profile to shed rain and to be wind resistant.
They are easy to set up and usually don’t
need to be staked.
“Family tents” are designed for four to
nine people and need to have good ventilation. They are designed with large entryways
and windows, and can be either cabin (high
vertical walls) or dome style.
Try to choose a tent that will hold one to
two people more than the number of people
camping. You will appreciate the extra space,
which can be used as a storage area, for hanging out and for comfortable sleeping.
There are a variety of sleeping pads to
choose from, or you can really indulge
yourself with a self-inflating full- or queensize mattress.
Get a ground cloth or tarp to go under the
tent. A few extra tarps can be handy for rigging
a shelter over the picnic table, etc., if it rains.
Choose a flashlight that is water- and
corrosion-resistant, and rubberized or made
of high-density plastic. Be sure to take extra
batteries. If you want your hands free for
cooking or reading, consider a headlamp.
A camp lantern is a practical way to
light up your camp. It can be set on a table
to allow your hands to be free for cooking
and is a good choice to provide light for the
camp dinner table.
Fuel lanterns run on white gas or pro-
travel & recreation
First aid kit:
• Antibiotic wipes • Antiseptic cream • Aspirin, • Bandages • Burn ointment • Elastic wrap • Eye wash • Hydrogen peroxide
• Ibuprofen • Insect repellent • Medical tape • Sanitary napkins • Scissors • Snake-bite kit • Sterile gauze • Sunburn lotion • Tweezers
• Cooking oil • Corkscrew • Cutting board • Flatware • Herbs and spices • Knives • Measuring cups • Napkins • Paper plates/ bowls
• Paper towels • Plastic cups • Plastic trash bags
• Pot holders • Salt and pepper • Tongs and spatula
• Waterproof matches
• Aluminum foil • Camp cookware
• Zippable plastic bags
pane. The only real annoyance with a white
gas lantern is they can be fairly noisy.
Battery-operated lanterns don’t illuminate as well as fuel lanterns, but are quieter
and the only safe choice to use inside a tent.
Rechargeable lanterns can be plugged into a
vehicle’s cigarette lighter.
For car camping, the best choice might
be a two-burner camp stove. Two-burner
stoves are perfect for feeding a small family,
and are even available in an oven/stove combination. Choose a camp stove that comes
with a windscreen.
There are only two fuel types, white gas
and propane. This is really a matter of preference and convenience.
So, grab your gear, load up the car and
head for the hills (or the forest, or the shore).
Camping, in all its glory, awaits. C
MAY 2010 ;e Costco Connection 53
Connection editor T. Foster Jones is an avid
outdoor enthusiast who has enjoyed backpacking in Nepal and bike and car camping in the
national parks of the United States.