Camp. This word makes me think of campfire songs, horseback riding, old pen pals, and counselors with funny camp names, like Casper or Sunbeam. While some of us may get nostalgic for those carefree summer days, us lucky ones still get to experience adventures reminiscent of camp. Whether it be jumping off rocks on the San Joaquin River, hiking through knee deep powder to find afternoon freshies, or diving the Mendocino coast, there are countless ways to get a little camp in your life. Often, my friends go off on adventures in a group of 20-30, making a normal trip feel very camp-like.
While it might sound like quite a feat to organize a group this size, following a few simple guidelines makes it nearly effortless. Here are some tips to help you plan your next Camp Adventure, of the grown up variety.
Team up in food groups
Instead of bringing 30 coolers with food for each person, team up. We have found two ways to do this that work equally well but are dependent on the Camp's amenities. Option 1: You are lucky enough to have a few coleman double burners or even a full stove and oven in that Cabin in the woods. Split up into groups of 4 or so and take a meal to cook for the whole group. A big scramble, pot-o-stew, or even a taco dinner is pretty easy to whip together. Yes, even for a group of 30. The serious benefit to this? You only have to cook once, then you can sit back and enjoy! Option 2: You're backpacking and only have lightweight stoves, a pot, and not much else. Break into groups of 5-6 to cook your meals in small groups, each taking on a job (chopping, heating, etc.). Once you have your meals together, gather 'round the fire and enjoy the company of the group.
Keep a camp box
Often, a good adventure may spontaneously present itself and you want to be ready! Always be prepared by putting together a camp box so you can easily get the essentials together as you pack up the car. A good camp box may include:
- Headlamp + extra batteries
- Stove (Backpacking or Car Camping)
- Water bottle/reservoir
- Water filtration system
- Sleeping pad
- Sleeping bag
- First aid kit
Don't double pack
You are prepared--hopefully your friends are, too. Don't over pack and end up bringing things you can easily share (think pots, pans, coolers). Team up with your food group and only bring what you need, leaving room in your car/backpack for more beer, whiskey...you know, the essentials.
TAKE ALONG AN EXPERT
While it is always fun to explore a new place, it is even better to explore with a friend who knows the best swimming hole, out of bounds run, or uncrowded hike.
KEEP IT LIGHT
Naw, I don't mean the food. At camp you always did silly things, so don't underestimate the power of having some good ol' fashioned, juvenile fun.
Have you ever done a Camp style cookout? Tell us your favorite group meal in the comments!