If you’re a veteran camper craving a longer, more immersive experience, you owe it to yourself to try a camping tour. Camping tours are essentially extended treks through the wilderness where you set up camp in a new location each night. The length of the tour can range from a couple of days to several months, and they’re often available in tour ‘packages’ where you venture out with a guide and a group of other campers, such as the Kakadu Tours CharterNorth. But whether you’re looking to join a group or strike out on your own, having the right equipment is vital when you’ll be spending so long in the wilderness. Here are ten of the best tools to help you simplify your camping tour:
1. Propane Stove
Digging a fire pit and gathering kindling is the traditional way to start a campfire, but depending on where you’re touring, sufficient firewood might not always be available. This is why a small propane stove is a must for lengthy camping tours. Not only will it guarantee you always have a fire to cook with, but it can also keep you warm if you’re camping in colder regions.
2. Water Filters
Unless you plan on bringing enough bottled water to last the entire tour, you’ll need a way to purify water from streams, lakes and rivers. There are many varieties of water filters available; bottle filters, for example, function like a coffee press and have a special cartridge to trap bacteria and debris, while squeeze filters attach to the top of your bottle and filter the water before it enters your mouth. There are even ‘straw’ filters that you can use to drink directly from any body of water.
3. Solar Lantern
Packing a solar-powered lantern means you never have to worry about running out of fuel for a traditional lantern or charge for an electric one. Be sure to purchase a solar lantern that’s small enough to be strapped onto your pack so it can charge while you hike.
4. Survival Shovel
If you haven’t seen one before, a survival shovel is essentially a short-handled shovel that you can fold up so it becomes small enough to stick into your pack. Shovels have a variety of uses when camping, from digging latrines or fire pits to shovelling dirt onto a fire to extinguish it.
5. Two-Way Radios
If you’re camping with friends or family, a pair of two-way radios will help you stay in contact if your group wants or needs to split up. They can also be lifesavers if you get lost and need to find your way back to the campsite.
6. Multipurpose Knife
A standard pocket knife is fine for a one-night camping trip, but for an extended camping tour, you’ll want a knife that comes with a variety of useful tools. Keep an eye out for knives with pliers, tweezers and screwdriver attachments, as these are all extremely useful survival tools.
7. Boot Dryers
If you’ve never heard of a boot dryer, it’s basically a vaguely boot-shaped pad that you insert into your hiking shoes to dry them from the inside without the use of fire or another heat source. There are a wide variety of boot dryers available that use different drying methods, but a popular design uses silica oxide beads to soak up moisture.
8. Waterproof Watch
You won’t have many opportunities to charge your phone on a camping tour, so a waterproof, preferably solar-powered watch is a useful tool to have for setting timers and telling the time of day. Unlike your phone, you can take a waterproof watch with you while swimming or canoeing, and it’s unlikely to break from impacts that would easily shatter your phone screen.
It may not be high-tech, but a simple hatchet is one of the most useful tools for an extended camping tour. Hatchets are small enough to fit into many packs and can be used to clear brush, chop firewood and build shelters.
One final camping tool to bring on your tour is a small headlamp to help you see at night while setting up camp. Solar-powered headlamps are best, but even battery-powered models tend to last a long time before running out of power.