Do you like to camp?
Lucky for us, we love it. We seem to do it a lot in our travels. We've cycled through Africa and camped in the middle of Chobe National Park and the Nubian Desert for 120 days. We've rented a car and camped in the luxurious camp grounds of France and Spain, camped up to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and we've hopped on the Flying Kiwi bus in New Zealand and slept in a tent for 30 days solid. When we are home in Canada, we love to car camp. We used to head out of the city and either bring our bikes or climbing gear and spend the weekends getting down with nature.
We pride ourselves on being decent campers. We'd love to say expert, but really who is? We do however have our system down, we know our tent inside out, we know what we like to cook and we have all the little gadgets that make life a little more fun and comfortable in the outdoors.
Our North Face Tent takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
What's our Next Camping Trip?
The Mongol Rally is the event of the year here at ThePlanetD. We'll be cramming ourselves into a tiny car with two other people as we drive from England to Mongolia. Between all of our backpacks and electronics, there won't be a lot of room for anything else, but we're lugging along our camping gear on the roof of our car.
We won't be saying in any luxury hotels this trip. We've been spoiled this past year with some amazing trips where we styed in the lap of luxury. Between the amazing hotels in Jordan, Fiji, Thailand and Mexico, we almost forgot what it was like to rough it. But we're back to the basics and adventure is on the agenda. We'll be staying in everything but a luxury hotel as we drive 10,000 miles across 15 countries and 2 continents.
In London we have a snazzy apartment sponsored in the Islington District. We'll have a kitchen, TV, 3 bedrooms and a living area. That will be our pamper me portion of the Mongol Rally. We are leaving 8 days early to take in the sights of London and we have an incredible list thanks to the facebook messages, tweets and comments left on our blog. It seems that everyone loves London!
As we move on to continental Europe we have some friends that are graciously letting us crash on their floors. We may have to stay in a hotel or two here and there, but the plan is to keep the expenses low and the adventure factor high.
The real test is going to be once we enter Russia and the Ukraine, The “Stans” and Mongolia. Oh yes, we'll be carrying food and snacks, we'll be sleeping in fields and boiling our water. It's going to be so much fun!
So What kind of camping gear are we bringing to The Mongol Rally?
1. North Face Roadrunner 2 tent for 2 people – Sherry and Rick are using a Kelty 2 man tent.
Sherry wanted us all to get ourselves into a 4 man tent to save on space and weight. This would be a big mistake. Between the snoring and the farting that will be coming out of our tent, she is going to be grateful that she opted to go it alone with Rick. Believe me, we know ourselves. Dave used to wake people up on the Tour d'Afrique with his symphony of horns as he liked to call it and I can give any truck driver a run for his money.
2. Camp Stove
We have a very small Optimus Nova camp stove with MSR camping pots/pans/bowls/ utensils – It all stacks up into the size of 1 pot. Add some rice and foil packs of curries and sauces and we'll be eating like kings!
3. ThermaRest– We use 3/4 length thermarests that deflate for storage. You don't need full length for your feed unless you are camping in freezing weather. The small 2 man tents hold a lot of heat too.
4. World Smallest Sleeping Bag – Our sleeping bags are rated to 2º Celsius and are only 650 grams. If it does drop below freezing, we have hats, thick socks and down jackets that are also ultra light that we can wear. We have silk liners to go with the sleeping bags because we will also be sleeping in hot weather and the silk liners are oh so comfortable and keep you from being too sticky in the sweltering heat.
5. Down Jackets
Speaking of down jackets. We used to never leave home without them and we haven't used them during our last two sets of travels and have deeply regret it. Our North Face Down Jacket and Sierra Designs Puffy coat are ultra lightweight and scrunch down to nothing. We're bringing these with us. They were a God Send in Africa all the way from Cairo to Cape Town. Nights were freezing.
We find having a headlamp to be invaluable when camping. Not having to worry about juggling a flashlight in the other hand while you clean up or set up camp makes life a lot easier.
7. Camp stools
We are debating bringing camp stools. We have ultra light weight triangles in storage that we are probably going to dig out. Sitting on the ground while eating will get old fast.
9. Folding Table
If after we load our car and have everything pile onto the roof rack, we may add a foldable table. this is something that we wish we had in France last year as picnicking while sitting on the ground day in day out is not a lot of fun.
9. Pegless Clothes Line
This is one of our favourite items for travel period. It's a stretchable clothes line that you can fasten to anything and you don't need clothes pegs. You just let the elasticity do its work.
10. Wine Opener
We have our priorities in order. Camping doesn't have to be all suffering and proving that your are an iron man. Fine wine and cheese always makes life better. It's my favourite part of visiting Europe, enjoying the wine and amazing food.
We have a lot of little things like a hammer for rocky ground, sporks,(fork/spoon combos) compass and candles, folding cutting board, sharp knife, water bottles, mugs… etc…. but that list would just go on and on and we would bore you to death.
Instead I'll leave you with this memorable image of a moment in Malawi. The children of this country just loved having people camping near their village and came out to say hello whenever we stopped for the night.
Do you like camping? Where's your favourite place to get away from it all and be with the great outdoors?
Or do you stay in hotels all the way? If you do decide to go for a hotel, you will find that it is very easy to find some excellent hotels on the internet.