Camping is one of the great American past times. You can be a bold loner ready to pitch a tent on the side of a mountain, an adventurer camping with other enthusiasts in the woods, or a family looking for a chance to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. No matter what your situation, camping is always a great way to have fun and make some memories.
With that said, camping isn’t a cakewalk. In fact, it requires a great deal of preparation and precautions. If you’re going to go camping, here are a few of the best ways to anticipate the best and prepare for the worst during your time in the great outdoors.
Once the car is unpacked, the tent is pitched, and the site is set up, you’re going to want to be prepared for whatever adventures may follow. Here are a few ideas for ways to plan for the fun:
- Pack swimsuits: If you’re near any body of natural water, you’re going to want to have a way to cool off, especially if the weather is warm.
- Bring bikes: Most campsites are large, and getting from place to place can be time-consuming. Having your bikes handy allows you to move around quickly without the need to use your car.
- Remember hiking shoes: You’ll likely travel to your campsite in comfortable shoes — after all, you’re on vacation. Don’t forget tough shoes as well, though, especially if you want to hit up some hiking trails while you’re away.
- Have snacks ready: From trail mix to smores, chips, and drinks, you always want to bring some exciting snack foods along to spice up your time around the campfire.
- Load up an instrument: A drum, a guitar, a flute, whatever instruments you have lying around, bring them along to create some good memories.
Fun can’t necessarily be manufactured. However, if you bring the right equipment, it can be a lot easier to find.
Be Ready for the Worst
While planning for the best is a good start, if you aren’t ready for the worst, things can quickly break down — quite literally. Here are a few of the most important precautions to keep in mind as you get ready to camp:
- Bring bug spray: A buggy campsite can make any and every activity miserable.
- Remember sunscreen: You don’t want to hike or go for a swim, only to pay for it with days of painful sunburn afterward.
- Review safety measures: Make sure everyone is comfortable with basic camping safety precautions like maintaining a buddy system and using the STOP method if you get lost.
- Prepare for the forecast: Look at the weather and pack accordingly — also ensure that any young campers are informed, prepared, and ready for a potential curveball from Mother Nature.
- Make an “unplugging policy”: Decide beforehand if you’re going to remain tethered to the outside world or not, so that you aren’t tempted to check your phone unnecessarily.
- Brush up on fire safety and outdoor cooking: You don’t want to burn yourself, ruin your food, or start a forest fire.
- Tell a third party about your trip: If something goes seriously wrong, a friend or family member that knows you’re gone can call for help.
If you prepare for the worst, it will directly impact your ability to enjoy the best parts of your trip.
Thoroughly Preparing to Camp
Camping is a blend of avoiding negative experiences and facilitating positive ones. If you can find a balance between these two prerequisites, you can genuinely enjoy your camping adventures and create some stellar memories in the process.