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August 4, 2010

The Lighter Side Of Camping: The Essentials For A Light Load

The Lighter Side Of Camping: The Essentials For A Light Load

(NAPS)—One of the joys of a camping trip is getting away from your day-to-day work routine. Packing light takes much of the work out of camping and makes it easy to pick up and go at a moment’s notice. Marc Rogers, editor of, recommends campers store their gear in a plastic storage box or duffle, providing a quick transition between quitting time and camping time.
Your “quick getaway” pack should include shelter, bedding and cooking utensils, along with personal items. Often, campers pack so many nonessential items for their trip that they have a truckload of gear before they leave home.
Tents are for keeping you and your trappings dry and protected from wind. If your tent takes more than 20 minutes to “pop up,” it is either 20 years old or much fancier than necessary. Tents should be roomy enough to meet your sleeping needs and serve as a place to change clothes, but bigger isn’t always better. Packing a six-person tent for two campers wastes space and means more time setting up and tearing down and less time hiking, fishing or just relaxing.
Bedding should be climate appropriate. Lightweight, poly-fill sleeping bags will keep you warm under most conditions and fit easily into a nylon bag. If you pack a pillow for comfort, it should be a small travel-size or inflatable pillow. Air mattresses deflate to pack flat and are excellent if you want some cushion between you and the ground.
For cooking, aluminum mess kits are good as they’re lightweight and include a small pot, skillet, plate and cup along with utensils. Instead of packing a camp stove, try a fold-up grill that can be placed over an open fire. It’s great for grilling food and provides a surface for cooking or heating food in your mess kit pots. When packing your food, limit items that need to be kept on ice, so you have more room for beverages without requiring a second cooler.
Clothing should be climate appropriate, and one change per day is plenty under most situations. Don’t forget lightweight rain gear on every trip. You need to have an emergency change of clothing in case foul weather catches you off guard. For footwear, bring lightweight, waterproof hiking shoes.
Organize personal and first aid items in a resealable plastic bag and keep it light by filling travel-size containers or getting convenient, single-use anti-bacterial wipes, sunscreens and insect repellents. Always include a basic first aid kit for handling minor cuts, bites or burns.
Among the most overlooked items are lighting. Fortunately, with recent innovations in LED lighting, flashlights and headlights are shrinking in size but vastly improving their performance and versatility. For example, the Energizer® Performance LED Cap Light clips on the bill of a hat, allowing hands-free use while setting up camp, tying knots or grabbing firewood in the dark. This water-resistant light is smaller than the palm of your hand and has three settings; two red LEDs help preserve night vision while the white LEDs offer a high and low setting. For those who prefer not to wear a hat, the Energizer® Micro LED Headlight fits over the head and weighs only two ounces without the AA battery. This waterproof headlight features a thin profile and dimmable brightness levels ranging from 100 to 6 percent.
You can find a wide variety of handheld flashlights and hands-free lights showcased at www.
A light load means added time enjoying the trip and less time packing and unpacking. The essentials include a tent, bedding, cooking utensils and such necessary gear as flashlights and headlights.

Pack light to enjoy camping longer—include a tent, bedding, cooking utensils and a flashlight or headlight.

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