If you are like me, you are totally dependent on technology. Don’t take away my cell phone or other electronic devices, because I simply do not want to unplug, ever for any reason. Unfortunately for me, I have a few over zealous outdoorsy types in my household. They hanker to get back to nature and avoid electronics at every turn, while I long for my Kindle and other creature comforts. Inevitably it seems that we end up camping at least four times a year.
What is a city slicker like me to do?
Find a way to survive my family camping and backpacking trips with going crazy. There is no denying that I get a bit cranky without the comforts of home. I can deal with a shower every few days, even if it is not particularly hot, cook over a campfire with the best of them and trek through the wilderness, but do not ask me to go without my iPad, cell and Kindle for any length of time less you risk my extreme displeasure!
Last year I got a Votiac Systems Off-Grid Backpack for my birthday and have never looked back. This is an ingenious invention which has made charging electronic necessities of life a piece of cake while roughing it. When car camping, having the ability to recharge is a great option.
Of course, if you are an avid reader like I am, you will need a good light source to read by. It is easy enough to get a propane lantern if you are not backpacking or hiking, but if a bit further out reading is usually not going to happen after sundown. Every backpacker knows that weight is the last thing you want in you pack, but some luxuries are a necessity. I was lucky enough to find several hand crank LED flashlights that weighed less than 6 ounces and gave 30 minutes of light for just 1 minute of time spent cranking. Surprisingly, there were several models that retailed for under $10 each. I finally decided on a really small one that was only 4 inches by 2 inches and weighed very little. The light is so bright that we don’t even use the lanterns when we car camp anymore, just several flashlights.
I also have added a JJ Cole Essentials outdoor blanket to the things I must take when we car camp. Because one side of the blanket is waterproof, it is useful to bring along for any number of unforeseen needs. I use it for a table cover when our picnic table is damp and I’m using my electronic devices, as a picnic blanket or to cover the seats in the car when the rest of my crew gets of the trail after being out backpacking for several days. This is one item that is compact, light weight and very handy in any number of situations.