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Gearing up for rustic camping

Our definition of rustic camping is fewer services for more fun! This summer, we say goodbye to the busier sectors and hello to the wild little corners of paradise at our destinations.

Discover our must-have items as well as our tips and tricks so that pleasure and comfort join your rustic camping excursion each and every time.

Catherine Simard | © Sépaq

The key: recharging your batteries

By this, we don’t mean setting off for your stay under a tent with a fully charged cell phone (even though it can actually be very useful); instead we wish to emphasize the importance of getting a good night’s sleep in nature. The success of an independent stay is based largely on sleep management. Because at a semi-serviced campground, even the smallest task becomes an activity. So you have to wake up refreshed in order to take full advantage of the surrounding world of nature and the joys of camping with less. The essentials for a good night's sleep when camping? The tent, floor mat, sleeping bag, and pillow. 

Our professional tips

  • Test your equipment before reaching your destination. Count the tent pegs, inflate the mattress at home, check the sleeping bag zipper, and more.
  • Bring a sleeping bag that’s suitable for the nighttime weather forecast. Planning your daytime activities based on the weather is great, but planning your sleep is smarter still.
  • Trust your sleeping bag. Avoid sleeping with superfluous layers of clothing which would flatten the air in the sleeping bag that insulates so very well. Our team loves to catch some z’s with a single layer of clothing made of merino wool.
  • Managing humidity in the tent. Leave all damp clothing outside the tent. If necessary, it can also be useful to hang a UCO candle lantern from the roof of the tent. Compact and safe, this type of lantern provides soft light and eliminates moisture to boot.
Catherine Simard | © Sépaq
Paul Dussault | © Sépaq

The extra step

Now that you know the secrets for a good night’s sleep in the forest, the time has come to elevate your camping game to the next level. As service buildings aren’t nearby when rustic camping, you must take the basics along with you. By “the basics,” we mean water, a fridge, and a coffee maker. So any seasoned wilderness camper needs a large hydration pack, a nice big cooler, a hot plate, and the very best ground coffee. Add to all of this a cutlery set per person and a sizeable saucepan, and the table is set for feasting all day long.

The team’s signature menu

Because a camping feast is so much more than dehydrated food and sausages grilled over an open fire, we’re going to share the team's favourite menu with you. But be forewarned: to try it is to adopt it! The simpler, the better is the philosophy of the house.

  • Breakfast porridge. We like it because it's warm and nutritious, but especially because everyone can add a personal touch: bananas, berries, spices, nuts… the sky’s the limit! You can even prepare your own mixes and make the final additions when you sit down to eat.
  • Mexican fiesta. We feel that tacos offer the best taste/effort ratio for campground cooking. You just have to grill meat in salt crust over the open fire, brown the onions on a burner, add a few spices, and mix everything in a single big pot. If eaten directly from the shell, there's only one pot and one spoon to be cleaned at the end of the meal…dishless bliss!
  • Cheese fondue. Comfort food on demand and so simple to concoct, you only need a big pot on a camping stove, cheese, a bottle of white wine, and a baguette.
  • Chickpea curry on a campfire, courtesy of Geneviève O’Gleman. Tasty and comforting recipe, which requires no refrigerated ingredients. Pretty clever, eh!

Tip: Remember to bring a garbage bag so as to avoid leaving anything behind at the campsite and opt for drinks in cans or easily compressible containers to reduce the volume of the garbage bag.

Nancy Guignard | © Sépaq
Nancy Guignard | © Sépaq

State of mind

Finally, whether your backpack is filled with technical equipment organized “Tetris-style” or you’re bringing in your car trunk the equivalent of your apartment to the forest, remember that you’ll always end up forgetting something. It’s to be expected and is part of the charm of any nature adventure. The important thing is to make do with what you have on hand, once on site. Die-hards will tell you, much more than gear, the best ally of independent camping remains DIY, i.e. do it yourself for those in the know. It's exactly what leads to the best stories around the fire and anecdotes that we still share a few years later, all beginning with “like the time when…” After all, the best holidays are often the simplest ones. 

Where do we pitch our tent?

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