Camping is all about being out in nature and having good times with friends and family. But we mustn't forget that the wilderness alone doesn't create an ideal camping trip (unless your idea of fun is drinking your own urine Bear Grylls survival-style) and there are certain things you just can't find in the forest. So breathe in that fresh air, crack open a beer and let's review some crucial items for your camping trip.
Photo credit: CseaWillis, Flickr
Beer is a must. Crisp, refreshing, cold beer. Bring a 6-pack. And then also bring a 12-pack, an 18-pack, a 36-pack...and a mini-keg. And a full keg. Yep, that should do it.
Imagine you're out camping and you need to cut something. If you whip out a pair of scissors you'll get laughed at by your friends, and rightfully so. After all, you're camping, not making paper mache' in your elementary school arts and crafts class. Do yourself a favor and bring a set of outdoor-ready knives to cut, whittle, hack, chop, slice and even eat roasted meats off of if the redneck in you decides to come out.
If you're hanging out with Mother Nature, then it's only right to enjoy the wonderful bounty of animals she provides. Start with grilled beef, then move on to beef jerky. After, take a break with some pork (either fire-roasted, pulled, or in wurst form) and finally, up the ante with some venison. Remember, chicken is too boring for such a manly, meat-feasting camp excursion unless it's stuffed inside some type of red meat.
(Credit for the mouth-watering rotisserie'd pork butt shown above goes to my boy Jello who slaved over it for many hours with great success.)
Whether you're rolling up in a sweet RV or pitching the best tent you've ever pitched (outside of your pants), you should have a comfortable place to lay your head down when the awesomeness of your camping trip tuckers you out and sweeps you away to dreamland. Unless, of course, you're a real man's man and like to use a bed of moss as a sleeping bag and stone as your pillow. If that's the case, then kudos to you, but I'll be sleeping in the tent, thanks.
Scenario #1: What if the rope to the old tire swing snaps, flinging your fattest friend to the ground, thoroughly un-jollying and bloodying him up? You'll be there like a knight in shining foresight with your first aid kit, ready to patch him up...as soon as you finish repairing the tire swing, of course.
Scenario #2: Bears. They are no joke, and you're going to need yourself some bear spray to keep them from rooting around all the glorious camp-out food you've brought with you. Yes, bear spray is real and it even comes with a kick-ass hip holster. Check it.
I don't care how much of an outdoors man you are. If you're missing out on the taste of crunchy graham cracker, melted milk chocolate and flame-toasted marshmallows lovingly pressed together in sandwich-form, then you aren't truly experiencing the greatness of a camping trip. Also, you should bring jerky products. You can never have enough jerky.
Not everyone can channel the spirit of the great Native Americans and rub sticks together to make a great big campfire. But an XXL container of lighter fluid, on the other hand, should be just right for making a campfire that burns just long enough to outlast the last person to fall asleep in its warm glow.
You and I both know that once a chair is called, it's that person's for the rest of the trip, so you'd better have at least one of these per person otherwise a fight is liable to break out.
You're out in nature, so become one with it. Leave all the bullshit of your life behind and soak in the sights and sounds around you. Take a hike, go fishing, read a book or eat some magic mushrooms, chase them with a bottle of Absinthe and truly believe you're watching the actual big bang from inside some type of Elven glade until the sun rises. Whatever it is, just enjoy yourself.