Camping Upstate? Here’s Essential Gear Every Camper Needs
There’s nothing like camping in Upstate New York––sure, you can go on a hike or spend an afternoon in the Catskill Mountains, but it’s not quite the same as sleeping under the stars. There’s something magical about the pitch black night with only the glow of a fire, the crisp mountain air, and the sounds of wilderness that can’t be topped.
One of the most important aspects of camping is toting the proper gear. If you don’t have the right equipment or your gear fails, your trip could be ruined, or worse: you could put yourself and your fellow campers in danger. While there’s a list of gear to pack when you go camping, these three essentials ensure that you’ll stay safe and get the most from your time in Upstate New York.
1. A Reliable Watch
These days, watches are often more for looks than function, as most people use their phones to track the time. While there’s nothing wrong with that, when you’re camping, it’s best to have a more reliable option available. Even with the advances phones have made, in recent years they’re still pretty fragile, and the outdoors isn’t exactly a place for fragile equipment. Aside from durability, you’ll want something that you’re not likely to drop or lose, and it’s pretty hard to lose something attached to your wrist.
Watches are important while camping for a few reasons. Perhaps most important is making sure you meet up with your camping buddies at the right time––say, connecting with them at a trailhead at noon. It’s easy to lose track of the time while immersing yourself in nature, so it’s helpful to check the time if someone has been gone too long (they’re is supposed to be back from the hike in three hours and it’s been five.)
A Luminox watch is an example of a durable timepiece that can not only stand up to the trials nature might throw your way, but it can look stylish with casual outfits when you’re back in the city.
2. A Quality Tent
Tents are a no-brainer when it comes to packing lists, but not all tents are created equal. You’ll need to consider the kind of camping you’re doing to find the best tent for your needs. For example, if you’re setting up a base camp and not lugging your gear all over the mountains, a large, heavy-duty tent could be perfect. However, if you’re backpacking, that 15-person military surplus tent isn’t going to cut it. The tent fabric really does make a difference––for example, lighter fabrics aren’t going to be as durable, so you have to decide what’s most important for you.
Regardless of the kind of tent you get, look for one with reinforced seams, and if the tent isn’t waterproof from the outset, use a waterproofing spray.
3. Heavy-Duty Water Bottles
It needs to be said––don’t rely on plastic water bottles. Even the ones marketed as unbreakable can indeed break. Sure, no product is truly indestructible, but your safest bet is going with a metal water bottle. Some people may worry that metal will be too heavy, but the weight difference is negligible, and even then, it’s a small price to pay to make sure you have water. Always make sure you have a few water bottles with you because running out of water out in the woods is not only uncomfortable, it’s risky.
Vacuum-sealed bottles will help keep your beverages hot or cool for longer than your average water bottle, and they’re much more commonplace and affordable than when they first hit the market. Metal water bottles are also easier to clean. Yes, your bottle is going to get beat up and dented, and it’s going to look amazing with a little wear and tear. You can get souvenir stickers at gas stations as you travel to turn your little beat up canister into a veritable travel log.
The next time you’re gearing up to spend a few days camping in Watkins Glens State Park on at Niagara Falls, make sure your packing list includes these essentials. When you’re prepared, you can give your full attention to the beautiful sights and sounds of Mother Nature.
If you don’t have any excursions on the horizon, it’s time to pull out your calendar and set some time aside to immerse yourself in the great outdoors this year. Here, some ideas where to camp in Upstate New York.
And if camping isn’t for you, try glamping instead. 🙂