Camping has long been known as a cherished pastime for the young and old alike. It does not matter whether you plan to just kick back by a warm fire and relax, hike or any type of other recreation, you should always be prepared with some basic camping knowledge.
- When you get to your campsite, take your family out on a walk. Particularly, if you have children, everyone will need a chance to stretch their legs after getting out of the car. A short hike will help kids familiarize themselves with the layout and help them to not wander off.
- Remind kids to never drink water that you haven’t brought to the campsite with you. Water may look crystal clear but actually be home to a host of diseases or bacteria. If you are in an emergency, always choose running water over stagnant water.
- Make sure you observe the campground rules and regulations. One of the biggest concerns is trash and also noisiness within a campsite. People often think that people can’t hear them, but noise travels far in a campsite. It is extremely difficult to have any privacy, especially when people are supposed to be observing quiet hours.
- If you have a toddler, pack a blanket. You can lay it out on the ground and use it as a makeshift play area. Bring cars, dolls, or whatever items your child is into. They can play without getting too dirty and you can instruct them that they need to keep their toys on the blanket for safekeeping. This will help to keep things from getting too spread out.
- Purchase a two quality tarps to cover your tent. Place the first tarp on the ground before setting up your tent. This will keep the ground’s moisture from entering your tent from the bottom. Once you have set up your tent, take the second tarp and cover the tent. This will protect you, and your belongings from the elements should it rain.
- Zip-lock bags can be very handy in a camper’s tool chest. Don’t worry about hauling mixing bowls in your gear. A gallon size zip-lock bag is great for mixing foods together and is much easier to carry in your pack. Just secure the top of the bag very carefully, then squeeze, knead or shake the ingredients together. Then discard for super-easy cleanup too!
- A Frisbee makes for excellent support under paper plates, and can avoid the usual camping spillage and drops! Grab as many of them as you have around your home or yard, or pick up a few at your local dollar-type store. They conveniently stack for easy, space-saving packing and are tremendously helpful with little one’s meals.
- An excellent camping tip that absolutely everyone should use is to bring along some cotton balls that are soaked with Vaseline. These little balls make wonderful tinder when starting a fire as they burn for quite some time. Make sure to pack them up in a waterproof container though.
- While camping seems synonymous with a campfire, that campfire doesn’t necessarily have to be made from wood. In fact, it might be safer (especially with kids) and easier to use a portable campfire unit powered by propane. For the most part, these units are permitted unless there is a fire ban in place. Marshmallows taste just as good from these units as they do over an open, wood-burning fire, too.
- Be sure to keep all perishable food items in a cooler packed with ice. Solid ice works better than cubes because it melts slower. Another trick for keeping food cold in a cooler is to freeze water bottles at home, and pack your cooler with them instead of ice. As the bottles thaw, you will have cold drinking water.
- If you are hiking through dense foliage, be prepared by wearing clothing that covers most of your skin. Dense foliage can hide many different poisonous plants, briars, thorns and sharp tree branches. If your skin is not covered, you can expect to have all sorts of skin irritations, cuts and abrasions by the end of the day. Bring a first aid kit and insect repellent.
- Pour out any water that has accumulated in your cooler each day. You want to do this to prevent the ice inside from melting into the water. It is also a good idea because any contaminants that have entered the water from foods you have in, can be poured off.
- Plan your camping trips ahead of time if you are bringing children. Make sure to carry proper clothing for the weather and climate and be sure to practice safety drills with them frequently before the trip. They need to learn what to do if they get lost and they should have their own glowstick or flashlight.
Bonus tip: Bring supplies for ‘Smores. ‘Smores are an integral part of any camping trip. Simply pack graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows. Toast the marshmallows, then make it the filling to a graham cracker/chocolate sandwich. When you have a ‘Smore, you will want ‘some more’–bring enough for everyone to have at least two of them!
As you can see, it is important to keep some basic tips and advice in mind for your camping trip. Camping is fun and simple, but it is always important to be prepared. The information shared here should prepare you quite well to have a great trip that will be memorable long after the trip has ended!