How to plan a camping trip, where and when to stay, and how to set up it? It is worth answering these questions already at the stage of rafting trip planning. What is different for us will be a shortstop during a one-day trip. What is different is bivouac with accommodation on the route of few days expedition.
It is worth appointing a leading person in a group. He or she will ask about recommended stopping places and will explain all matters interesting to the group. We will try to discuss some of these issues in the text below. From our side, we always recommend asking the person renting kayaks about the details. Such a person knows best (or at least should) conditions on the route we will paddle.
- life jacket;
- sleeping bag and mat;
- gloves with rubber nubbins for paddling and camp work;
- airtight bags for clothing and other belongings;
- mug, spoon, bowl, knife;
- hygienic items;
- first-aid kit;
- large trash bags.
- swamp boots
- long rain gear
- Windbreaker or jacket, rain jacket, pants or jeans, socks, underwear.
- Thermal underwear or sweatshirt
- Sneakers or sneakers, sandals
- Bandanas, caps, or hats (weather permitting)
- Light-colored, long-sleeved shirt, shorts below the knee
- Swimsuit or bathing suit
What place to choose for camping?
Even on a one-day, several-hour trip, it is worth stopping, stretching your bones, playing ball, or eating something. Communes and state forests provide their areas adjacent to the river places equipped with benches, and trash cans. Sometimes they also provide shelters and a place for a bonfire. In private areas, even those suggesting a stopping place, you should ask about the possibility of using the facility.
If kayaking lasts a few days, we choose mostly places adjusted to accommodation needs. For some of us, it will be a meadow uncontaminated by civilization and a range of WiFi waves. For others, it will be a facility providing access to drinking water, shelter under a roof, and hot water under a shower. These will come in handy during a longer kayaking trip. Do not enter the areas of reserves, areas protected by fences, or pastures belonging to private farmers. It may turn out, that despite the already set up camp we will be asked out of it. In such a case it would be good to politely “get along” together.
How do I set up at a rest stop?
During a kayaking rally, it is always worth taking care about discipline in a group, and order at the place of stopping. Oars and capes we leave in our kayaks because scattered here and there can “change the owner”. At the camping place, we can find other groups, with whom we will have to share the whole camping infrastructure. Let’s think then, to organize our equipment. We put the kayak in one place, turning them on the side (possible rain will not flood our cockpits).
Paddles and lifebelts should be taken closer to the tents. During the day, we hang the capes to dry. Oars should be placed in such a way as not to walk on them. Remember, that kayaking equipment is to be used only on water. Do not sit on the kayaks (elastic material gets deformed) or kapočas (we destroy the buoyancy filling). Do not pitch tents on roads or uphill entrances (the interior will be flooded in case of rain). We put our equipment inside and look for a place for a campfire. On well-equipped camping sites such a place is usually already designated. In places without infrastructure, you will have to take care of several important factors.
Where can you make a fire?
At campgrounds managed by a host/owner, we don’t have to worry about it. Such a place is already defined and well prepared. On forest glades without such blessings, we have to do it ourselves. We pick and put down the litter, occupy and surround it with stones. We do not light fires on peat bogs and near cereal fields. Always at a safe distance from tents and clusters of trees (conventionally 100m).
Chop wood with caution and watch out for people around you. It is necessary to have a vessel with water nearby to extinguish the fire at the end. Unburned wood should be spread out and water should be poured over it again, or sand should be covered over it. During periods of drought, the use of open fire is prohibited. We can only use a gas stove very carefully to prepare a meal and not leave it unattended. Let’s not light too big bonfires – they are only to warm us up and create a nice atmosphere. On a campsite, we are fellow campers, not competitors.
How to behave on a camping trip?
Let’s take care to observe good-neighborly, fire, and sanitary rules. At campgrounds, we are usually not alone. Respect the presence of other people, lowering the tone in the late evening hours. Do not disturb them with swearing or drunken behavior. A good waterman’s custom is to invite frozen fellow campers to the campfire and at night, not to disturb their desire to rest.
We always maintain order around our camp and clean up trash. Some facilities even have specially designated areas for waste separation. In undeveloped areas, we bury organic garbage such as tea grounds, stumps, and vegetable peelings. Other trash we take to the canoe – we leave it in the nearest designated place.
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