It is undeniable that camping is an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors. However, I've also noticed that some people are hesitant to pack their tents and sleeping bags because they think camping brings many discomforts.
On the surface, this worry is quite understandable. Once you are out there, many conveniences that you enjoy in your home are no longer there. One thing that isn't present in most campgrounds or camping destinations is electricity. With no power, you won't be able to use your electronics and gadgets. Of course, growing dependent on these things makes detaching possible.
First-timers have to learn how to overcome this discomfort. Fortunately, this should not cause any disturbance to them. In fact, I have listed some of my favorite tips on how to camp without power.
Without electricity, you can't do many things. It is challenging to cook. It isn't easy to warm yourself. In fact, it is even that arduous to feel safe and comfortable.
But do you know one thing that can give these things to you at the campsite? Of course, it is the campfire.
The campfire symbolizes outdoor adventure. But it is not just for display. It serves several purposes. It can be used for cooking food. During cold nights, it is a source of warmth. The fire also illuminates your surroundings.
Mastering the art of building a campfire is necessary. I have a guide on how you should do it. Better check that one. You can also check YouTube videos for tutorials.
One of the challenges of an electricity-free environment is lighting. No power means that you don't have any way of operating bulbs and other light sources.
Fortunately, battery-operated flashlights are available. However, they aren't a practical choice for camping. After all, it is hard to hold them while you are doing something else (i.e., cooking or pitching your tent).
Hence, you should just utilize a headlamp instead. Headlamps enable you to utilize your two hands. They don't get in the way, which, in turn, allows you to do your stuff conveniently. When choosing a headlamp, make sure that it has optimal brightness, around 150 lumens or more. It is also great if the headlamp is water-resistant so that it can work even under light rain.
In many cases, people still rely on their smartphones and GPS devices while camping. But since there is no source of power in the wild, charging these electronics becomes a challenge. When their batteries are empty, you would have to wait to get back to civilization before you can revive them.
However, not all of us have the luxury to wait. Of course, others intend to be off the grid. But for those who want to remain connected, it is essential that they bring their power banks.
Make sure you bring a power bank with enough storage capacity to charge multiple devices. This way, you can complete your trip without your important electronics being drained.
If you are used to cooking with electric cookware, then you might think that cooking outdoors would be a nightmare. Fortunately, that's not really the case.
You see, outdoor cooking has to be simple. You don't need fancy ingredients or cooking equipment here. You only need the basic ones, and they actually work.
If you are just a first-timer, you can opt for one-pot meals, such as soups and pasta. Of course, you would need a reliable stove here. Once you know your way with these stoves, you can create more complex meals if you want.
If you are bringing your RV or motorhome with you, then you have an option to install solar panels on it. This one could get expensive. That's why it is something that requires some re-thinking. However, if you find value in it, a solar panel system could be an excellent investment.
Solar panels require sunlight for them to operate. They absorb the heat of the sun and store it in their batteries. During the night or on cloudy days, the stored power in these solar panels will be utilized to power your appliances.
The capacity of these solar panels varies. Some can operate appliances like refrigerators and AC units. Others are only suitable for small lighting fixtures.
Now that you don't have a source of electricity, cooling or warming yourself becomes a challenge. In your home, this shouldn't be an issue, as you have an HVAC system that gets the job done. But once you are outdoors, such technology is not present.
But this doesn't mean that you simply have to get chilly or sweaty during a camping trip. You can regulate your body's temperature by wearing the appropriate layers and clothing.
When it is hot, you should wear light, moisture-wicking clothes. You don't need to wear multiple layers on a sunny day. That would cause you to get sweaty. On cold days or evenings, wearing multiple layers is necessary. The base layer should be an insulating shirt, while the exterior should be a shell that could protect you from the elements.
Rain jackets are essential if the weather forecast says that it is going to rain.
People tend to camp during summer or spring. The skies are clear, and no weather disturbances should worry you. But at the same time, these seasons expose you to the sun's warmth. In some cases, you will have to deal with extreme heat, which could be dangerous if you are exposed for too long.
Without electricity, there would be no fans or air conditioners. Luckily, you still have various ways to cool yourself while camping. For instance, you can put your tent in a shaded area for minimal sun exposure. Opening its windows and doors can also ventilate its interiors.
If it is too hot, you should prevent yourself from moving too much. Otherwise, you'll get sweaty immediately. Shades and hats can also protect your head from the heat.
Since electricity is unavailable, preserving perishable ingredients becomes a challenge. You don't have a refrigerator or freezer that could keep them fresh and edible for cooking.
What you need here is a reliable cooler. These coolers enable you to bring perishable ingredients on your trip. Depending on the cooler you have, your ingredients could last several days to a week. Hard-sided coolers are the ones that provide the longest ice retention. But they are heavy, so you need two or more people to carry them.
Meanwhile, soft-sided coolers are the more portable option. They are easy to carry because they don't have rugged construction. But at the same time, their ice retention is minimal. So they can't really keep ice from melting for too long.
Rain, snow, and other forms of precipitation can get your gear wet. That's why it is somewhat natural if you get caught in the middle of them.
But at the same time, you should make sure that you don't get drenched too much. Being soaked in water will cause discomfort and inconveniences on your camping trip. You don't have access to dryers and fans, which, in turn, prevents you from quick-drying your pack or clothes.
Hence, it is essential that your tent has an extended rainfly that can keep your belongings safe from the elements. Also, you should have a waterproof backpack that would protect your equipment from the rain. Of course, wearing clothes and underpants that have a waterproof membrane is also beneficial.
Most camping destinations don't have immediate access to emergency services, clinics, and hospitals. When someone gets severely injured, it will take some time before they can get the appropriate medical treatment.
Being cautious in the things you do in the camp will prevent accidents. However, keep in mind that accidents can strike anytime--even in moments that you don't expect. And since you don't have access to electricity, finding rescue might be challenging.
Hence, it is essential that you can respond to emergencies by yourself. Learning first aid and other survival skills becomes crucial. If you are self-sufficient, you will be able to treat wounds, fractures, and foodborne illnesses. Applying these treatments would downright increase your survival in times of emergencies.
First-time campers should realize that outdoor adventures have their own share of discomforts. But that's normal. After all, you are going to places that you aren't familiar with. At the same time, these destinations don't have the usual amenities that you enjoy in your home, such as electricity.
You shouldn't get discouraged if you encounter inconveniences on your first camping trip. Eventually, you will get used to them. You should treat it as part of the adventure.
There are a lot of things that you can enjoy while camping. You can have fun exploring the nature around you. You can play games, rest, and cook food for yourself and others! When you focus your energy on these things, you will probably ignore other matters that you are having trouble with.
Experiencing the outdoors is a highly recommended pursuit. Through camping and backpacking, you would witness the other side of this world. You would be able to witness the beauty of Mother Nature and its natural inhabitants.
Hence, don't worry too much that you will be separated from the usual comforts that you have. Even without electricity, you can still enjoy the trip. Just prepare thoroughly, and you will enjoy the entirety of the trip.