Summer is here and that means the time is right for overnight outdoor excursions. To get the most out of your outdoor experience, bring the following gear and follow these camping tips:
- Choose a Moderately Priced Tent
- Pump Up an Air Mattress
- Say Goodnight in a Lightweight Sleeping Bag
- Don’t Forget Your First Aid Kit
- Carry a Flashlight at Night
- Apply Bug Spray Liberally
- Sit on Folding Chairs
- Pull a Cooler on Wheels
- Pack Food that is Easy to Prepare
- Pack Appropriate Clothes
First things first—you’re going to need a roof over your head. In the world of camping, that dwelling is a tent. If you’re a newbie and don’t already have your own tent, choose one that is durable and lightweight. Nylon is a great material because it doesn’t rot if it gets packed away wet. Designs with zipper flaps and mesh screen are preferable, as they allow fresh air into your tent while keeping out the bugs. All tents come with anchoring stakes. Pack a hammer, and drive the stakes deep into the ground to ensure extra holding power.
No matter how tired you are, nothing keeps you up at night like a rock in your back. Sleeping on an air mattress will provide plenty of comfort and put distance between you and ground. Use a battery operated pump (instead of your lungs) to inflate the air mattress.
Most sleeping bags are perfectly suited for temperatures 40 degrees and warmer. If you like it cooler, choose a style that has a polyester shell and inner lining. For those who like to turn up the heat, cozy up inside a sleeping bag that has a cotton lining.
This is one camping tip you don’t want to ignore: Always carry a first aid kit. Include items like gauze dressings, adhesive bandages, cloth tape, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment, aspirin, tweezers, a first aid instruction manual and any personal medication, along with emergency contact numbers listed on an index card. To play it really safe, have two copies of your information and keep them in a waterproof container.
Before you even leave your house, make sure your flashlight has brand-new batteries. After all, the last thing you want to experience during a camping trip is to get caught in the dark in an unfamiliar place. In addition to the obvious safety reasons, flashlights add ambiance to ghost stories—and can shed light on things that go bump in the night. Pack extra flashlights and batteries as backup.
Bugs bite, sting, buzz and annoy—especially campers. To repel their advances, simply apply some bug spray over your body. Many brands are all natural, biodegradable and hypoallergenic.
Fact: Rocks do not make good chairs. Neither does the ground. But folding chairs do make sitting more convenient. Ensure you have a comfortable experience by packing some portable furniture.
If you’re looking to get in a good workout, lug a cooler full of food to your campsite by hand. If you’re looking to save your strength for fun outdoor activities like hiking, choose a cooler with wheels. But those two suggestions are just food for thought.
Forget any aspirations of becoming a culinary super chef on your camping trip. You can keep camp cooking simple and still have great meals. Hot dogs are popular at lunch and dinner because they don’t require any specials skills to cook them. Run a sturdy stick through one, hold over the open flame in your fire pit, and cook until done. Grab a bun and condiments from your cooler and enjoy. If you’re cooking with a portable grill, fire it up, throw some hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken breasts or steaks on the grate and wait. Don’t forget the canned pork and beans—they’re always campfire favorites.
Eat with disposable utensils and pack a few pots and pans to cook in. Always remember to be courteous. Properly dispose of trash and never litter.
If you’re camping in the summer, light, loose fitting clothes are recommended during the day. At night, you might need a light sweater or jacket. In the cooler months, jeans, long sleeve shirts, thermal underwear and heavy coats are essential. No matter the season, always have a nice selection of dry clothes you can change into.