What you need and what you don’t (extended information/tips for beginners)
Please see also FAQ, or see the packing checklist for inspiration bellow
Červený Kláštor and Pieniny are located in the north of Slovakia. The weather in July can be really cold and rain is not rare either. Therefore, imagine you’re travelling to Norway when packing, no kidding 🙂
Tent: a good quality, waterproof, non-leaking tent is essential. If you’ve never impregnated it since you bought it, maybe it’s time to do so, or at least, pack an impregnation spray in case it’s needed. Another option is to borrow a good tent from your friends or camping rentals. If you’re about to buy one, be careful with TESCO ‘special offers’ or similar 🙂 If you’re coming as a group, try to agree on living in one tent – you’ll save money on camping fees (fee is paid per person and per tent). While packing your tent, don’t forget all components – poles and tent pegs included. Another option is to find accommodation outside the camping site. There are several apartments and B&B nearby.
Sleeping bag: ideally a winter one. Even in July the temperatures could drop below 10°C at nights. If you don’t have one, two summer sleeping bags might help as well. In the worst-case scenario, you can combine your summer sleeping bag with one or two extra blankets 🙂 If you’re really cold-sensitive, a thermophore or a liquid heating in form of schnapps is recommended 🙂
In case your tent isn’t 100% waterproof a waterproof package for you sleeping bag might help, as there is nothing worse than sleeping in a wet one 🙂 Profi-campers pack a small pillow as well, minimalists are ok with a curled hoodie under their head 🙂
Sleeping Mat: self-inflating is the best, if you have one. But a normal one (even from TESCO) will do a similar service. Plus, you won’t need to fix it or cry once you burn it sitting next to the fire 🙂
Head lamp: any, most important is to blind you friends eyes with it 🙂
Camping chair: it’s quite comfortable to bring one. Otherwise you’ll have to sit on a bench (we’ll bring some) or on a mat, or you’ll be just standing around with your glass in the evening.
What to wear: here we need to distinguish paddling clothing and ‘civvies’
Civvies – it’s basically up to you, in general outdoor clothing is recommended but again, imagine you’re travelling to Norway when packing. It might be cold, it might rain. So, bring at least 2 hoodies/sweaters, including a warm one, long trousers, rain coat/poncho or an umbrella (difficult to run with but quite useful for poking your instructor :)) and a wind/waterproof jacket. As for shoes, we recommend a combination of open and closed shoes (crocsy/sandals + running/trekking shoes). Warm cap for the evening might be useful too.
Despite all the cold weather warnings, be prepared for a hot and sunny weather during the day as well. Pack a sun cream and sun glasses.
Paddling clothing: is for paddling, so it will be wet. Therefore, it should keep you warm even when it’s wet. We recommend a functional t-shirt (Moira or woolen materials) as a basic layer, and a waterproof jacket on top – a cheap thin one from some synthetic material or a special waterproof jacket for paddling if you’re serious about the sport and willing to invest in it.
A wetsuit will also keep you warm, neoprene trousers or a shorty will do the job at the beginning. (there are quite good offers at Lidl time to time, so keep an eye on it), or you can wear some functional trousers plus some waterproof trousers on top. As for socks, basically any – warm, woolen, neoprene ones – they all stink the same 🙂 As for shoes, if you don’t have neoprene boots some cheap old sneakers are fine. But definitely not sandals.
You can borrow a neoprene wetsuit and a good jacket in rental shops (we don’t rent any paddling clothing in KAMIKSE club). Have a look at: http://www.kajakar.sk/adresar/pozicovne/
Ideally is to have two completes for paddling (or at least two basic layers) – if you swim you can wear a dry one in the afternoon, but honestly, sometimes it never dries anyway 🙂
If you’re not used to paddle, or to work manually in general, you might consider mitts to avoid blisters. We recommend bike mitts with bare fingers. It protects you, but you won’t lose touch with the paddle. Special neoprene paddling mitts are not necessary, it’s not that cold and it limits your sensitivity for the paddle.
Eating: there are many options. In general, we suggest having some filling breakfast from your own sources. During the lunch you can have something quick – either you cook an instant soup, or you can visit the self-service restaurant directly on the campsite. As for dinner, it’s a similar story – there are many restaurants, cheaper and more expensive, nearby, or you can buy some stuff for barbeque. There are several smaller groceries in the village, so there is no need to pack food for the whole week. Don’t forget to bring a cup, a bowl, cutlery, a knife, a camping cooker, toilet paper and something to wash the dishes with (a sponge and a little bit of washing gel). If you prefer to cook for yourself it’s good to coordinate. It’s always easier to cook in small groups. You might pack a thermo-bottle in case you have one. You’ll appreciate the hot tea on a cold day.
Last but not least, don’t forget your ID, insurance, cash and credit card.
Our motto is: “What you don’t have, you don’t need!” 🙂