The objective, or at least part of the objective of your caravan, RV or camping trip is to enjoy the great outdoors. Some of this can be done using ordinary clothes and equipment that you have readily to hand, while the slightly more adventurous activities will require some extra gear.
The gear that you chose will reflect your interests; are you somebody who needs some basic outdoor wear for short walks or do you like to spend time climbing every mountain and fording every stream. If you are somebody who is dedicated to a specific outdoor activity then you will no doubt have researched and bought all the equipment you need. On this page I’m writing about outdoor clothes and equipment that is of general interest to the camping and caravanning community. If you have some specific information that you would me to track down for you just drop me a line in the e-mail and I’ll do my very best to find it.
Whether you rely on your tent as your primary source of shelter or whether you use it as an annex to your RV it is always a useful addition to your trip away. If your tent is your only shelter you will need to spend a bit of time on checking it out before you buy. Perhaps a quick visit to my dedicated tent page might be in order.
When we started out we had a large green canvas tent which had a couple of rooms and which served us well for a few years. Now that we are using a caravan and travelling is a slightly more complex, if comfortable experience, we still like to have a little tent on board. This usefully serves the purpose of providing accommodation for younger and more adventurous members of the tribe when they come to visit. We have also used it for overnight trips to campsites in other parts of areas where we are pitched up with the caravan. This saves having to move the caravan for just one night away, increases our range and adds to the sense of adventure associated with caravan holidays.
When, as the owner of an RV you do come to choose a tent, spend a little time figuring out what you need it for and allow your conclusions and plans to inform your decision.
Boots and Footwear
Anybody who walks, for a living or for pleasure, needs good foot-wear. Ask any military person you know.
Whether you set out on your camping trip intending to walk or not you will find yourself wanting to take off at least for an hour or two in order to have a look around locally or perhaps to work off the accumulated effects of some good barbecues and bottles of wine.
When choosing boots pick something that will give you good ankle support, boots that is which lace up, and give you good comfortable wrapping over and above the ankle. Try them on and vet them for a good fit and for comfort, remember you will rely on these to get you home when you’re an hour or two from camp. Use of materials such as Goretex, which is a trademark, will indicate that your boots are waterproof and this is something that you should confirm before purchase. Buy boots that allow your feet to breathe and that will keep water out when it rains, or when you splash energetically through puddles.
If you intend never to leave paved surfaces then a lower walking shoe or boot may suit you very well. Again look for breathability and for waterproofing and do not rely on them if you change your mind and walk instead on rough ground.
Never use fashion or town shoes and boots outdoors as they are not suitable and may land you in all sorts of trouble if they fail during a a hike in the countryside. Always choose your boot, and all your outdoor equipment with care, make sure it is fit for purpose and never set set off with the wrong gear.
The old saying “there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing” is apt at this point. If you are like most campers and caravanners you probably spend most of your available time outdoors during spring summer and early autumn weather. Of course I’m not daring to suggest that so called bad weather only occurs during the winter as there are always plenty of changes to dress for. Perhaps you do like to go camping in the winter, we regularly take the caravan out in November, December and January. We have experienced some wild, wet and cold conditions but all in all we generally experience more benign condition. That being said the awning is a far different place in winter than it is for the rest of the year, being used to dry waterproof coats and boots rather than beach towels.
Have a close look at when you like to go out and bear in mind that the best way to stay warm, and to cool down when you need to is to layer up, and layer down accordingly.
The list of outdoor wear available online is very comprehensive and you can choose from among waterproofs, soft-shell, thermal layers, pants, shorts and fleeces. Don’t forget a good hat. My own favourite is a Tilly, a brand name, which functions as a rain hat and a sun hat, it keeps my head warm and is regularly used as a utensil to collect tent pegs.
A lot of what you chose will be down to personal preference in terms of styling and colour, but as I said earlier, do keep in mind what you intend to do in terms of outdoor activity and select your wardrobe accordingly.
Now that we have sorted out some shelter and some clothing lets have a look at how we can cook up a quick meal while we out and about in the countryside.
On my barbecue page I talk about some of the types of portable barbecues available to take with you on a camping trip. I also touch on cooking stoves on that page which I want to expand on slightly here.
As the emphasis on this page is on getting away from the campsite I will talk briefly about stoves intended more for back-packing rather than for transportation in a car or RV. These by their nature will be small, probably stack-able and will be light to carry. In their collapsed state the will often fit easily into their own little container bag and if one or two does have legs to balance them on, these will often be fold-able or removable.
A single burner stove is probably best suited to this purpose and while there may be some choice in the types of fuel that you can use, one that works on a disposable gas canister is probably the most convenient.