May 29

Grab Your Duffle Bag: California Weather and the Outdoors Calling Out to Camping

It is easy to forget that California is, strictly speaking, a desert. People forget this because the state produces three times the agricultural output of Australia, and is the United States’s biggest food producer. That is now in jeopardy due to the years long drought that it is experiencing.

death valley in californiaExperts say that the California drought is the worst the area has experienced in more than 1,200 years. On top of that, because it is weather that is being discussed, no one really knows when the drought would break. There have been some storms, and off-season snow in the high Sierras, but it would take more than that to bring back the dried up rivers and lakes. Meteorologists know that the end is not yet in sight.

Except for the winter sports enthusiasts, the current state of the weather has had no effect to California’s sportsmen. The skateboarders are still out, along with wake boarders, surfers, motocrossers, mountain bikers and other outdoor sportsmen. A lot of these modern day sports were born in California and the practitioners do not seem to be affected by it.

For hikers and backpackers, there is no better time to go out to the hills and forests than now. A mild and dry spring beckons, after another dry winter. Camping season started early, and enthusiasts are looking forward to getting back on the trail. This is also a good time to check the camping gear.

For a lot of people, the backpack never went out of fashion. Nowadays, there are different versions of the venerable bag, especially those under the category of “bug out bag”. This growing niche is built upon the concept of doomsday preppers, where a bag filled with necessities is always on standby and ready for any type of Armageddon. It also happens to be a good bag to have for those who are always on the go, like traveling salesmen, and circuit speakers. Along with these large backpacks, military duffle bags such as those from Pack-it-in Pack-it-out are also gaining in popularity. There are many reasons for the popularity of these bags. For one, there are a lot of ex-military personnel who prefer to use them. For another, these are no-fuss bags which are designed to resist rips and tears, and to carry a heavy load.

The draw of California has always been the warm weather. This has made it very attractive for those who don’t like the snow. The abundant sunshine is also the reason for the great agricultural produce. It is not a stretch to say that almost every major American farm produce can be planted in the state. It may not be the bread basket, but it comes close to being the pantry for the rest of the country.

On top of the farms, the state has hiking trails and camping grounds of all sorts. These can accommodate backpackers, hikers as well as RV campers. Whatever equipment you may have, there is a camping ground available for your use.

Fisherman camping at a wilderness lakeToday’s campers are a lot different from those of just ten or five years ago. Nowadays, every outdoor activity has some high-tech app or gadget to go along with it. The proliferation of wearables, and fitness tech like FitBit and apps for iOS and Android, as well as connected cars and recreational vehicles make camping that much easier. You can bring your truck to the campground and pitch your tent on the flatbed. There are different portable devices which are either rechargeable via a USB connection, or even with a solar cell battery. Most cars now have USB connectors which can recharge different devices. There are even USB-powered small refrigerators, not to mention battery powered coolers. It is no longer necessary to fish in order to eat. You can bring your own supermarket bought steak with you to the campsite. You can even cook the steak on a portable inductive range if you want to. Propane powered ranges are still available, however, the ease of use and safety of inductive ranges have made them a viable alternative for campers, as long as there is a power source.

Camping is a time-honored tradition for the American family. It is childhood experience which parents would want to relive with their own children. Living in an urban area makes a person distant from the needs of the wild green canopy of a forest trail. A camping trip can be rejuvenating, and it can recharge batteries. In an increasingly developed world where a cell phone and internet access has become a necessity, the throwback of sleeping without electricity brings things into a different perspective.