Everybody loves some time outdoors. Nature, sunshine, clean air, tame wildlife, pristine lakes, nights under the stars — what’s not to love?
But, it turns out that camping can sometimes be hard for the uninitiated or inexperienced. Us city folk can get in over our heads sometimes, and overconfidence can make your planned trip into an uncomfortable experience. Remember: you want your trip to be memorable for the right reasons, not because you have endless anecdotes of how everything went wrong!
So, even though we’re always up for rustic trip that feels different from checking into an all-inclusive resort, we want to take steps to ensure that things are just right. That may mean more or fewer creature comforts depending on your style, of course. But, it doesn’t mean that you can ignore some fundamentals!
Let’s take a look.
Your Tent is Your Home
Sounds easy enough, right? Who would skimp out on a quality, insulated tent with waterproof materials that can resist the elements, right? Everyone knows that’s one of the bare essentials!
Only, that’s not the way it usually goes. A lot of people think that going with a budget tent is a preferable choice to forking out actual cash. And sure, a bad tent will probably keep you comfy for a while. But then stuff starts happening, like leaky patches, fissures, or the fact that you’re not keeping as warm or dry as you’d like.
And then there’s stuff like the material being easier to tear than that of a high-quality tent. And then, you’re suddenly trying to patch up your tent to take it for one more trip, praying that it holds for long enough for you to be able to enjoy your escapade.
Remember: your tent is your sacred space while you’re out camping. It needs to be durable, comfortable, and keep you safe so you can enjoy the rest of your trip. It’s where you retreat for naps, meals, and cozy moments; if you leave that to chance, then you increase the possibility of souring your trip.
Another good idea is to scout out where you’re going in advance so you can get a tent that’s adapted to those conditions. You don’t want to find out the hard way that you’ve brought the wrong tent to a hostile, or difficult environment. That could mean anything from a costly repurchase to having to go back home in a fit of frustration!
Get a good one, keep it clean, and keep yourself safe!
Purchase a Fine Sleeping Bag
This is another area where a lot of campers feel that they wouldn’t mind cheaping out on. But, if your tent is your home, then your bag is your bed. Even if you live in a beautiful mansion, you’re probably not going to have a nice time if you’re sleeping on the floor, right?
Well, it’s the same with a sleeping bag! Get one that’ll keep you warm at night, that’s durable, that’s tried-and-true, and that’s got good reviews by actual, experienced outdoorsmen. Anyone can get a few good reviews on Amazon, but try to look around online before you shop.
You want your body be to well-supported, to stay warm at night, and to feel like your investment will last for a long time.
Now that we’ve covered living arrangements, the next thing should be cooking. Not everyone’s like Tom Hanks in Castaway. Making fires from scratch is beautiful, but not everyone has time for gathering wood, kindling, tinder and applying the correct techniques for a roaring fire. If that’s your game, make sure you know what you’re doing before you start!
Always make sure you have fire gear like lighters to make starting that fire easily if that’s what you’re going for.
But if not, there’s nothing wrong with purchasing a propane or butane stove to get a little fire for your meal. The type of fuel differs mostly about compression, weight, and at what altitude it burns best. So, you should keep those things in mind and do your research before you try going out into the woods.
A word to the wise: always respect proper fire etiquette and safety measures. Never light fires where you’re not supposed to.
Another thing to address is cooking gear. Same as with the tent and sleeping bag, this is an area where you’ll have to think about the long game rather than just your next trip. Sure, you can get $5 non-stick pans at Walmart, but you’ll want gear that’ll stick by you and not leave you hanging when you’re trying to pan-fry that beautiful trout you just caught, right?
There are so many things to keep in mind for camping that it would be impossible to even scratch the surface in just one article. I recommend you check out these helpful camping tips and products to make your next trip a breeze!