CAMPING is a healthy and cheap form of holiday, and much of its enjoyment comes from the thrill of doing things for oneself under open-air conditions. There are two kinds of camper, those who combine camping with cycling or hiking, and who sleep at a different site almost every night, and those who prefer to camp in one spot for a longer period. For the first group, light equipment only should be carried.
The second group needs stronger and heavier equipment. Camping kit generally includes a lightweight tent and rucksack or a heavyweight tent and a kit bag; a ground sheet (laid with the rubber side to the ground); a waterproof sleeping bag, warmly lined, or a camp bed with two or three blankets. Cooking equipment should include a billycan, plastic or enamel plates and mug, knife, fork, spoon, and a tin opener. A portable gas stoves is useful when an open fire is not made; a small axe for chopping wood and knocking in pegs; string; a “house wife” containing buttons, needles and thread; a first-aid outfit, canvas bucket and a canvas folding basin.
When choosing a camping site, look for a good water supply and shelter from the wind. The site should be away from stagnant ponds and ditches, which breed mosquitoes and other insects. Lists of camping sites and other details can be obtained from the recognized camping associations, or from local authorities. The tent should be pitched with the opening away from the wind, and it should be opened when not in use to allow air to circulate within it. At a distance a pit should be dug for use as a latrine, and another for rubbish. Refuse should be covered over with earth or burnt; otherwise it will attract flies and insects. When finishing camp, leave the site clean and tidy. All paper and rubbish should be burnt or buried, and holes filled in with earth.
Build your camp fire well away from brushwood, dry gorse, or anything likely to catch alight. A good fire depends on getting the centre well ablaze. Cooking can be done by resting the pots on two large stones, or hanging them from fresh green sticks, as these will not burn. Racks for holding utensils and articles can be made from sticks and branches.
If the daily camp life is well planned there should be plenty of time for enjoying the great benefits of a camping holiday. These should include exploring the countryside, studying birds, trees and flowers, making useful or ornamental things for the camp, wood carving, painting and sketching.