Essential Things to Remember When Camping
Whether you’re planning your first camping adventure or have been doing it for years, there are always things to remember to take with you, prepare for, and know about camping in the wild. From the basics like bringing the right tent and sleeping bags to more advanced details like how to properly store food or set up a campfire, here is a comprehensive list of things to remember when camping.
Prepare the Right Gear
The right gear is essential for any successful camping trip. Before you hit the campsite, make sure you’ve gathered all the necessary supplies. This list includes:
- Tent and/or camping shelter
- A camping stove and supplies for cooking
- A sleeping bag and blankets
- A full cooler with food and drinks
- A first-aid kit with bandages and over the counter medications
- An extra set of clothes
- Flashlights with batteries
- Insect repellent
- Toilet paper and hygiene products
- A multi-tool or any tools you may need
- Matches and firewood for campfire
Be Sure to Pack Clothes for All Kinds of Weather
If you’re camping in unpredictable weather, make sure you’re prepared for rain and cold temperatures. Even if the forecast is calling for good weather, it’s always nice to have rain gear, sweaters, and long sleeves just in case. Also be sure to check the area’s temperature range before you leave. You may want to bring shorts and t-shirts, but if it drops to near freezing at night, you may want to add long pants and thermal clothing. Here are some additional clothing items that you may want to consider:
- Gloves and a scarf
- Sturdy and comfortable shoes
- Hat and sunglasses
- Swimsuit (if there is a nearby lake, river, or ocean)
Set Up a Tent Properly
When setting up a tent, be sure to construct it in an area that is flat and free of debris. In addition, make sure you are setting up the tent away from any trees or brush as this can make it more subject to wind and rain damage. If there is a nearby stream or river, avoid camping in those areas as the tent can easily become flooded in the event of heavy rainfall.
Once you have found an appropriate area, use a mallet or small hammer to drive the stakes into the ground. Be sure to secure the corners of the tent and tie down all the loose straps. Make sure the tent fabric is connected securely to the tent frame. You may also want to use the tent footprint— a protective ground cover which goes underneath the tent— to avoid getting dirt or mud on the floor of the tent.
Consider Bringing Extra Equipment
Depending on the duration and location of your camping trip, there may be additional items you want to consider bringing along. For instance, if you will be camping in a location with no cell phone reception, you may want to bring a satellite phone or CB radio to use in case of emergency. If your trip will take you off the beaten path, consider bringing a GPS device or a printed map of the area.
You may also want to bring additional camping gear such as a camping chair, a cooler, insect repellent, or a rain tarp. If you are bringing children, consider bringing high visibility clothing such as reflective vests and hats, flashlights, safety whistles, and a first aid kid.
Be Mindful of Your Food Storage
When camping, it is very important to keep your food in a secure place. Make sure all food containers are sealed and stored in the proper containers. If you are camping in an area with wild animals such as bears, make sure to store your food away from your campsite. You may want to consider bringing a bear proof canister or hanging your food in a tree, so it does not attract wild animals.
Additionally, make sure to dispose of your food waste properly. This means disposing of cans, bottles, and food scraps in the proper waste receptacles. Do not leave food waste lying around, as this can attract wildlife and cause a mess at the campsite.
Understand the Rules of Fire Safety
If you are planning on having a campfire, make sure you are familiar with the rules of fire safety. Begin by making sure the area is clear of any debris that can catch fire, and make sure the fire is in a dedicated campfire ring. Keep an eye on the fire at all times, and never leave a fire unattended.
In addition, make sure to never put any combustible or flammable items near your fire. Make sure to extinguish your fire properly when you are done, using enough water on the embers so they are cool to the touch. Finally, never leave a fire burning overnight or when you are away from the campsite.
Forget Not To Have Fun!
Finally, one of the most important things to remember when camping is to have fun and enjoy yourself! Take time to appreciate nature, explore, and observe the beauty of the outdoors with friends and family. Whether your camping trip is to a beach, a rural area, or a mountainous region, make sure to spend some time appreciating the great outdoors.
We hope this guide helps you remember the essentials for a successful camping trip. Enjoy your time out in the wild, and treat the land and its wildlife with respect.