Camping in the mountains is a pleasant alternative for busy and noisy tourism attraction or the seaside to spend one’s holiday or even the weekend after tiring and stressful workdays.
In the mountains, one can blend with nature, enjoy its sounds, colors and even smells – as opposed to car smoke and different sounds in the busy cities -, in the same time recharging oneself with energy for the coming work weeks.
Sometimes it is not so easy to combine useful (and necessary) with pleasant and with common sense and comfort. We must keep in mind that after having decided what we really need, we must also take in consideration that our stuff must not occupy unnecessary space or must not be too heavy.
Armenia is mostly a mountainous country, thus camping in the mountains is not rare at all. Below we have listed those items that are generally needed for camping in the mountains – therefore in Armenia as well.
Essentials for Camping in the Mountains
For your shelter, you should take with you the following:
Before leaving, decide if you’re going alone or with some friends, and decide on a tent with a size according to the number of people, so you will be comfortable in it instead of pushing each other away during the night.
- Extra poles/rope/stakes
You never know what can go wrong and when, as predictability is not the most known feature of nature or even of humans, sometimes. That’s why it’s best to have reserve poles or ropes, just in case they need to be replaced, thus assuring that your tent remains usable and in good shape.
- Ground cloth
Most of us would like to avoid the possibility that the tent’s lower part will wear out. After all, tents are not meant to be used only once. Comfort is also important. That’s why a ground cloth to be laid on the tent’s lower part, on which we would later put our sleeping bags, is essential.
- Mat for tent entrance
Weather is not always predictable, nor is the degree of our cleanliness at the end of the day. In order to keep the tent (our sleeping place) clean, a mat placed at the entrance is more than welcome, just like at the entrance of our homes. Maybe even one with a «welcome» print on it.
- Hammer and/or ax
A hammer is absolutely necessary for setting up our tent – poles must be stuck in the ground for extra stability. An ax would also be welcome, that too for several reasons. Just in case all your poles broke, or you lost them or forgot to bring extras, you can cut some wood branches as a replacement with an ax. Wood branches would also be used for making a fire in the evening.
Bedding is one of the most important aspects. Bedding items, if in excess, can take a lot of space, thus it’s better to keep it at a minimum.
- Sleeping bags
When choosing your sleeping bag, you should choose a comfortable size. If it’s one size bigger, it’s also not a problem. You never know who might visit you during your dreams and might make you wriggle in your sleep.
Try to take washable, light-weight pillows with you. One or two extra would also not bother.
Just in case you get cold, or for extra softness, blankets are a good idea.
Cooking is also not to be ignored as for its importance. Depending on the duration of your holiday, you will take the according amount and types of items.
- Small camping stove
For those who prefer comfort and speed, a small camping stove will do the perfect job. Just don’t forget to take reserves of fuel.
- Campfire grill
What can be more appetizing and tasty than meat or veggies grilled on the campfire? Difficult answer…In case you don’t want to miss out this delight, don’t forget to take with you the campfire grill.
- Fire starters and matches
The bases of any fire lighting process are fire starters such as old newspapers or cardboard pieces, and, of course, matches.
- Folding table and chairs
Folding tables and chairs assure comfort while taking up very little space.
- Disposable tableware
When thinking of tableware while camping, the easiest and lightest variant is disposable tableware – plates, forks, spoons, cups. Imagine how much heavier your luggage would be if you had to carry the usual glass and silver items with you and back…
- Pans and pots (with lids)
Pans and pots are a must for cooking different dishes. Their lids are a good option when you want to speed up the process or when you just want to keep out dust or flies.
- Paper towels/napkins
- Cooking utensils – spatula, knives, spoons, potato peeler
Cooking cannot be complete or even feasible at all without a minimum of utensils, such as knives or spoons. The potato peeler is actually not really a must, but makes it easier and faster.
- Food items – cooking oil, sugar, salt, condiments
What would your meal taste like without any oil, salt or condiments…? Ditto for your tea or coffee without sugar.
- Cleaning items – dish soap, cleaning rags
After having fully enjoyed your meal, keeping everything in order is a must. Therefore you must be able to wash your dishes and clean up the tables after you’re done.
- Trash bags
The nature that so lovingly accepted you and gave you the possibility to have a pleasant experience must also be respected. Gather all trashes and leftovers in trash bags.
Concerning clothes, weather conditions are to be taken in consideration.
For wandering around in the mountains, hiking shoes are the most comfortable to wear. In case you have a warm weather, take into consideration wearing sandals.
If the weather is warm, shorts are preferable to wear. For cooler weather and for protecting yourself against mosquitoes or stinging vegetation, have a pair of pants with you as well. As for pants, loose fit, sport or casual pants are the best option.
Just in case the weather gets cooler, take a jacket or sweatshirt with you. After all, you don’t want to get yourself a nasty flu, do you? The best options in this case are light weight and soft fleece jackets.
- Extra socks
For avoiding spending precious time on washing your socks and waiting for them to dry, just take a couple of extra pairs with you.
- Rain gear
As mentioned before, weather can be unpredictable. But rain should not stop you from enjoying your time or your hike in the mountains. There are several types of lightweight, easily foldable raincoats from which you can choose and that take up a minimum of space, therefore they’re easy to carry around with you.
If you feel like having a swim in the river, it would be better to have with you a swimsuit too. Skinny dipping might turn out to be an uncomfortable experience. Towels are there to dry you up.
General items, as follows:
For finding your way when it gets dark, or just before dawn, you need a flashlight and some batteries, so you can always keep on using it.
A compass and maps are essential tools for orientation in an environment where there are no asphalt roads or road signs. Without them, you can easily get lost and your experience can be anything but pleasant.
- First aid kit
Accidents of all sorts can happen, all the more in nature. Your first aid kit should contain bandages, some cotton, and some alcohol, medication for fever, stomach problems or for bee stings.
- Musical instruments/songbooks/radio
Listening to music is sure to make your camping experience more fun. If there are talented persons in your group, instruments and songbooks will be of great help. If not, you can just take the radio with you.
- Digital camera/batteries
Camping in the mountains is sure to include moments to be remembered, that you would like to reminisce on later with friends. In order to capture those moments, as well as nature’s beauty, take a camera and some batteries with you.
Even if you are camping in the mountains, therefore you’re supposedly far from civilization, having a cell phone with you is important. The cellphone is the best means to keep in contact with your family and friends back in town, as well as the members of your group. Walkie-talkies only work on a distance of about a dozen meters.
- Personal medication
In case you have a special health condition that requires constant medication, before leaving don’t forget to take with you all the necessary amount for the whole duration of your stay.
All this being said and checked, it only remains for you to enjoy your camping and spend a good time. Oh, we forgot – don’t leave at home jokes and a good load of sense of humour!
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