What do you guys do when you go camping? Do you guys sit around the fire drinking beer and talk about the Malaysian politics the whole night? These are common questions I get when I tell my (non-camping) friends I am going camping over the weekend…again!
So… I thought perhaps I should take this Perting one night camping trip as an example of what we actually do (among many other things) when we go camping. Now, of course we don do the same thing over and over again, like shopping in the malls, there are always something interesting around…if you keep your eyes and mind open to them!
I am a firm believer that there is never a right or wrong way of going around your camping trip…as long as it is not a life threatening matter that is. Going out camping with friends gives me the opportunity to see and learn new things, share knowledge and gain new experiences.
Some of my friends on this trip to Perting waterfall are knife enthusiasts. They can tell the make, model, specs of a particular folding knife by just looking at it at a glance! And when they start talking about the knife, one will soon realize there is more to knives than just a flattened & sharpened piece of steel.
Camping is all about trying out new things and watching how others do it. This covers many aspects, from the type of shelter used, the type of food one prefers right up to how one cooks his/ her food. I was surprised to see how elaborate some of my friend’s meals are while others (me included) like to keep our meals simple. But when it comes to chow time, I have to say putting in that extra bit of effort sure makes a lot of difference.
Needless to say, you will get to see, touch and maybe try out all sort of outdoor gear when you go camping in a group (even better when most of the group members are strangers to you). I have heard so much about the Hennessy Hammock that I decided to get one. This trip was certainly a good opportunity to try it out. I also brought along my Sawyer SP194 water filter which definitely attracted a lot of interest among my friends. What is there not to like it when the water filtered through is immediately good for drinking!
Last but not least, camping is also about learning and sharing new skills. On this particular trip, I asked friend Paul (of Junglecraft) to share with everyone the fine art of bow drill fire making technique. Paul strongly believes in using a modern day lighter to start a fire but his relentless quest to find the right material and technique in making fire by friction in the rainforest jungle is nothing short of an obsession (which I really respect!). I have not come across someone so dedicated to it.
And of course, camping is always…always more fun if you head out with like minded friends. You just cannot go wrong if you go camping with the right people. In fact, I’d strongly recommend that you choose your camping mates carefully. Choose them because camping should be fun, positive and most importantly…safe. If they are the sort that loves to talk down and ridicule others, worships Rambo and say they can still swing a parang safely after 10 cans of beer, I’d say leave them behind. Camping in the jungle is beautiful, lets keep it that way.
So, a camping trip in the jungle can be whatever you want it to be. It can be just sitting around a campfire and do nothing to an opportunity to be with mates learning up jungle skills. At the end of the day, for whatever it is you do when you go camping in the jungle, just make sure that safety is at the top of your list because getting hurt (or worse) is just no fun. Camping in the jungles of Malaysia is (to me) a blessing and one should learn to cherish it.