Camping provides a great release from the daily humdrum life and is especially loved by people with a sense of adventure. Families love camping since it provides an opportunity to be in touch with nature which is otherwise missing in our daily lives. A camping trip is also a test of your survival skills away from the comfortable life you are used to.
For first-timers there is a lot to learn which can range from finding the right campsite to making a tent, sleeping arrangements, cooking dinner, and making life comfortable for the next few days. It is a real challenge that many love to take up.
Here are some pointers to make your next camping trip comfortable.
What to pack?
A typical camping trip involves taking a lot of things required to live in a campsite for some days or even weekends. You will need to make a list of things to take care or else it could lead to overpacking and serious complications. Some basic things like toiletries, clothes, comfortable shoes, etc are a must. But you will still have to carry some items that can be used dually. Some items have to be flexible to use for different purposes while some have to be improvised for sudden requirements. Check out this list of utility items:
- One or two changes of clothes including best-hiking pants for women
- Toilet paper
- Sleeping back for each person
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- A stove
- Utensils like a frying pan, saucepan, serving spoons, a coffee pot, plates
- A bucket to keep freshwater
- Propane lanterns
- First-aid box
These are some of the basic necessities that you have to take care of but you can always add extra items if your experience tells you better.
Tip: Make your meal plans extremely simple to avoid the hassle. Peanut butter and instant oatmeal mixes that can be prepared by only adding water. Don’t pack jelly because it can become a sticky mess.
Where to go?
Selecting a camping site requires a bit of thoughtful consideration whether you are going as a family or alone. But there are some basic requirements for living and you must not forget that. The camping site might not always be picturesque but remember that it should be near a source of water for sure. Here are some tips you can consult before picking the camping spot.
- Start looking for the camping spot at least two hours before dark. In case you are tired drop your bags and select the site before setting things up. The first spot you find might not be perfect for you to stay so choose wisely.
- Water is important for drinking and cleaning so pick a place that is close to water. Try to camp at a distance of 200 feet from the source of water so that you can carry it in your bucket easily.
- If you are in the mountains then aim for a site a little higher. There are a number of advantages to camping in such places. For instance, if you camp at the bottom of the valley then cold air will surround you in the evening and morning. High up in the mountain the condensation is less and the place has lesser bugs. After a certain point in the mountains, the view is magnificent both during sunrise and sunset. The place is also breezy so you will have fewer bugs etc.
- You will also need to inquire if the area you are traveling to is in a flash-flood zone or rocks are likely to fall. If you are camping in the woods lookout for dead branches. You will not want one to fall on your tent at night!
- If you prefer a bit of furniture even in your camp then look for downed trees and boulders. These can be useful as chairs and tables.
- Pick a flat surface for pitching the tent because water is not likely to collect on such a surface. Also, it will be comfortable to sleep on such a surface.
Types of camping grounds
There are different kinds of camping grounds some of which offer certain amenities and are well-maintained while others are not well looked after. The best-kept ones offer shower facilities, laundry services, hosts who are part of the camping grounds, electrical hookups, and also a number of activities. You can check out the public campgrounds which are maintained by the state, federal and local agencies. Other than this you can try the National Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, etc. which are clean and maintained properly. In some of these, you will have to observe silence during the night to allow neighbors to sleep.
What to Do at Your First Campsite
If this is your first camping trip then there are numerous things that you can actually do. If the spot is close to the lake then slip into a swimsuit and enjoy the day lazing near the water. You can swim fish, go kayaking or canoeing, play volleyball or try water skiing, boating, etc. Alternatively, if there are greens around, you can also try football, soccer, baseball, hiking, biking, lawn bowling, etc. some people prefer to stay away from physical activities and observe the beauties of nature. For them, it is bug collection, bird watching, nature gathering, hunting for edible plants and berries, or even fossil hunting. If it is raining and your tent is your only refuge then try card games, reading, listening to music, watching movies on your smartphone, etc.
Camping is a great way of spending your weekend. Bring out the adventurer and nature seeker in you today and gather your essentials along with a pair of good boots to start your camping trip. Select a spot that is close to the water and has an open clear space. Face the tent to the east so that you can wake up early. Spend the day catching up with your passions or play a sport that you love.