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Americans enthusiasm for camping has been growing by leaps and bounds. In 2012 alone, 3 million more Americans went camping than had in 2010. For 84% of campers, camping is only one of the outdoor activities they enjoy. If you’re interested in incorporating more adventure into your camping trips, we’ve got the list for you. What follows are tips on how to turn a been-there-done-that camping trip into a whole new adventure and the sort of adventure gear you’d need to make it happen.
Camp in the woods and bring:
- Hunting gear
For those hunters among us, nothing can raise the adventure level of a camping trip like incorporating hunting into it. Americans will spend a combined 228 days hunting each year. Imagine how many days you could spend if you brought camping equipment along and spent the night in the woods? Gun shops can equip you with the necessary adventure gear to carry your guns and ammunition along with your backpacking gear.
- Archery equipment
Even if you aren’t an avid hunter, bringing archery gear on your camping trip could make for great afternoon entertainment. Plus, firing a bow is a great exercise for muscle development. Archery uses almost all of the muscles in the upper body from shoulders, chest, to back. If you are a hunter, of course, and really want to up the ante on your camping and hunting trip, you could skip the gun and go bowhunting instead. Stop by an archery shop before your trip for help finding the right archery equipment for beginners. There’s target archery, traditional archery, and field archery for those not interested in live targets. Depending on the type of archery you’re interested in, you may need a modern recursive bow, a traditional longbow, or a compound bow.
Camp by water and bring:
Tired of trekking across land with a giant pack on your back but not interested in camping in one spot, either? Make your camping trip mobile by planning it along a river. You can purchase or rent a kayak and paddle from camping spot to camping spot. Kayaking will also amp up the exercise factor on your trip: According to the American Council on Exercise, a 125-pound person will burn around 283 calories per hour when kayaking.
To mix your camping trip up a bit, find a place you can scuba dive while away. Essential scuba adventure gear includes: a mask, a scuba regulator and tank or snorkel, depending on the depths you want to go to, fins to help you swim, and a wet suit.
Fishing and camping are a match made in Heaven. Stop by your local fishing shop to find the best pole, line, and bait for the fish that’ll be at your destination. If you’re lucky, you may be able to catch enough to feed the whole gang – – just remember to add fish cooking and cleaning equipment to your adventure gear packing checklist.
Everywhere adventure gear:
Regardless of where you end up camping, don’t forget these two often overlooked pieces of adventure gear:
- Night lights
One of the best aspects of sleeping away from civilization is getting a whole new view of the stars. When not star gazing, however, an unlit campsite can be a dark, dark place. To rectify this, plan to bring battery-powered lights. The most popular camping supplies purchased last year were battery lighting. Beyond single LED headlamps, adding a lantern or two around the campsite, kitchen, and tent area can create a more inviting – – not to mention safer to navigate – – campsite.
- A comfortable pillow
It’s not the most adventurous or adventure gear, but a comfy pillow can make all the difference in extended outdoor adventures. You can purchase compression sacks to compress your pillow for daytime carrying or find pillow-shaped sacks that can serve a dual purpose as a place for extra clothes. Some sleeping backs use a fleece-lined stuff sack that can be turned inside out to become a fuzzy pillow. Then there are the inflatable air pillows you can blow up each night. Whatever option you choose, be sure to test your pillow along with your other camping gear before setting out.