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Car Camping is Cool!

One of the many great things about the 365 MC group is being inspired to try new adventures. Everyone makes them all look so easy (deceptively so). How did they make that look so easy? The simple answer is preparation. Preparation can include researching your adventure by reading articles, joining social media groups, talking to people that have some prior experience, and taking small steps to gain your own experience.

For example, I was inspired to start backpacking, but I have no experience camping. As part of my preparation, I did a lot of research and purchased some great (hopefully) gear. The next step was to get some experience using it. I could have gone backpacking with others that have experience, but I chose to gain some experience on my own in a less risky environment. I started by camping in my backyard. It was a great test without a lot of risk and I was able to get comfortable with my gear and practice setting it up and taking it down.

During my research, I discovered car camping and dispersed car camping. This is camping in or near your car outside of an established campground and is allowed in national forests often free of charge (but you’ll need to check with each individual forest). It has the benefit of being able to test all of your gear and being able to load up your gear and leave if problems arise. That sounded great! Then, the opportunity to join some friends for some camping in a national forest arose and car camping here I come. I’ll definitely be able to test out my sleeping bag, pad, and pillow to see if I made the right choices.

Car camping does have a bonus that backpacking will absolutely not accommodate. It gives you the luxury of bringing additional items that you couldn’t bring if you had to carry them on your back. I’ll have to be very conscious of this and make some hard but necessary decisions for my first actual backpacking trip.

This car camping trip will definitely highlight the normal items we all take for granted in our daily lives and is going to really make me evaluate my short list of necessities. Car camping is a good first step for me as I move forward on this new adventure. I am excited about my joining my friends and this trip will be a great practice run to really learn what my “can’t do without it” items are. A good and important lesson that simultaneously makes this new adventure seem a little daunting and a little easier at the same time. Did I mention you might also need to just have some courage and say, “let’s try it”? Courage (just a little bit) is a key ingredient for all new adventures in life!

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