Exploring & Adventure: How to Take Your Camping Trip to the Next Level
One of the best things about camping is that there is so much room for growth. Camping is a lifetime activity, and with every camping trip, you'll become better at myriad aspects of the practice, from cooking to fire-building to first aid to setting up your tent or shelter. As you learn and develop skills in the wilderness, you can go from camping at your local park or backyard to embarking on a multi-day expedition into a remote region of Chilean Patagonia, for example.
With that in mind, if you feel like you've hit a wall in your camping journey and want to develop into planning more adventurous outings, this article is for you. We'll cover everything you need to know to plan the perfect adventure trip.
Planning Your High Adrenaline Camping Trip
You can try a few different methods to ramp up your camping outings. The important thing to remember, however, is to work on your skills and become a competent camper before trying to plan a high-adrenaline camping trip. Once you've cut your teeth on more mellow car-camping outings and a few backpacking trips close to home, then you can try some of the options below.
Try Camping Abroad
Camping in foreign countries adds a level of adventure to even the most mundane outings. There are lots of hurdles to navigate when you head out camping abroad, from accessibility to gear, food, and other supplies to foreign travel restrictions to language barriers. While you can go camping in almost any country in the world, for your first camping trip abroad, it's smart to travel to a country where your native language is already spoken, and where a modicum of outdoor tourism infrastructure is in place. For Americans, for example, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, and the UK are excellent places to go for your first trip camping abroad.
Incorporate High-Adrenaline Activities
If you want to plan a high adrenaline camping trip, one trick is to get involved in more outdoor activities beyond mere hiking. Incorporate sports like rock climbing, kayaking, hunting, and backcountry skiing to make a mundane camping trip more exciting.
Be sure you're a competent rock climber at your local crag, however, before you go on an overnight climbing expedition. For each sport, you'll need to pack (and if backpacking: carry) additional gear, and you're increasing your chances of injuring yourself in the backcountry, so again, be sure you know what you're doing. A multi-day camping trip in the Australian bush probably isn't the best time to run your first Class IV rapid alone, for example.
Go Camping in Winter
Camping in winter adds another level of adventure to a traditional camping outing. Winter camping means harsher weather, with snowstorms, sub-freezing temperatures, and other potential hazards that you won't find camping in other seasons. We have several articles to help you become more experienced with winter camping, such as how to stay warm, how to stay safe during a blizzard, what snowshoes to take winter camping, and cooking tools for winter camping.
In the following section, we'll go over a hiking and camping essentials list, letting you know a few pieces of hiking and camping gear you can make use of on extreme camping trips.
Extreme Camping Essentials
When tackling adventurous camping activities, you'll need additional gear. Below we have outlined a few products that will boost your high-adrenaline camping experience.
Snowshoes are a crucial part of winter camping. If heavy snow is on the ground, there's simply no way to safely travel without using snowshoes, and traveling to your campsite via snowshoe is one surefire way to spice up your next camping trip. Woods offers a variety of snowshoes, designed for men, women, and children of all sizes. We also carry snowshoe bundles, which include snowshoes, poles, and compact carry cases, giving you everything you need to start snowshoeing.
Woods Single Backpacker Camping Hammock with Tree Straps
A hammock is an excellent tool for lightweight adventure camping. It's perfect for camping trips abroad, or other outings where conserving space and weight is important. A hammock is much easier to carry and store than a tent, sets up faster, and eliminates the need for a sleeping pad, as well.
That said, hammock camping is best only in warm weather. Winter camping in hammocks is generally infeasible unless you have a serious cold weather sleeping bag like the Woods ARCTIC. This ultralight hammock includes straps and a carry bag for fast storage and transport. It can also be set up and taken down in minutes. It's built from durable, lightweight parachute nylon, so it'll last for years to come.
Outbound Single Burner Portable Camping Stove
The Outbound Single Burner Stove is a must-have for lightweight, rugged endeavors, and particularly for camping trips abroad. It's compact and easy to stow in your luggage, but puts out 10,000 BTUs of heat and can handle pots or pans up to 10 inches, performing well in both sub-freezing temperatures and high altitudes. The chrome-plated steel build offers long-lasting performance, and its retractable plastic base provides stability on uneven ground.
Frequently Asked Questions
Allegany State Park
Combine the North Country and Finger Lakes Trails for a 22-mile one-way hike across New York's largest state park. This trail features three shelters, so you don't have to set up a tent each night, and tracks across a variety of scenic forests and streams. You won't find overlooks or waterfalls here, but the trail is especially beautiful in the fall when the leaves change color.
The 25-mile Devil's Path, in the rugged Catskills, is one of the state's most famous trails (and it's notoriously difficult). The entirety of the trail is steep and rocky, with several precipitous drops and overlooks, but includes four shelters, so you don't have to carry your tent (so long as you aren't hiking on a busy weekend). You'll travel through picturesque spruce forests for most of the 25 miles. The trail can be broken up into two segments. The eastern half is much drier and more difficult, but with more viewpoints. The western portion of the trail, meanwhile, is easier and features a beautiful waterfall viewpoint, with more spots to fill up water, as well.
West Canada Lakes Wilderness Loop
This 23-mile loop in the Adirondacks is a stellar getaway. You'll pass stunning lakes, streams, and wetlands, with boardwalks offering views out over the water. There are eight shelters along the trail, typically situated by some of the very best aquatic viewpoints. If you have time, taking a short side hike to the summit of Pillsbury Mountain (3,589 feet), starting from the trailhead, provides stunning mountain top views.
The gear you need to pack for hiking when camping isn't any different from what you'll bring hiking any other time. At a bare minimum, you'll need sturdy hiking boots or hiking shoes, a pack, and a water bottle. For a full-day hike, try to carry at least two liters of water per person. A vacuum insulated tumbler is also helpful if you want to keep your drinks cool or warm.
Depending on the time of year and weather, you might wear hiking shorts and or pants, bring a jacket, or wear a sun hat. For longer hikes, you'll need to bring snacks. A map and compass are always helpful, as are binoculars for sightseeing. Hammocks are a great choice for taking a break and lounging, in warm weather, and lanterns, flashlights, or headlamps can be helpful in case you're out hiking near dusk.
Backpacking trips involve hiking, but the term backpacking refers specifically to a style of camping, not an activity, like hiking. Backpacking is a type of camping where you’re moving camp each night, hiking with all your gear and apparel on your back with you. Backpacking is different from car camping, for example, where you set up a single campsite, typically near your car or the trailhead, and don’t move sites throughout your trip.