This country is filled with a multitude of stunning nature reserves and national parks, yet every year more people opt out of communing with nature and opt into sterile hotels. It is time to get back to basics and a fun-filled camping trip is just the way to go. Read on for tips and hints on how to have a great time in the great outdoors.
Prior to leaving, take a few minutes to make a checklist of everything that you need. There is nothing worse than getting to a campsite and then finding out that you don’t have what you need to be comfortable. A checklist is a great aid as you are packing. Try to start getting thing’s together several days before you leave so you have plenty of time.
Leave no trace of your outing at your campsite, for environmental reasons and as a courtesy to park officials who clean up and the next camping crew. Make sure all trash is picked up, you refill holes you may have dug and of course, that your campfire is completely out!
If you have little ones camping with you, pack a few art supplies. When you get to your site, show them how to do leaf rubbings. There are always a variety of leaves in all shapes and sizes, so trying them all out will take a while. The kids will be happy and you will have some peace and quiet while you relax and watch them.
Do plenty of research on your camping site and ensure that it offers everything that your group will need. Consider the individual needs of each camper to ensure that everyone is taken care of. This alleviates the need to make supply runs, or worst case, have to end the trip too soon.
Water is very important when camping. When camping at a campground, there should be ample supply of water available, but on the trail, you will have to carry some with you. If you are going long distances, you should probably carry iodine tablets to sanitize any water you find before drinking. Be careful, dysentery can be deadly.
With camping, comes the campfire. Make sure your campfire is in an open space and far enough away from brush or trees so you don’t run the risk of a stray spark catching them on fire. Surround the fire with stones to help keep it contained. Most importantly, never leave any campfire unattended. If you need to leave for any reason, make sure the campfire is extinguished completely.
When you bring your dog on a camping trip, make certain he has adequate tick protection. Bugs thrive in forests, and many flea treatments do not extend protection to include ticks, so ask your vet before departing if your dog has everything he needs and what you should do for proper tick prevention and removal.
Get a sleeping bag that is warm enough. This is important. Even if you go camping in the summertime, nights can get very cold out in the wild. There are sleeping bags promising protection from varying cold temperatures; it is a good idea to opt for as low a temperature as you can find.
Unless you are going to be spending a significant amount of time camping, buying expensive sleeping bags is really unnecessary. Even if your old and musty sleeping bag is rated for below freezing temperatures, it is excellent padding for the ground even when it is hot outside and you will feel comfortable sleeping on it.
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.
Make sure you have cover in case of rain. When you’re out in the woods, a rainstorm can be wet, cold and uncomfortable. Make sure you have some kind of protection against the rain, whether it be a tent, cabin or lean-to. In a pinch, you can use a garbage bag as a poncho!
If you are taking your children camping with you, don’t forget to take walkie talkies along with you. Although each of you may own a cell phone, the area where you are camping may not have adequate coverage. It is best to invest in walkie talkies that have a range of several miles. By having walkie talkies or Family Radio Service (FRS) radio, you can remain in contact with all members of your family.
So the next time you have some vacation days to enjoy, make sure you give air conditioning and cable television a big miss. Instead choose to enjoy seeing the natural beauty of the world around us. Camping does not have to mean discomfort, but it can mean a whole lot of family fun!