It was not that long ago that camping was the vacation of choice among families. Packing up the tent, the cooking utensils and the car full of food and heading off to a natural spot to enjoy lots of fresh air, non-electronic games and sometimes a spot of fishing. If this is not a treat you have yet enjoyed, read on for some great ideas for your next camping trip.
Reserve your spot at a campground as soon as possible. Particularly in the summer, many people are interested in camping with their families. If you make your reservation in the winter, you are much more likely to get the best rate possible. Those savings can translate into additional family fun while on your vacation.
Bring a large trash bag for dirtied laundry, and keep it in a central location, suitable for everyone in your party. Let them pack their clothing individually, as this makes it much easier to find than if you pile it all in a community storage box or bag. Toss in a dryer sheet to any bag you want smelling fresh.
Did you know that a simple mirror can save your life? If you are camping and end up in a survival situation, a simple hand held mirror can be used to signal for help many miles away. Do not buy the standard glass mirror, many camping supply stores sell mirrors made of Lexan that will float and are practically unbreakable.
Pack a few shovels if there are children with you on your trip. Kids love nothing better than digging in the dirt, and having the right accessories is crucial. If you have room, bring a bucket too. The children will happily entertain themselves in the dirt while you unpack, set up camp and do everything that you need to do.
When you are planning a camping adventure, make sure you pack the appropriate clothing for your trip. Check the weather forecast and bring the clothing that will be needed on your trip. If it is going to be cold, make sure you have the appropriate coats, gloves, and shoes. Remember to also pack a rain poncho no matter what the weather forecast predicts.
Use separate coolers for perishables, ice and drinks. While it does not matter if the perishables and drinks go into the same one, make sure to pack your ice separately. This will keep the temperature down so that you will have ice for much longer than you would have otherwise.
Make sure that you avoid any venomous plants. A good way to do this is to stop at the ranger station and ask what kinds of poisonous plants are in the area so you can identify them if you come into contact with them on the trail. Never eat anything while hiking on the trail if you do not know it is edible.
Before you bring your dog along for a camping trip, get him used to the idea with a little practice run in the back yard. Pitch the tent in an already familiar area, and let him sleep or play in it for a while. Bringing a dog can really add to the fun of camping, so long as the animal has been adequately prepared for the event.
When you go camping, be sure to have a few activities in mind other than just… “camping”. The camping experience is enriched by hiking, swimming, exploring and things like that. Be sure to engage in some of these other activities so that you have the fullest camping experience you’ve ever had.
Bring a first aid kit. Camping is fun. It can also be a bit dangerous. Always be prepared. Small scrapes and rashes can be especially common out in nature. Bring along an emergency first aid kit full of anything you might need. You’ll be happy you did if something goes wrong.
If you have a young child with you, do the math in advance with respect to how much baby food or formula they will need. Make sure you have supplies for them that will last the entire length of your trip. There are no guarantees that a store near your campsite will have these items or will have the type of items that you want.
Before you even leave your camping trip, try practicing pitching a tent in your backyard or some other open space. People do not know how difficult pitching a tent can be; you do not want to get to camp and realize you have no idea what you are doing. Practice makes perfect!
So there you have it. A camping trip can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. Once you have purchased or borrowed the minimum camping basics, the country is your oyster and you are only limited by the amount of time you have and how far you can travel. Enjoy!