Reading and Camping

Picture bookSome people like to go camping to revel in nature. They don’t need anything to keep themselves occupied. They are perfectly content sitting in nature, listening to the wind dance through the trees or the sounds of a river as the water splashes upon the rocks. Of course, there are also people who love spending a day in the woods, but they might get a little restless sitting around the campsite with nothing to do. This is especially true for longer outings in nature.

Some choose to pass the time by playing games or musical instruments, while others take the opportunity to hone their whittling skills or practice their knots. Still others want nothing more than to sit by a cozy campfire and read a good book.

Reading and camping are a wonderful pairing. Camping offers a relaxing setting with ample free time and few distractions, which just so happens to create the perfect reading conditions. If you need someone to hold your hand and walk you through reading and camping, you should probably reconsider your decision to go camping. There are, however, some things you might not consider, so here are some tips for reading while camping.

There was a time when your options for choosing a book were hardcover or paperback. Now eBooks can be carried on your phone, tablet or laptop. The nice thing about carrying a book on your phone is that it is smaller and more compact than a physical book. Space and weight are two important factors when camping – especially when backpacking – but there are also disadvantages to carrying eBooks.

Paperback books don’t run out of juice. You phone, Kindle, Nook, or whatever has a limited battery life, and when your device dies, reading your book is no longer an option. If you’re car camping, bring a car charger to keep reading. If you’re backpacking, you will have to invest in a solar charger or backup battery charger to keep your book available to you.

Most electronic reading devices have a backlight option that will let you read when it’s dark. If you’re reading a physical book, bring a headlamp. Both of these options, however, will ruin your night vision and make it hard for you see your surroundings. A headlamp with a red bulb will help preserve your night vision, and make it easier for your eyes to transition to see in the dark.

Whether you choose an eBook or a physical book, you need to keep it safe. If you’re car camping, you can simply toss it in your glove compartment or console, and it will be fine. Things get a little trickier when you’re backpacking, though. You will definitely want waterproof storage, and you should consider a semi-rigid case to protect screens and keep pages from bending, ripping, or tearing.

Don’t forget a good reading chair. You obviously won’t be lugging out your high-backed leather chair, but a packable camp chair will be much more comfortable than a cold, lumpy rock.

How do you enhance your reading experience while camping? Let us know in the comments!

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