Camping can be an extremely rewarding and enriching experience and something in which people of all ages can participate. But, to get the most out of any outdoor adventure, a bit of knowledge and planning can be critical. Continue reading the piece that follows, and you will be ready to venture into the wild in no time.
Pre-cool your ice chest by filling it with loads of ice, at least six hours prior to departure. When you are about to leave, pack up your refrigerated cooled drinks and block ice, not cubed. Popping room temp beverages will take up valuable ice-life, and the cubes will melt much quicker than a block!
If you are planning any kind of backcountry camping, a must carry item is a fire starter kit. If you are in a survival situation, fire is a way to cook, keep you warm, purify water, and signal for help. Many camping stores sell fire starters that can be used when wet and do not require any fuel. Also, try making fire when you are not in a survival situation so you know you can do it if the need arises.
When you pack up your camp site to go home, leave a few logs and some kindling for the next camping group that comes along. If you have ever arrived at your site after dark, you know how tough it can be to find firewood! It’s a very nice pay-it-forward gesture that will probably help out more than you can imagine.
Learn to set up your tent prior to leaving on your trip. This will not only familiarize you with the process, it will allow you to ensure there are no missing pieces or defects. A little practice can eliminate the frustration of setting up a new piece of camping equipment.
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.
If you are going camping with your pets or children, you need to take a few extra precautions. Try to teach your kids the basics of camping safety. They need to know what to do if they get lost and should each have a small survival kit. Make sure you have leashes for any pets and make sure they are current with all vaccinations.
You can make tasty meals even when you are camping. You do not necessarily need to eat just franks and beans or hamburgers. Pack a box with herbs and spices, olive oil, brown sugar or whatever else you like. You can fix meals that have flavor even when you are “roughing” it.
It’s not totally necessary to rough it during your entire trip. You can bring along something comforting from home for your trip. Make it something easy to transport like your favorite coffee sweetener or candy. Having these luxuries available can help lift your mood.
When collecting wood for a campfire, focus on three different sizes: the finger-size wood, that will catch fire right away, the arm-size wood that will keep it going, and the leg-size wood that will allow you to keep the fire going for a long time. Getting different sizes of wood helps you to start the fire and keep it going.
Even if you’re not going a long distance away on your camping trip, or even if you’re going into familiar territory, always stay in touch with friends, family or neighbors. Tell someone where your trip will be, and how long you’ll be gone. And if you can, check in regularly using a mobile phone.
When preparing for a camping trip, people often fail to bring enough clothes. Remember that there will be no washing facilities, and you also need to think about how the weather can call for certain specific attire as well at times. You always want to be prepared, so pack accordingly.
If you are camping with others, ensure that there is something available to keep everyone entertained. There is nothing worse than a bored campmate, as they will constantly pester you for activities. Talk to your family and friends before hand and make sure they know how to entertain themselves for the trip.
When kids are in your camping party, it is important to let them know what the rules are as soon as you get there. They must have strict guidelines to follow, or they could get hurt or annoy others. For example, talk to them about screaming and how their voices could disturb others. It is much harder to enforce rules after you have been there for a few days, so get going early.
The potential for camping trips to become memorable vacations that will be remembered long into the future is great. However, in order to be prepared for anything that may arise along the way, some advance research can make all the difference. The preceding article should hopefully provide the right start for any aspiring camper.