Overcoming my dislike of camping

I have a confession to make. I don’t like camping. I fail to understand why people would give up all their luxuries they enjoy in daily life to return to the bare basics during that one time in the year they should enjoy luxury and relaxation. In my opinion it should therefore be completely the other way around.

To be clear, I had my fair share of camping. As a kid I sailed with my parents and brother in Friesland for weeks, living with four people on a small yacht. Showering in dirty wash rooms on shore, dealing with wet clothes all the time, cooking on small camping stoves, annoying eachother, no camping is not my thing.

For all our Dutch readers: this performance by Bert Visscher sums it up quite nicely for me:

But sometimes there is no other alternative. In 2012 Mirian and I went hiking in Mongolia, one of the most beautiful places on the planet. With no hotels or anything around, camping was the only option. A week back to basics. Not even cell phone coverage. Sleeping on razor thin camping mats in a small tent in the wilderness while temperatures dropped to freezing point at night.

I survived.

And slowly I started to see the charm of camping. That’s a good thing, since I will be camping quite a lot this summer on our way back to Europe. Although we will occassionaly sleep in a hotel, nomadic ger-camp or tent, we expect to sleep a fair amount of nights in our own car. Our Blue Beast is currently being refitted to accomodate for this.

Camping for at least three months means we need good camping gear. So the last couple of weeks I started researching everything from camping stoves to chairs, from communication devices to cooling boxes. I entered a new and entirely different world and soon our gear list started to grow. Already we bought a lot of essentials for our trip or got them as a present for our birthdays. Pans, a cooling box, storage boxes etc.

But let me dive a bit deeper in some of the coolest gear we bought. Since we will be travelling through about 25 countries and traverse mountain passes of 4500 meter altitude, we need a proper stove. I didn’t like the idea of stocking up on gas for the more common gas-powered stoves, so we chose to go for a dual fuel solution: the Coleman Dual Fuel 424 camping stove.

Coleman Dual Fuel 424

Coleman Dual Fuel 424

Having experienced Chinese quality for seven years I like that it’s American made and apparently not much changed in design over several decades. Sturdy and reliable. The biggest selling point though is that it runs on unleaded gasoline, which we will find plenty of on our journey. And although it requires a bit more cleaning and getting used to, I’m sure we will master it.

The other gadget I especially like is the Delorme Inreach SE satellite two way communicator. It’s not a satellithe phone, but it can send and receive short messages to any phone in the world even if we don’t have regular cell phone-coverage. And it can be paired to my iPhone and post directly on Twitter and Facebook, both social media we intend to use quite extensively. Like the Coleman stove I still have to test it, but I expect it will be fun to use during our trip.

Delorme Inreach SE

Delorme Inreach SE

The Inreach also will be connected to a specific website where our family and friends can exactly pinpoint our location 24 hours a day, a safe and comforting idea for them as well as for us. And in the slight chance of us being stuck somewhere or in a emergency situation, we can trigger an SOS-message, receive delivery confirmation, and then have a two-way text conversation with a search and rescue team which will then rescue us, hopefully.

The Inreach will not be the only gadget we’ll carry. To record our experiences, we not only bring good old fashioned notebooks but also our laptops, GPS-device, compass, phones and camera. If I cannot control my hedonic desires, I predict I’ll also buy a Gopro Hero 3+ to mount on the car as we drive through some of the most beautiful roads in the world like the Pamir Highway in Tajikistan and the Transfăgărășan in Romania.

So there you have it. I think I’m a real camper now, or at least a wannabe!

DISCLAIMER: The photos in this post look like advertisements, but trust me, we’re not getting paid by either Coleman or Delorme for promoting their stuff. If they fail to deliver on my expecations, we will let it know as well.

In fact our whole venture is a 100% non-sponsored trip, fully paid for by ourselves. We’ve been saving money for quite some time and like to be independent travellers. We may occasionally sell our stories or reportages to interested media in The Netherlands or elsewhere though. Anyone interested can contact us at dijk <at> mac.com

Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>