Istanbul Belgrad Forest Camping Notes

Into The Wild

The Belgrade Forest is a naturally occurring wooded area at the eastern end of the Catalca Peninsula, on the European side of Istanbul. While it was the most important source of drinking water for Istanbul during the Byzantine and Ottoman periods; Today, the water supply to the city is far below the need of the city. Why the name is Belgrad you may ask and what its relation with the Belgrade in Serbia. The name of the forest comes from the village of Belgrade, established during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. The village of Belgrade was established to settle Serbian prisoners who were brought to Istanbul after the 1521 expedition to Serbia.

Camping Notes

Location : Somewhere in Belgrad Forest - Istanbul
Duration : 3 days 2 nights

Backpack content

Hunting knife, multitool, lamp, sleeping bag, 3 person Tent, mattress, backup cloths, carving knife, cooking gears and a small Axe. For food; 4 eggs, chicken meat, instant noodles, bread, soupmix, cheese, sausage, tomato, salami and some coffee.

Backpack weight for two days trip 15 kg

I realized I really missed being in the woods and camping. Its been a while since my last camp. Being able to escape from the big city and be with yourself and with nature is priceless. I love camping especially before winter. The ground is covered with leaves and you can see every shade of green and brown. Although I am red/green colorblind, I still enjoy the nature in my perspective. Just a little different from you.

I packed my bag and went to the station where I'm gonna meet my other 2 friend to go to the camping site with a SUV car. Normally I wouldn't take this much gear with me if I have to walk all the way with the backpack in my back. I must consider the weight of every item I put in my backpack. General principle is it should be as light as possible while not compromising your safety and comfort during the camp. Because we had a car , I bring with me other things as well.

After 1 hour ride we arrive our camping place. The Sun set arround at 18:00 pm , we arrived our camp at 14:00 pm. So we had less than 4 hours of day light to set the camp. The first thing I did was the build the tent and place all my gears inside. Because we had to use the daylight as efficient as possible, we went straight to collecting fire wood. In this season most of woods on the ground are half rotten, so it's not a good wood to burn. It burns quickly and does not provide enough heat. We cut some of the fallen trees with a hand saw and make a larger and more powerful firewood for the night.

There were plenty of dead or fallen trees in the forest. You should never cut down a live tree ever. I only collected fallen broken branches and cut some pieces from fallen trees. I cut around 20 cm long piece with a saw to make myself a wooden spoon. The spoon is not intended for use. I just do it for the sake of doing it. Carving your own spoon with the wood you just cut and using it feels amazing.

The wood I picked ( I hardly know anything about wood types ) was rather hard to carve. First I carve the spoon cavity while the wood piece is one whole thing. This is because its easy to handle and more strong while you apply too much pressure to carve the wood. I placed the pice between my boots to secure it in place while carving. The knife is shard and I am not an experienced carver, this is just a hobby that I spend some time during camping.

After some carving which took about 15min, I decided that the depth is enough. I picked my axe and chip out the sides and begin to shaping the wood piece little by little. You must carefull with the axe, you should hold the axe close to the blade side in order to have more control over your strikes. This was the most time-consuming process. It took about 1 hour to complete the spoon. I sand the back side with a rock. It's not perfect but its something I make in the wild. And it felt good.

We stayed in the forest for 2 nights and 3 days and it was one of the best camping trips I have ever had. All the conversations we had around the camp fire at night, we talked about evolution, psychology, human relations, friendship, romantic relations , universe, cosmos... about anything really. We shared our experiences and gave advice to each other. We shared our hopes and dreams and secrets. The best part of camping is friendship and the love of nature. Be respectful and loving to your friends and to the world.

Next time you go to the wild

Leave Nothing Than Footprints
Take Nothing Than Photographs
Kill Nothing Than Time.

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