Camping Trip To-Do List
Hitting the great outdoors can be the best way to de-stress yourself. It's the best way to break away from our tedious and hectic schedules, giving us the chance to unwind and allow the day to pass a little bit more slowly without the interruptions of the modern world. It's also a great way to encourage your family to spend some time together. But, being one with nature doesn't mean that you should live like the cavemen did or be like one of those hardcore hikers who can live on nothing but a hammock and a backpack. You also need to prepare for your camping trip by packing some things that will make your camping trip comfortable and pleasant. After all, you decided to go on this trip because you want to relax, not make things more stressful for you. So, here are some tips that will make your camping days a breeze.
Chance favors the prepared mind!
You may not be able to predict everything that is going to happen on this trip. But, being prepared for the worse is the key to a successful and stress-free camping trip. You should start by picking a date for your camping trip. Going on a camping trip isn't like going to the mall. In order to be able to foresee the things that you may need for your camping trip, you need to schedule it. This way, you will have more control of the situation. For one thing, knowing when you plan to go camping will allow you to read on the different places that you can go to. And, you will be able to research on the conditions that you should expect when you get there. Of course, you'd want to know if the camping site is going to be overcrowded before you get there.
Make sure you have a spot!
Now that you have a date in mind, you can start reading on the different campsites available in the area that you want to visit. Or, if you don't have a location in mind, you can start hunting for a good location. The flow of tourists to different camping sites is seasonal. By doing your homework and researching on your options, you can find a site that isn't too crowded. And, when you've finally found the perfect place for your camping trip, you can probably ask for a reservation. This will ensure you and your group a spot for your camping trip. But, if you can't secure a spot beforehand, you should at least have a map of the place. This way, you could mark the spot that you want to camp on as well as some alternative sites.
Know Your Terrain
Let's pick up a tip from Sun Tzu's Art of War. Of course, warriors have seen enough camp sites to know what they're saying! Kidding aside, you should know what to expect where you plan to camp. This way, you could start preparing for it. Every campsite is known for its own dark side... This spot has bugs. Here, you'll find a patch of poison ivy... In order to prepare well for a trip, these are some things that you need to research on.
Tune in to Weather Reports
As your camping trip nears, you should not miss any weather reports. Because the weather can make of break your camping trip, knowing what it would be like can help you plan ahead or put off the trip entirely. You wouldn't want to drive and hike to your camp site just to be cold, soaked and stuck in your tent.
What Tent Should I Get?
Now that you have a date and a site, the next thing you need to get is a tent. With a great number of outdoor tents that are being offered in the market, it can be difficult to choose one. Here are some points that you can think about when choosing a tent.
The first thing that you should consider is the place where you will go. If you are going to spend a lot of time hiking, you should get a tent that is compact and lightweight. Otherwise, you can take a bigger tent with you as long as you can fit it into you pickup truck.
A family tent with a screen room porch is a very good choice. It's the best way to view the beautiful night sky or appreciate the green hues around you without being pestered by insects. Whether you are going to camp with your family or your best buds, a spacious family tent would give you the room and privacy that you need during your camping trip. You planned this trip to get some fresh air, not suffocate in a cramped area.
Of course, spending most of our time outdoors working on your tent is the last thing that you want to do. There are Quick set up tents which are easy to assemble and it's no doubt that you would be able to put up your tent in a minute. Isn't that cool? You just need to spend a few minutes setting up camp. After that, all you have to worry about is the thought that you didn't bring enough beer with you.
Food and Water
This is the reason why planning is important. If you are going camping with a group, make sure you have an estimate of the number of heads that you are bringing. You should also know how long you will be staying in the campsite. This will allow you to plan what to bring. For one thing, if you don't plan on bringing a trailer or pick up with you, you don't want to bring more than you need. Carrying it to the campsite can be a total drag. Neither do you want everyone to start acting like the kids from Lord of the Flies. With careful planning, you should be able to determine how much food you are going to bring to a camping trip.
Make sure that the food that you bring is easy to prepare. Instant oatmeal and coffee can be a great choice for breakfast. All you need is to heat up some water. You can also bring some canned food like spam and sausages. You can also bring some eggs. Although it's difficult to transport them because you have to make sure that they don't break on the way, they are very easy to cook. Cheese, fruits, soup and sandwiches are great for lunch. And, if you plan on grilling something, you should make sure that you have the equipment that you need to do that. While we're on that topic, you might as well remember to bring a mess kit, cups, a can opener, a knife and a chopping board.
Another thing that you should not scrimp on is water, especially if you are camping out in an area that's very hot. You'll need to keep hydrating yourselves! This is a mean thing to say but you can leave out the beer but not the water. You don't really know if the water source in the campsite is safe.
Other Bare Necessities
A first aid kit is a must. No matter how careful we are, accidents and other illnesses can still happen during a camping trip. So, it's important to be prepared! Perhaps reading up on first aid can also be a good idea.
You should also bring a set of clothes and some toiletries. Of course, you shouldn't forget to bring some sunscreen and insect repellants. You should also have a supply of batteries with you. A flashlight can also come in handy.
Bringing the Comforts of Home is an Option
Camping out doesn't mean you have to sleep on the ground and wake up aching all over. You can always lie down on a camping mattress that has enough foam to support your weary body You can also opt for a camping air pad that you can easily inflate after you have set up your tent. Because of the combination of soft foam and air cushioning, this camping pad is much more comfortable than an all-foam pad.
Being in the great outdoors doesn't mean you have to sit on the ground. You can always bring a portable camping chair. And, it is nothing like the lawn chairs that you are used to. You can always opt for a soft arm chair that you can easily collapse and carry with you to the camp site.
And, of course, the great outdoors would not be the same without a camping hammock. It is so light and portable that some hardcore backpackers actually carry it as alternative to a tent. It can also be the best way for you to get some sun.
As you can see, with careful planning, you're sure to have a hassle-free and pleasant camping experience!
© 2007 Shanti Rose