Nice weather is here, and so is the time to explore the great outdoors. There is no better way to enjoy nature than going on a camping trip. That is, as long as you are adequately prepared, and planning a camping trip can be great to help you cope with the lockdown.
Having a well-prepared checklist of the things you will need on a camping trip and sticking to it can make or break a pleasant camping experience. Without proper planning, what is potentially the best time ever can quickly become a venture where everyone is too tired, cold, hungry, and cranky to enjoy their time in nature.
Here is how to avoid that and prepare for the camping trip of your dreams.
Choosing the right tent
First things first. Every pleasant camping experience starts with picking the perfect tent.
In general, tents are divided into two categories – family tents and hiking ones. No matter which type you need, there are two things that you should pay attention to.
First of all, each tent has a person rating – that is, there is information that tells you how many people can fit inside. They forget to say to you that, more often than not, that number refers to how many people can lie down next to each other in the tent without any gear, food, and accessories.
In general, the rule of thumb is to pick a tent that is one person bigger than your camping party. That is, if there will be four of you on the camping trip, you should pick a tent that fits five folks, and so on.
That way, you will have enough room for your food, equipment, and other necessities inside the tent.
Another thing you should pay attention to is the tent’s seasonal rating. Not all tents are made the same. Some can deal with the low temperatures of cold nights and winter, while others are only good for hot summer nights.
Keep this in mind when buying a new tent, and choose one that suits your destination and the time of year of your camping trip.
Depending on the destination you choose for camping, you might not have all the cooking facilities at your disposal.
That is why it is always a good idea to have at least a camping gas cooker by your side, though you can’t go wrong with bringing a portable cooking stove as well.
When it comes to food, make sure you have plenty of food essentials that are easy to prepare and will fill you up with you. Pack enough raw materials such as rice, vegetables, a protein source of your choice, and your favorite spices.
Also, add some dry snacks and energy bars to snack on between meals. It is always better to carry more than to be unprepared.
It is time to talk about the gear that you are going to need on your camping trip.
First of all, you will need an all-purpose camping knife that you can use for more than just chopping vegetables. A good camping knife is a tool that you can use to cut down branches when you are making your way through the woods or off a beaten path.
Next, a first-aid kit is one of the essentials that you need to have on any camping expedition, no matter how short your trip is or how close to the civilization you plan on staying.
Always check the weather forecast for your destination. But, even if the forecast guarantees that the weather will be nice and pleasant throughout your stay, bring along some waterproof and season-appropriate clothing. It is always easier to take one extra layer of clothes off than to be cold and miserable.
Also, make sure to bring a torch and lantern. The flashlight on your phone is simply not made for the harsh outdoor condition – not to mention that it will quickly drain the battery of your phone. Don’t forget to bring a set of extra batteries if you plan to spend more than two days camping.
If you run out of drinking water, that means an instant end to your camping trip. Make sure to bring a water filter to purify water from the rivers or streams near your camping location.
Having a sleeping bag that is nice, comfy, and warm means that each member of your camping party can be warm and comfortable during the cold nights. Add a couple of backpacking pillows to the mix for that extra bit of comfort, and you should be all set.
Some additional advice
Just like there are some things you should always bring and some things that you should always do when you go camping, there are some things that you absolutely should not do.
If you want to ruin your camping experience, make sure to arrive at the campsite just before the dark, or at the peak of sunlight. Both things are guaranteed to ruin your mood and drain your energy.
To avoid pests such as insects or even larger animals, make sure always to cover all your excess food and store it properly. Also, always zip your backpacks to stop bugs from getting into them.
Never venture into the woods alone. No matter how skilled and experienced you are, accidents do happen, and if you are on your own, there might be no one nearby to help you. The buddy system works.
If you plan on staying on a regular campsite and want to bring your pet along, make sure that pets are permitted on the grounds where you will be staying before you make the trip.
Also, this one should go without saying – be respectful to your neighbors at the campsite.
And, finally, you should be like a scout and always aim to leave the camping grounds in a better shape than they were when you arrived. Take all your garbage with you and make sure that the fire is entirely out before you head back home.