“When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.” – Native American saying
Camping & trekking is my way to connect with the nature. I am not a survivalist but I would like to teach the kids how to improvise & appreciate the simple things in life.
Rule no 1:
Check the local temperature, and plan accordingly. Dress up in layers and always carry extra pair of under-shirt, boxers & socks. Weigh your back-pack and evaluate the utility of everything you pack. Trek might be a great exercise for you to realize how much clutter you have surrounded yourself with.
Unless you are going through extreme treks like Himalayas or deserts go for reliable, lightweight items. Do not buy anything expensive or bulky no matter how bad is the temptation. Even if you have a mule with you, it will be better to limit your payload. Try to carry things that are simple, multi-purpose so that you are able to survive with limited weight. Trekking equipment should be cheap, sturdy, waterproof and divisible. In most cases basic items suffice and more the amount of electronics & complex parts are there in the gear, the higher are your chances of a field failure.
Most people are obsessed with food & water but they under-estimate the exposure to weather & elements. Leaches, mosquito, & reptiles are often more dangerous than wild animals. Use sun block and mosquito repellent liberally and frequently.
Camping is not essential for a trek. I would prefer a thatched room in a village to camping alone in the wilderness. Also interacting with the locals if often a more fruitful experience than being alone in the wilderness.
If you are traveling in a group try to distribute the items among everyone. You do not want one person with all the water, one with all the food and the third with only clothes. So that even if we are temporarily separated every person in the camp is self-sufficient to survive until help comes over.
You camp for the experiences and the chance to spend time together away from distractions. So do not over plan and prepare for every emergency or situation. Just be yourself and enjoy the nature. The nature has its own music, so try to leave your electronics behind.
Leave the world a better place. Try to bring back all the non-bio-degradable waste rather than littering it over; it will be great if you can bury some of the waste that others have left carelessly behind. Do not leave your camp-fire unattended or carelessly throw your cigarette butts. Try to spend the weekend without any cigarettes, alcohol, drugs or intoxicants.