Camping Tips And Tricks (Part 1)

Camping Tips And Tricks (Part 1)

April 27, 2021

21 min read


Tips & tricks along with lessons learned from mishaps in the outdoors. In this post you'll learn from Cody Townsend (a ski mountaineer), Cath Simard (a landscape photographer), Meesh Coles (a chef) and Andrew Szeto (a woodworking skateboarder) who all share the same passion—spending time outside!


Cody Townsend

Cody AKA the people's skier, is a successful and accomplished mountain athlete. If he’s not busy being a Hollywood stunt double then he's working on his goal of skiing all fifty of North America's classic descents and documenting the action through a youtube series called “The Fifty”. His great attitude and sense of humor make him an entertaining person to follow along with.



What is your favourite camping hack?

Generally, most of my camping is done in the winter so most of my hacks are about mitigating the cold. The main one though, it’s perhaps a little gross for some but it is possibly the single best thing to bring if you’re sleeping in the snow. That hack; a pee bottle. Personally I use the soft plastic Nalgene 32oz Canteen, it's small, packable and makes for an easy place to roll over in the night and let nature call. Trust me when I say, getting out of your sleeping bag, stepping outside of your tent and going number 1 when it’s stormy, windy and below freezing is not fun. Once you figure out a good technique and utilize a good pee bottle, your nights spent in the snow will be far more comfortable.

What is one of your favourite pieces of equipment/gear for camping that you can't live without?

I try to keep my kits for camping very multi-functional and as minimal as possible. But the one piece of gear that I find the most useful in a multitude of ways is a foamy, better known as the Z-Lite Sol Folding Sleeping Pad. It's absolutely essential to sleeping in the snow and keeping a thermal barrier between the snow and you. It also can be thrown around as a seat for the snow, a place to lie day on your hike and can be cut up into pieces for seats, footbeds in your down booties and any other use where you need a little barrier between you, your gear and the snow.

Can you tell a short story of a time you have had something go wrong on a trip due to you forgetting an important item?

I’d say the worst thing I ever forgot was checking the weather forecast before a summer ski mission in Tahoe. Living in California for my entire life, I’ve gotten so used to half year long stretches of no rain, storms or harsh weather, that's when I decided to go for a multi-night summer ski mission in Desolation Wilderness with some friends, I completely forgot to check the weather forecast simply because summer in Tahoe generally means 100 day stretches of sun. So without a tent or a bivy sack, I loaded up my ski gear and hiked out to Desolation. As the wind came up the first evening I got a little worried about the weather but generally chalked it up to typical alpine diurnal winds. I went to sleep in my thin, 30 degree rated summer sleeping bag laying out on the granite slabs of the high alpine completely exposed to the elements…it began to snow. It was only about 10pm when I was woken up by snow on my face and ripping winds, I decided my only course of action was to put on my ski clothes and get back into my sleeping bag and hope for the best. Needless to say, I got very little sleep that night, shivered uncontrollably through the entire night and emerged from my bag at first light the next morning to find my sleeping bag wet enough to have been dumped in the nearby lake before being inside of it for the night. Learned my lesson that even in sunny California, don’t forget to check the weather before heading out to the backcountry.




Meesh Coles

Meesh Coles is a nutritionist and personal chef who loves to spend her time outside, preferably near a large body of water. When it comes to food, she is an incredibly talented artist. The ingredients are the paint and the plate is the canvas in which she creates masterpieces. She is the person that you want on your backcountry camping trip because you know that you’re going to be eating well! 



What is your favourite camping hack?

Ooo this could be a hack or a love for what I do on the daily. I always spend time before heading out making sure we have healthy, tasty and enough food packed. There have been many times while camping where I was made fun of for the amount of food prep I had done, but when it came to eat, the ones I was with sure were thankful! I believe taking time to make a detailed ingredient/meal list and think of all the little things (salt, pepper, little olive oil, cast iron, fresh garlic, a sharp knife, a pre-made sauce, etc.), makes all the difference and the whole experience of the adventure that more special. Especially if you prep some granola bars, a delicious dressing, pre-roasted veggies, seasoned rice or some morning oats. All you have to do then is heat it up and enjoy while looking out at the beautiful view, with the people you are with. Sounds pretty great to me!

What is one of your favourite pieces of equipment/gear for camping that you can't live without?

A sharp knife! Better yet, a Leatherman! I never leave without one.

Can you tell a short story of a time you have had something go wrong on a trip due to you forgetting an important item?

Woof. Well, one thing I wouldn’t recommend forgetting on the sunnier days (PS, check the weather forecast before you head out), is sunscreen. On one trip in particular the only thing I had was coconut oil and in my holistic-natural-remedy thinking brain I figured “hey this could work! It has some SPF.” Well, I was torched. Like couldn’t lay on any side, angle, front, back without whimpering like a little puppy. I also didn’t pack aloe or anything of the sort and had a couple days of being wrapped up in towels in hot weather to keep the sun away. Ouchie. Looking back, I can’t help but laugh but at the time it felt like life would carry on like that forever. The little red tomato human that wore towels and cried in the most stunning conditions. Don’t forget your sunscreen!




Andrew Szeto 

Andrew is a down to earth and very humble yes man who is always seeking the next adventure. He started out as a skateboard photographer who ventured into woodworking where he now up-cycles broken skateboards into his projects. He has a great youtube channel where he shares his adventures, everything from canoe climbing trips to building an A-Frame cabin from scratch! 



What is your favourite camping hack?

Favourite canoe-camping hack is using big blue barrels for packing gear! In the event of weather, tipping over, and heading into areas with a bunch of bears around, these barrels will keep things dry and stay afloat when the unexpected happens! You can also rig them up as a backpack and that's great too for the long portage trips.

What is one of your favourite pieces of equipment/gear for camping that you can't live without?

When it comes to camping/just everyday life, I can't really live without my coffee. An aeropress along with a handheld grinder is how you can make one of the best cups of coffee in the outdoors, and I never leave home without it.

Can you tell a short story of a time you have had something go wrong on a trip due to you forgetting an important item?

Tent poles... I somehow seem to forget those fairly often. I usually just end up jimmy rigging sticks and praying that it doesn't start raining on my parade. Also remembering to charge and bring my camera/drone batteries. The countless incredible moments that I never captured haunt me in my dreams!




Cath Simard

Cath is a photographer and digital artist who has developed a unique and instantly recognizable style in the landscape and adventure genre. She’s a former model who now spends most of her time in the backcountry with a camera in hand. She’s built up an impressive portfolio from all over the world, with the goal of inspiring others to get outside!



What is your favourite camping hack?

I love to bring a little bottle of Sriracha to spice up my dehydrated meals and add some flavours. I put it in a small container that's usually used for shampoo. I feel it's the perfect size for 3-4 days in the backcountry. It's also helps to keep me warm on colder days.

What is one of your favourite pieces of equipment/gear for camping that you can't live without?

I love my big North Face Seven Summit Series Down Jacket. It's Goretex and 800 fill down which makes it extremely warm. This jacket has saved me so many times on backcountry trips where the weather would be colder than expected or unpredictable. I like to use it as a pillow when I'm sleeping or wrap it around my feet. This jacket feels like you are wearing a sleeping bag, it is extremely cozy and brings me a bit of comfort in the backcountry. 

Can you tell a short story of a time you have had something go wrong on a trip due to you forgetting an important item?

Last summer I did a backpacking trip with a few friends at Berg Lake. Some of the reservations got mixed up and we ended up needing to share tents with each other. We picked my friend's Hubba Hubba MSR 3-person tent. Twenty kilometers of hiking later, we arrived at our first campsite. It was pouring rain and quite cold. The only remaining tent pad was completely flooded and full of mud. We unpacked the tent and then realized she didn't have her footprint which was essential in these wet conditions. We then proceeded to set up the tent which was very difficult with the high winds and rain. The entire inside got wet in minutes and as we were setting the poles, we realized that one was broken. We managed to set up the fly with the broken pole hanging, and realized that the rain was going through the fly fabric. It wasn't waterproof at all. It started to get dark and we decided to move the tent outside of the tent pad into the forest and under a tree so it would be a bit sheltered from the elements. We tried to dry the inside but the rain would still go through the fly and accumulate in big pools at the corners. My friend ended up sleeping alone in her soaked broken tent and I slept in a 2-person tent with my 2 other friends, soaked and stuck between them like a sandwich. Moral of the story, ALWAYS double check your gear before a trip if you don't wanna end up like this!


Be sure to follow along with them on Instagram to support their endeavours!

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