Showcase Sunday: Mini camping

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(Edited)

I love the outdoors; It seems like my natural environment much more so than the city in which I live. Can't find me? Well, I'm probably out hiking, kayaking, hunting or having cuddles with my wife, Faith, in an out of the way place surrounded by nature and no one else. Here's me below in the Flinders Ranges...Contemplating stuff.

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As you might guess camping is also one of my favourite outdoor activities and I go as often as I can. I'm fortunate that my partner also loves it [Not the hunting part, she hates the fact I do that].

We go camping together several times a year as a rule, for periods of between five to fifteen days at a time and have a pretty decent setup with a very-awesome camper trailer; It's very comfortable, easily deployed and has everything we require to make our camping expeditions as enjoyable as possible.

However, at those times I go hunting, or for a shorter trip with a couple of mates, comfort takes a back seat and I'm more focussed on a much more easily deployed set up. A mini-camp set up.

Sitting around the campfire is one of life's simple pleasures in my opinion. The worlds problems could get solved around a campfire if the right people were there.

Until you have done it, in an amazing location under a billion stars, then you won't know. This one shows one of my best efforts...It was too bloody hot to sit near though, however it was an almost zero-degree night and it's over-the-top warmth was welcome, from a distance - Again, you won't understand until you've done it I guess. There's something cathartic about a campfire.

I thought I'd share some tips here but firstly here's a couple of benefits to a minimalistic camp set up.

Firstly it removes some of the distance between us and the environment by focussing on being in it rather than imposing on it by way of RV's, caravans and massive camp set ups.

It also provides a nice counter-balance to our fast-paced lifestyle where everything is at our fingertips 24/7. It allows us to slow down, be more human, and focused on ourselves and the world we live in rather than outside influences and distractions.

Minimalistic camping is also easier to set up and pack-down and requires less room in the vehicle, back pack or on the campsite itself. This maximises time in the outdoors doing more valuable things.

So, here we go...A few tips to get you started. These techniques and ideas are not exclcusively mine, many campers around the world do these, and other things besides, in the pursuit of a minimalistic camp. These are just a few little hints to get you under way.

Organise meals around a handful of basic foods

  • Choosing foods that travel and keep well will simplify preparation and storage (Potatoes, carrots, chicken thighs, garlic, onion, beef mince, sausages and stock can be utilised in so many different ways.) There's no need to get too complicated; There's no Michelin Stars on offer in the bush.
  • Limit perishable items which will need refrigeration. (I take a fridge when I go, a purpose built one that lives in the back of my truck but it's only 60L in size and space is of the essence.) There's other ways to do it, and certainly, by taking foods that don't need refrigeration is by far the easiest way to go.
  • Calculate water usage according to the number of people, conditions and distance from water sources. (No need to take 100kg of water if there's a tap, river or creek 1km away. Just take a foldable bucket. (Remember to purify water you collect though.) There's tablets, filters and boiling methods to do that.
  • Portion food for each person and day where possible. Over-calculating food is one of the biggest wastes of space and food.

Simplify your kitchen and utensils

  • My kitchen (on a minimalistic camp out) is the camp fire and a grill top or my Jetboil

  • My utensils are tongs, a large stirring spoon, knife, fork and eating spoon and a cup. I also take a paint scraper which I have sharpened to flip eggs, bacon, sausages and cut meat when required. (My hunting knife doubles as a sharp knife when needed.)

  • I include a billy (to boil water) and a cast iron camp oven for stews or damper (bread) and I have cooked pizza in there too!

  • I use the tailgate of my truck as a table generally.

  • A small chopping board (one of those very thin ones that rolls up.)

Here's my minimalistic camp kitchen.

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Above is my billy and cook top (Cooking some chorizo sausage there I believe)

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Above you'll see my cast iron camp stove on the coals making a damper (bread). There's coals on top to help create the right temperature.

Above is the damper dough ready for cooking.

And above is the finished product. Too many coals on the top of the camp oven is why the very top is a little burned. Live and learn...It's an art. Slather some butter and jam on this bad boy and you're in heaven.

Limit your need for power

  • Use solar powered items where possible for lighting and don't overdo lighting - It ruins ones' night vision. At night, there's these things called stars and they look amazing when one is not in the city. Check it out by turning the lights off!

  • Leave the laptop, phones, ipad, and pretty much all electronic devices home. If you cannot then invest in a small, and suitable solar charger to recharge rather than taking loads of batteries. I use a lot of Goal Zero products.

  • Invest in a headlamp for night time. They are cheap, cast a lot of light and are easily turned on and off. They are portable as well so your light goes where you go. You have your hands free too. I use Led Lenser products for all my lighting needs.

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The remote Flinders Ranges in South Australia. This my back yard. I've done a lot of camping, hiking and hunting in these parts.

Use dual or multi-purpose equipment

  • Doing more with less is the focus when minimalistic camping. Find items that have multiple uses and you can take less gear. Simple.
  • I have an entrenching tool (shovel) that can be long or short handled, turns into a rake (to rake firebreaks) and includes a hammer. Rope, tarpaulins and cable-ties can be put to so many uses in a campsite and who can forget the good old multi-tool. I use the Leatherman EOD but there are cheaper versions. I always buy quality though as getting stock in the outback with equipment that fails is not fun.
  • I use collapsible buckets which pack small and have so many uses like water collection and when collecting sticks and twigs for kindling to start fires and baths. Yep, baths.

Here's my girl whilst taking a hike. She wouldn't turn around for the photo. I could watch her walk from behind all day long though so I don't mind a bit.

Ok, so there you have just a few hints based around a minimalistic camp-ethos. Camping doesn't have to be difficult or complicated and it certainly doesn't have to be minimalistic all the time but taking less provides an easier set up and less to get in the way between you and nature. I have't spoken about sleeping arrangements but will do so in a future post at some stage.

If you have been camping for a long time like me you may see it as a challenge to take less and less; I do that's for sure. But one bit of advice...Don't make your first few camping experiences too minimalistic. Camping is supposed to be fun and enjoyable and if your first few trips are not then you may be turned off one of life's great pleasures.

Oh, another bit of advice...reading this post won't make you an expert. I have been camping for 30 years and have built a lot of knowledge along the way by trial and error. Don't head off into the outback without a lot of planning and the right equipment. You may not come back.


Tomorrow isn't promised - Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default
Discord: galenkp#9209 🇦🇺

This post was originally posted by me in September 2017 has been reworked and reposted for the @nonameslefttouse #showcase-sunday concept.



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54 comments
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Ive been camping once and will never do it again. I like my own bed and my home comforts but did have a good time sitting round the campfire chatting. Looks like your no novice at it. :)

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It's not for everyone I guess.

Yes, I've been camping for a long time. My caper trailer is more like luxury camping than simple camping, but mini-camping is fun too and I like doing it.

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(Edited)

Doing what you like makes it fun, i was in agony after sleeping on a blow up bed lol

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Yes, ok well the ground won't treat any more kindly. Lol.

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Man, you're like a camping pro. I've been camping only once and I can say I enjoyed it a lot. However, we didn't have easy access to fresh water, and that's probably the only thing I didn't like. Greece is a water rich country, and I honestly drink large amounts of water daily, so the aqua man inside of me didn't like having to drink less. Besides, ''nero'' in Greek means ''water''. Lol.

Nice shots there by the way, that baked dough made me hungry! I could literally smell that thing as I was scrolling.

Cheers!

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Hey there. Yes, I have been camping a lot. I'm a shooter and so have spent a lot of time in the outback doing that and being there means having to camp. My wife comes too though and we have a pretty nice camper trailer set up for those times she does.

I enjoy the solitude and the need to have to do everything manually. The most basic of things takes effort out there sometimes and so one tends to attend to the necessities and leave the luxuries. It's a more basic way of living and I like it. Of course being in the bush means less people which is also a good thing.

Thanks for stopping by. :)

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I have done many week+ camping trips from my kayak and all my food and gear had to be stored in the hatch of the boat. I got good at minimalist camping. I miss being able to do that!

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Yes, hikers and kayakers know how to do it...I've done a bit of trekking so have had to carry everything I need...Makes one pack better, and more minimalistic. :)

Why can't you do it now?

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I have MS and use a mobility scooter to get around, but have no regrets about all the adventures I had when I was able!

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Oh, yeah ok I wasn't aware.

Adventures are good things to have in the memory bank...I'm always banging on aboutdesign and create your ideal life and stuff...The reason I do it in my own life is because I don't know how long I have, or will have the ability to do so. Sounds like you had some good times.

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Great attitude! None of us know what tomorrow holds in store. I love the life I have lived.

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You know what? I love that you love the life you've lead. That"s how it should be!

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No regrets and tons of great memories! I wish that for everyone.

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No regrets and tons
Of great memories! I wish
That for everyone.

                 - melinda010100


I'm a bot. I detect haiku.

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Keeping it simple is the way to camp for me👍

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I am "Camping" right now.....

Near Waverly Louisiana....rxm8t83djk.jpg
I camp nearly every day/night.... "True Story"

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You got a campfire? I love me a good campfire.

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Got a Haz-Mat Tanker beside Me right now... Not a good idea.

APU keeps me toasty warm. (internal combustion campfire)
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Chilly night.....
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Light the fire mate...Could make a good news story! 💥🤣

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Enjoyed this post about camping. I enjoy my jaunts into the woods as well for many of the same reasons you've listed :>)

Minimalistic camping is more my style as well, especially since I start my journeys off on foot, or from a biking trail, and just follow my heart (or nose) with a rather small backpack.

Yet...I have little experience (or desire) to do the camping thing during Winter months. I might try it one day, though :>)

Hoping you and your wife have a New Year full of peace and tranquility @galenkp

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Hey there, thanks for stopping by. I think winter camping can be terrible at times but I guess it depends where. Here in Australia, certainly in South Australia, winter camping is glorious. Cold nights but can be 20 and blue skies during the day. The photos shown in this blog were taken in June (winter here) and you can see how good it looks. Of course I've had bloody miserable winter camps too. 🤣

Sounds like you do a bit here and there which is cool. Camping out of a single backpack will certainly make one question every item huh?

Thanks for commenting. Have a great day.

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(Edited)

Camping out of a single backpack will certainly make one question every item huh?

That's for certain :>) but I'm rarely out there for very long. Only danger is getting 'stuck' unprepared for longer than anticipated stretches, which hasn't happened to me (fortunately)

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Good point. Mimal-camping/packing is one thing...Not having essential items is quite another. I got lost once. Wasn't pleasant. Luckily I was prepared and had some skills. Made my way back and learned some lessons. 😊

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Glad you found your way back @galenkp ; Steemit would never have been the same without you :>)

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Haha...Well, possibly but, not the same doesn't necessarily mean It's a good thing...Could be different-better without me? Surely not though! 😂

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Those were great tips! I love sleeping under the stars..away from the city lights, of course!
Couldn't quite figure out what a 'billy' is though, Here in the states, it is a person's name, or a male goat..lol

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Haha...It's pictured. It's the silvery kettle thing on the fire. It boils water. Basically a can with a handle. It's an Aussie thing. :)

P.s. Also a name and a goat here too.

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Ha ha thanks for clarifying.
That includes the P.S. as well. lol

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Most welcome Audie. 😊🇦🇺🇺🇲

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What's your damper recipe?

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Haha, not surprised someone asked.

Self-raising flour (or normal with a little yeast)
Water/soda water/beer or lemonade (for a sweeter version)
Or a little milk can work too
Add some salt.
Mix up into a workable dough (leave to rise if yeast has been added)
Then camp-oven that bad boy.

At times I add dried fruit and nuts, some jam or sugar...stewed apple and cinnamon, chocolate buds or herbs and cheese...Depends on what it is for. (sweet or savoury). I also use baking paper in the bottom of the camp-oven for obvious reasons.

Typically I use self-raising flour, salt and water...That's it. I'm a simple dude.

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Stewed apple and cinnamon. That sounds incredible.

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Yes, did that one once...Was bloody awesome! Sprinkled some brown sugar on the top of it which sort of melted and glazed up...Some white chocolate buds would have made it perfect. :) (Now I bloody want one!)

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A really cool little article mate. I love how organised you are and even your minimalist set up allows for a proper ‘home away from home’. Do you have any tips or preferences on EDC gear or essentials for a rucksack? Also I’ve resteemed this too mate.

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Hey there, thanks for the visit, comment and resteem - Greatly appreciated.

So, EDC...I guess it is person and location specific. Unfortunately I work an executive job and wear a suit so carrying much other than my phone and wallet isn't suitable but when I'm out and about, shooting at the range or in the field...I have stuff. My vehicles are always prepared too.

I always have a knife on me of course, and on my key ring I have a small SOG key-knife...For those emergency times you know? It's sharp AF! (Pictured)

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I have EDC/go bags in my vehicles of course, with the usual suspects in there. I try to keep it simple and uncomplicated. Bottle of water, knife, LED lenser headlight and small torch, multi-tool, cable-saw, fish hooks and line, a few little bottles of whisky, water-purification, collapsible water bottles, first aid, medication pills (am diabetic), beanie, a few MRE's, paracord, carabiners, small tarp, gloves etc...It's not really a bug out bag I guess, just a be-fucking-ready bag. :) One never knows when someone may need help on the roadside and those things will come in handy.

Here in Australia we can't carry but my guns are always GTG at home (stored within legal constraints) and I have a more comprehensive go bag and a Pelican case with essential stuff (docs, silver etc) ready to go.

How about you?

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No worries mate. Yes you’re 100% right it is definitely location and person specific. I work in a bar, so no suit but still a shirt and chinos is expected. Normally all I have in my pocket bar the usual phone and keys is a Parker pen and a small Swiss Army knife. I’ve seen your key knife before online, it’s one of the few that are acceptable here in the UK as our knife laws are pretty draconian.

Our bug out bags and the like pretty much seem to mirror each other sir, I assume with a few differences due to climate. I favour rum in my hip flask over whisky but that’s probably not going to be a major issue come a SHTF situation. On a daily basis I always carry a rucksack back and forth from work and in it I have a complete change of clothes, Marmot jacket, gloves, beanie, a battery pack (for my dying IPhone 5s which lasts 10 minutes now), needle and thread, a small wash pack, some Kendle mint cake, torch, and a couple of books.

Also I think I’m going to steal your phrase of a ‘be-fucking-ready bag’ it describes my rucksack quite concisely.

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Haha, feel free to steal the phrase...Given gladly.

Yeah, seems we have the same sort of stuff. I have a boot knife on me mostly, although again, not at work...We have laws her too and as far as I know my boot knife is ok...If not...I'll deal with it when the need arises. they key knif comes in handy sometimes...You know, I flew around recently (domestically) and it got through in my carry-on bag each time...Maybe because it scans as a key I guess. Handy huh?

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A boot knife is pretty much a no starter here, anything with a fixed blade or locking over 3 inches is illegal to be carried. If you’re in the woods, fishing or say a chef carrying their knives to work you may be ok and I put emphasis on the word ‘may’ as police can interpret the law how they see fit.

On the topic of you managing to fly with your SOG that is pretty cool and fits into a market of covert EDC gear which is popular over here. Things such as tactical pens and carabiners which double as knuckle dusters or other more subtle ‘force multipliers’ are extremely popular. Also body armour and slash proof Kevlar hoodies are all quiet popular and can offer subtle by real protection when needed.

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Wow, talk about draconian laws! I heard you have some fairly lame gun laws too.

Yeah, I think if a person is resourceful enough almost anything can be used as a force-muliplyer. The trick is knowing how to do so I guess, and in finding the ability for quick thinking and decision making at the time.

I'm travelling to EU in July and won't try to take the key knife...Just in case I run into customs and security issues...I'll have to resort to picking up throwing chairs! 🙈🤣

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Yes our firearms laws are pretty restricted but as a nation we’ve been pretty well subdued to not care, with all those of a rebellious nature starting to leave the UK from 1776 and 1788 onwards depending on their choosing America or Australia.

Being resourceful works every time but now days as I get older I just avoid putting myself in a possible if at work I let the doorstaff/bouncers deal with it or walking home in the early hours I just run. Chairs can be unwieldily but a good shield, If counter aggression may I advise a bottle with good reach such as grey goose sir.

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It's a messed up world we live in and getting worse...Your "run home at night" comment...My wife and I used to go into the city, for a meal, a movie etc...These days we avoid it as we're likely to get stabbed...Harassed almost certainly. I'm no slouch as far as looking after myself...But me against multiple others? No thanks, not with my wife standing there also.

I'm not trying to say if one is out after dark in Adelaide they get stabbed...Just that it's rarely worth putting oneself in that position. It used to be that a look would deter a person, some calming non-confrontational words...These days with people on ICE and stuff...Anything can happen.

I have mates that are cops and they say the same thing...Stay away from hotspots. I'm glad I'm not a cop too...They can't even mace someone without a pile of paperwork...I'd be too liberal with the night-stick if I was a cop...And the sidearm. :)

I think a lot can be avoided by applying some situational awareness, which most don't have, but my ethos is to go from zero to a million in one second in the advent of a situation...Better to beg forgiveness than to wind up a victim of inaction. Just me though.

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I think we’re of a like mind on this topic mate and you’ve hit the nail on the head with situational awareness and a big part of avoiding trouble and surviving anywhere even not in a conflict is always being aware. ( I also look back on my teens and early 20’s now and wonder how I survived with how dumb my choices were).

I agree with you though that it is always better to ask forgiveness later than loose that ability through inaction it is just bloody tricky to know where the line is these days. Touch wood, neither you nor I ever have to make that decision.

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Yes, I agree...Let's hope we are never in a situation that we have to decide on a course of action that has enormous consequences no matter the result. I guess all we can do is be as aware as we can, and know when to walk away quickly.

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Howdy sir galenkp! This is an excellent tutorial. You guys have that camper, you sleep in there?

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Yes mate, it's pretty cool. I may do a #showcase-sunday on it at some stage. It's pretty well set up.

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Howdy again and good Saturday to you. I think that would make for a great post!

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Well fortunately for you I posted about my camper today...Just for you. 😊

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Yay! lol..thanks, that will be another great read sir galenkp!

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