Top Tips for Camping
Getting away from it all for a break and camping in the great outdoors can be a fun and rewarding experience. It doesn’t get much better than breathing in the fresh air and sleeping under the stars when out in the country, mountains or forest. We wrote up some Top Tips for Camping to help you get prepared for a trip to the wilderness.
The right equipment and careful planning will help you and your fellow campers have a more enjoyable camping experience. Here are our top tips for camping to get you started.
Before you depart
Go through all your gear and test it carefully. If you’ve just borrowed or purchased a tent, set it up at home to make sure you know how to put it up correctly. If your tent isn’t new, check it’s still in good enough condition and that you have all the necessary parts to make sure you can set it up, i.e., tent pegs and poles. Also, pay attention to how the tent is packed so that you can easily and quickly pack it up the same way when you have to get it back in the bag later on in your trip. For some reason, just like sleeping bags, tents always seem to be bigger once you have to get it back in that small bag! If you’re taking a camping stove then clean and test it too. It’s going to be far better to identify missing equipment or faults before you leave for the trip and can replace broken parts than when you on your adventure.
Research the place you are going to be camping. Check what facilities are available. Will the campsite have showers, barbeques, shade options and what about access to clean and safe drinking water? Doing all this research will help you decide what you need to pack and what you can leave at home.
Before leaving read up on potential dangers for where you are heading. Are there poisonous animals, plants or insects in the camping area? Pack a first-aid kit accordingly to what you find in your research and travel advice. Remember to include basic first-aid components so you can deal with all events from headaches to burns and cuts. If you are going to be near a lake or river, then pack insect repellant as insects love water.
Weather will often make or break a camping trip so check the forecast before you head out on your trip. It’s best to pack for several eventualities such as changing weather conditions, so don’t forget waterproof rainwear or thermals. One camping tip is to prepare for the worst weather conditions when heading out camping but then expect the best. Remember to pack smart as just a single rain jacket will do the job and you don’t need to over pack.
Another top tip for camping is to take duct tape and nylon rope. The rope will come in handy for tent support and hanging wet clothes. Duct tape fixes just about everything from shoes, tents, bags and many other items that have the potential to break.
Another of our top tips for camping is to purchase high-quality camping gear. Camping gear that performs well in outdoor camping conditions and will last you for many camping adventures. Cheap equipment will damage easily and won’t provide comfort and protection.
Be prepared for the worst-case scenario. When planning a camping trip also include prep for emergencies. Tell family and friends where you are going and also how long you’ll be. Carry money and a phone in case you need to reach someone in an emergency.
Take good lighting equipment. It might sound romantic to get out under the moon or firelight however the reality is that you don’t want to be cooking, looking for the toilet or hearing odd noises in pitch black darkness. The correct camp lighting equipment makes a huge difference. Try hanging a head-lamp or torch from your tent to illuminate the whole tent.
Now that you have your camping essentials ready, it’s time to hit the road and get to some camping tips.
Setting up your campsite
Try to start early. Always pitch your tent and set up camp before dark as its obviously easier to set everything up in daylight.
Choose the location you are planning to camp carefully. This camping top tip is all about your safety. Pick a spot which is flat ground. Try to avoid camping under large trees. If you are camping near to trees, then look around first for any warning signs of fallen limbs or rotting branches. You don’t want to camp where there is a chance of a large branch falling on your tent during the night.
Avoid areas near waterways. This camping top tip may seem obvious but can slip from a camping novice’s mind. Make sure you are not camping in a river path, trench or creek bed that could fill with water during heavy rain.
Clear the ground when preparing a location for your tent. Remove all the sticks and rocks from the location you plan to set up your tent. Make sure there are no bug nests as well!
Get oriented once you arrive at the site. Check which direction the wind is going. Pitch your tent so the tent door is facing away from the wind. If you happen to be camping on a slope then sleep with your feet pointing downhill.
Prepare for rain even if not forecast. Peg your tent line tightly to keep rain away from tent walls. Try not to touch the walls of the tent if it does rain, and this will help avoid leaks.
Manage your fire correctly. Another sensible safety camping tip is to build campfires well away from trees – roots can also catch fire. Have awareness of local fire regulations and also weather conditions. Use established fire rings and always keep a bucket of water handy when you are making a fire. Fire isn’t really out until you can run your fingers through the ashes. Never leave your fire unattended. When you finish with the fire, cover the dying embers and ashes with a deep coat of dirt or sand.
Store food securely. When camping it is always a good idea to store food in secure containers. Make sure these containers are outside of your tent as you don’t want to attract nocturnal visitors to your campsite and especially not inside your tent.
Packing up your campsite
Final on our Top Tips for Camping is when packing up your tent make sure it’s completely dry. Only packing your tent up once it is completely dry will help you prevent things like mildew which can damage the tent and make it smell musty the next time you go to use it. If you’re unable to get the tent dry before you leave, then pack it away wet but then unpack the tent once you get home and dry it there.
I’m sure lots of you have heard the saying leave only footprints. Avoid the temptation to collect drift-wood, shells and other potential souvenirs, plus don’t feed wildlife. When leaving a location, take all your trash with you.
We hope you enjoyed our Top Tips for Camping and we’d love to hear how your trip went.
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Wikipedia says: Camping