Camping Essentials

The essentials for a camping trip depend on what sort of camping one is doing. My preference is to find some wilderness area with a nice base camp within a day’s hike and then stay near that base camp til the trip is over.

The base camp needs a good water source nearby and, for various reasons, there also needs to be good cellphone reception.  Even far from cities and in arid climates, one can easily find such places on the upper elevations of various mountainsides (Deseret Peak Wilderness amd Mt Naomi Wilderness in Northern Utah, Pilot Mountain on Nevada/Utah border, Henry Mountains in Southern Utah) at around 8 or 9 thousand feed elevation. I usually have a detailed topographic map of the area with me for exploring.

south_willow_lake

I always take my iPhone (and a battery pack for it which can last nearly a week) and a New Testament/Psalms (I could read off the iPhone but I find that unpleasant for any length). Of course, a backpack with water bladder,  small hiking tent, sleeping bag and water purification system are also essential (I use a Katadyn Base Camp Pro filtration system, with 10L storage bag).  A hiking pole, knife, collapsible trowel, toilet paper, some string and sealable plastic bags are also necessary.  Several changes of clothes and a jar of peanut butter and I’m all set.

I’m generally semi-fasting while camping and think a fire much more trouble than it’s worth. I do sometimes take cheese and apples or dried fruit (unlike back east in the Appalachians, one does not often find old apple trees up in the mountains of Utah).   The cellphone requirement  does eliminate some lovely but more remote areas (e.g. High Uinta Wilderness) where even at, say, 9000 feet one doesn’t have a line of sight to a cellphone tower.  I may get to those sorts of places someday but for now there are plenty of suitable areas that I’ve not yet had time to explore. I’m also starting to explore the Timpanogos area.

Car Camping

For car camping, when one can take more stuff, my favorite area out here is the Franklin Basin area, spanning Utah and Idaho in the Bear River Mountain Range.  The Soapstone area in the Uintas, and the high Wasatch plateau along the Skyline Drive are also good for this.

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