Travel & Outdoors

Ask A Philadelphia Guide: Packing List For Your Next Campout

April 27, 2013 7:00 AM

View Comments
Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

The hustle and bustle of Philadelphia can make it easy to forget that the great outdoors is just a short drive away. The Appalachian Mountains provide unique opportunities for hiking, fishing, climbing and camping. Camping expert Steph Scaramella is enthusiastic about backpacking through the Poconos, but highly recommends making the trip a little farther north to Southern Harriman Loop in the Hudson River Valley. About eight months ago, she started sharing her passion with others as an in store guide at Eastern Mountain Sports.
Stephanie Scaramella
In-Store Guide
Eastern Mountain Sports
400 Route 38
Moorestown, NJ 08057
(856) 234-3030
www.ems.com

Scaramella starting camping about five years ago when she was a freshman at Yale. She loved it, and has since expanded her interests to include kayaking and mountain climbing. She especially loves the time she gets to spend with friends and the friendships she’s made through camping and hiking. As a guide, she is an expert at advising people on what and how to pack for their outdoor adventures.

Water Check

Campers should check the local water conditions before packing. If water quality is good, then they can pack less water and carry a filter for safety. Running water is better to pull from than lake water because there is less bacteria in it. The amount of water a person needs to pack will depend on the person and the conditions, but campers should remember that without water, they’ll only survive two days.

Related: Top Campgrounds In The Philadelphia Area

Weather Watcher

Because the weather can change so easily in the Northeast, campers should be ready for all possible weather conditions. Two years ago, in fact, Scaramella got caught in a blizzard while camping in October. Also, just because it’s chilly in the morning doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Backpackers should always dress in layers to easily accommodate temperature changes.

Good Gear

Having the right gear for the trip will make backpackers safer. It will also help you stay drier, stay warm and sweat more efficiently. Campers should start with a day pack that fits their frame and body. There are countless options available to suit all body types. To learn which gear is the right gear for a trip, campers should consult a guide like Scaramella, or research by reading from Mountaineers Books. Having the right gear for the trip will make backpackers safer. It will also help you stay drier, stay warm and sweat better. Campers should start with a day pack that fits their frame and body. There are countless options available to suit all body types. To learn which gear is the right gear for a trip, campers should consult a guide like Scaramella or research by reading “Mountaineering: The Freedom of The Hills” from Mountaineers Books.

Pack It Right

Good planning is needed when packing. First, campers should decide if they prefer easier movement or stability. Loading heavy items to the center of the pack will protect the back and provide ease of movement, while packing heavy items to the bottom will allow better stability. Easy-access items like snacks, water and rain gear should be packed at the top.

Take Only What You Need To Survive

Campers should not bring anything that won’t be needed. Because nothing can be left behind, campers will have to carry everything they bring for the entire hike. The heavier the pack, the less mileage they’ll cover. Carrying a heavy bag can also make a person more tired and more irritable.

Related: Is Camping The Right Vacation For You And Your Family?

Samantha Sinclair is a freelance writer who lives in South Jersey. She has two boys who love “adventuring.” Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 34,800 other followers