Leave behind your cares andwoes – and your extra stuff
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.