You’ve had enough of the traffic on the scenic road and the noisy tourists and their selfie sticks? You need silence, stars and moose? In other words, nature is calling you? Very well, but before you take off for your first wilderness camping experience, here’s what you should know.
Bears run fast
Far from human activities, animals rule. If you leave food outdoors unattended, there is a good chance that an animal will be attracted to the smell. In the case of a bear, the situation could quickly become problematic. Remember: bears run fast. So there is absolutely no point running or climbing up a tree. You should never to turn your back on a bear, nor stare into its eyes, which it might interpret as a provocation. Slowly walk away from it backwards, screaming at it to frighten it. Although curious by nature, bears are rarely aggressive. Good anti-bear cartridges thrown into the air will sometimes be enough to make it run away.
You can filter river water
On the first days of your wilderness camping experience, enthusiasm and thirst could inspire you to drink from a stream, a river or a lake that has water so clear it looks like rock water. But a river is not rock water. Contamination from a dead animal floating up current or an algae species invisible to the naked eye can cause cramps and indigestion. The solution? Water filters specially designed for outdoor living. They will prevent you from getting sick in the heart of the forest.
Rubbing two stones together is not enough to make a fire
A good fire will allow you to cook, warm up, keep mosquitoes away and daydream. So don’t forget to bring plenty of newspapers, twigs and matches that are wind and moisture proof to make it easier for you.
Dry food is delicious outdoors
We can’t explain it, but everything tastes better when you eat outside. When camping, put aside your food preferences and focus on freeze-dried foods, nuts and dried fruits to save space in your backpack and travel light!
Bugs love soap
Nothing better than a skin and hair smelling fruity to attract a horde of voracious insects. If you must use soap, choose it unscented or with natural mosquito repellent oils such as citronella.
A shovel, adhesive tape and rope are versatile tools
In wilderness camping as elsewhere, the unexpected are numerous. Apart from the famous pocket knife, a shovel, a large adhesive ribbon and some rope will be very useful for all kinds of things, such as burying your personal waste, fixing a hole in the tent, hanging your clothes and keeping your boot from rubbing against your blister.
Still unsure? Take an experienced person with you and double the pleasure!