Marshmallows bursting over a fire as you prepare to make s’mores, the crackling sound of twigs and leaves as they crunch under your feet. Camping is associated with specific sensations.
Temporarily abandoning the trappings of modern life and committing to an outdoor adventure can be a ton of fun. Is it your first time camping? The following tips can help you have an amazing experience.
1. Don’t Overpack
Walk down the aisles of a camping gear store and you’ll be stunned by the number of items that you can buy. Tents, kitchen supplies, fire aids, etc.
Quite a bit of the gear is useful. However, you’re likely spending a night or two in a state park, not trekking across the wilderness for months. Packing too many supplies will slow you down.
For your first trip, only bring items that you’ll really need. Otherwise, you’ll have to lug the heavy gear everywhere you go.
2. Bring a Good Tent
Tents are very affordable. You can find one for $20 if you’re willing to search.
You need to make sure that you’re bringing the right tent for your needs. It needs to be appropriate for the weather and big enough to fit everyone in your group.
Winter camping, for example, places special demands on your tent. You can learn how to choose the right winter tent online or by asking more experienced friends.
A good tent is only the first step. You should also be prepared with sleeping bags and blankets.
3. Don’t Forget About Food
Human beings love food. Almost every situation can be improved by good food. If you’re going to spend a few days in the woods, don’t make it worse for yourself by not bringing enough food.
Assume you’re going to eat more than you expect. Camping can burn a lot of calories. The last thing you want is to find yourself hungry and have nothing to eat.
You can put almost anything you want in a cooler. If you’re trying to be healthy, you can focus on snacks like fruits and vegetables.
Or you can indulge yourself and pack items like candy bars and chips.
4. Pick Your Campsite in Advance
You might think that you can simply drive around a state park until you find a place where you want to stop. This plan could work, but you could also find yourself driving around aimlessly.
Campsites are very different. Some are equipped with conveniences like showers and water fountains while others are very primitive. It’ll be easier if you decide where you’re going in advance.
5. Bring Games
Are you going on your trip alone? Or will you be with friends or family?
If you’re going camping with other people, it’s a good idea to bring games. Hiking and experiencing nature is fun, but it can be tiring if you’re not used to spending a lot of time outdoors.
Fun games can help you pass the downtime and connect to your loved ones. If you have small kids with you, games can save the night. Children often become bored while camping.
A good idea is to bring board games and a deck of cards.
6. Skip the Weekend
If you want a more private experience but still want to take advantage of a well-equipped campsite, go during the week instead of on the weekend. It’ll be far less crowded.
Many campsites require a reservation in advance. You can’t simply show up and set up your tent.
7. Be Respectful
Remember, part of your goal is to honor and respect your surroundings. Human beings create a lot of trash. When you’re camping, you may find yourself in a spot without a trashcan nearby.
You need to collect your garbage anyway. Don’t leave your stuff lying around the campsite. It’s very rude because someone else will have to clean it up.
When you leave the campsite, it should look as good as when you arrived.
8. Bring Books
When you’re relaxing outdoors, it’s a great time to get caught up on your reading. A good book is always a welcome addition on a camping trip.
In addition to bringing a book that suits your own tastes, you can bring something that you can read aloud. Before TVs and radios become common, people used to read to each other for amusement.
The practice has largely fallen by the wayside. But when you’re camping, you have a good reason to revive it. Focus on action-heavy books and plays and emotive poems.
9. Bring a Treat
Bring something that will make you and your guests feel special at the end of the day. It could be delicious coffee beans and a coffee pot. Or you could try bringing your favorite chocolate.
It doesn’t have to be food. You can also bring an eye mask, massage oil, etc.
The key is that there should be an element of pampering yourself. Camping isn’t all about “roughing it.” You’re supposed to feel good.
Children especially will appreciate a treat at the end of the day. You can make it more special by making it a surprise.
10. Waterproof Your Tent
Don’t depend on the weather forecast. The clearest, sunniest skies can sometimes turn on you.
Rain doesn’t have to affect your camping trip. But it will if you’re not prepared with a waterproof tent.
There are a few ways you can do this. One option is to use a special spray. Another is to buy a tarp that goes over your tent.
More expensive tents tend to handle water better. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get by with a cheaper model. It just means that you’ll have to work harder to make sure that it’s truly waterproof.
First Time Camping
Camping should be a blast. If you’re not having a good time, you’re not doing it right. If you’re not in love with the outdoors but you’re still interested in being outdoors, you can try renting an RV.
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