Leave be­hind your cares andwoes – and your ex­tra stuff

The Press - Escape - - MONTREAL -

Lux­ury camp­ing, fa­mil­iarly known as ‘‘glamp­ing,’’ has put a new face on New Zealan­ders’ per­cep­tion of the out­door ex­pe­ri­ence. The act of sacrifice - some might even say dis­com­fort - used to be an ex­pec­ta­tion for those ven­tur­ing into the wilder­ness to en­joy all that na­ture be­stows.

Glam­orous camp­ing, how­ever, has taken all the hard­ship out of it by al­low­ing you to bring all the creature com­forts of home with you.

Those who scorn this ex­trav­a­gance, how­ever, in­sist camp­ing is not about bring­ing your house with you; in fact, it is all about leav­ing it and your nor­mal life be­hind.

Thus, per­haps in de­fi­ance, the counter move­ment, min­i­mal­ist camp­ing, drove its own pegs in the ground. The rules – just like the con­cept – are sim­ple and few. Its pro­po­nents de­light in show­ing pack-happy lux­ury campers that half the fun of ven­tur­ing into the wide open spa­ces lies in tak­ing half the gear.

The first rule re­lates to bag­gage – only one small to medium bag per cam­per. Any­one un­der 10 shares a bag. In that bag, each per­son has to ac­com­mo­date their clothes, shoes, bath­room needs (in­clud­ing towel), en­ter­tain­ment needs (a book?), and any­thing that does not re­lated di­rectly to the set­ting up of the camp­site.

The ba­sics to sur­vive com­fort­ably for a few days to a few weeks in­clude:

The tent (two or more if a large group) and a ground­sheet.

One sleep­ing bag per per­son (ex­tra blan­ket for those who feel the cold).

Layer cloth­ing to ac­com­mo­date chang­ing tem­per­a­tures and pre­pare to wear it more than once. Take a small bot­tle of laun­dry de­ter­gent that works in cold wa­ter if you need to wash clothes.

Ba­sic cook­ing gear (small camp stove and fuel), one or two pots, a pair of tongs and some bowls, eat­ing uten­sils, plates, sharp knife and cut­ting board, and a few cups for drinks. Foil is a use­ful mul­ti­pur­pose com­mod­ity while one ta­ble cloth could be handy. If bring­ing cans, don’t for­get a canopener, and throw in a bot­tle opener as well.

For light­ing, take one torch or head­lamp per per­son.

Make space for in­sect re­pel­lent, toi­let pa­per, trash bags, a small sewing kit, es­sen­tial med­i­ca­tions, first aid kit, sun­screen and, if nec­es­sary, a mos­quito net.

The glam­pers might look down their nose but hard-core campers will tell you they can ex­ist quite com­fort­ably with an inventory that in­cludes only the afore­men­tioned.

Bath­room sup­plies are sim­i­larly cut to a min­i­mum - one tube of tooth­paste to be shared, one bar of soap, a small bot­tle of sham­poo and de­odor­ant. Sim­i­larly, keep food se­lec­tion to the bare es­sen­tials. You can make a small kit that con­tains a lit­tle olive oil, salt and pep­per, pa­prika or chili pow­der, small soy sauce and one other sea­son­ing. Buy drinks – milk, wa­ter, juice, beer – as you need them and pur­chase fresh food and vegetables while camp­ing. A few cans of beans are use­ful as are de­hy­drated foods to add to dishes you are cook­ing. A break­fast ce­real, rice, pasta and quick-cook­ing grains are im­por­tant com­po­nents as are teabags and in­stant cof­fee sa­chets.

In the fun equip­ment cat­e­gory, play­ing cards, a fris­bee and your swim­suit should suf­fice. Leave be­hind any other dis­trac­tions that com­pete for your time and de­ter you from en­joy­ing what you came to do – get back to na­ture.

Free to camp: Free­dom campers Inga Qual­mann, left, and Eva Jan­fruechte, from Ger­many, take ad­van­tage of a des­ig­nated area in which they are legally able to stay overnight free of charge.

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