In any scenic beach town, there’s an easy way to identify the tourists: they’re the ones who are still in the ocean or going on a nature hike come rain, hail or hurricane. Local residents, of course, have time to wait until absolutely everything is perfect before bestirring themselves to enjoy the attractions they live right next to.
Of course, the ideal set of conditions never really arrives, and when it does we convince ourselves that we’re either too tired or too busy to actually go have fun. As a result, a lot of people end up compulsively visiting mediocre attractions, activities and curiosities while they’re on holiday, yet completely neglect ever seeing the better ones close to home.
So, while it’s still not too hot and mosquito season hasn’t quite arrived yet, why not actually launch yourself from the couch, grab some friends or family and embrace the local outdoors for a change?
Camping in Florida
Especially in the less arid parts of the state, sleeping in a tent can be an interesting experience. The weather can be volatile and hungry critters will make short work of your campsite if you’re careless about storing foodstuffs and trash. Especially in summer, it’s hot enough that the rule of thumb is that two people require a four-man tent, and a family of four will need one that nominally sleeps eight just to avoid burning up.
Even so, many people still find it worth it – in fact, Florida boasts more than 900 campgrounds – and bringing along a few wilderness luxuries might make all the difference to your experience.
Ideally, you’ll be able to take along enough bottled water for all your needs. This, however, isn’t always possible, especially if you plan to hike or sleep at a primitive campsite without vehicular access.
Taking a gallon a day as a minimum for each person’s drinking and cooking requirements, going on a seven day trip means carrying nearly sixty pounds in water alone! The traditional solution has of course been purification tablets. The problem with these is that they don’t actually purify anything, but only kill any microbes present.
The Lifestraw, by contrast, weighs only 2 ounces and can purify up to 1,000 gallons without any consumables having to be replaced. Instead of using chemicals, it’s simply a highly efficient filter that catches 99.999999% of all water-dwelling bacteria. One of its application is as a cheap way of improving public health in the Third World, but it is also ideal for campers.
One of the coolest yet simplest pieces of camping technology out there, a self-inflating mattress is simply an airtight envelope with a screw cap at one corner stretched over a foam core. To assemble it, just fold it out flat and open the valve, and the elasticity of the foam sucks in air.
These are not as comfortable as real airbeds, though. If you’re able to camp with one of the latter, it’s recommended that you also bring one of the quietest yet most powerful compressors you can find. There’s no need to disturb Nature’s tranquility with an inferior compressor, but if you try to inflate one with a bicycle pump your own swearing will soon be doing exactly that.
The Minipresso Camping Espresso Maker
Many of us are, if not addicted to, highly fond of a good cup of coffee. This product is rugged, lightweight, easy to clean and use and produces a cup of espresso that’s very much on a par with what many electric machines do. Even when you’re without essentials such as wi-fi and TV, this allows you to still enjoy life’s luxuries.