Camping 101

Great camping getaways are easy to plan and a whole lot of fun. You don’t even need to travel far for your camping trip. You could drive to a local campground or pitch a tent in your own backyard if you cannot make it to a national park.

Of course, for a super exotic camping trip, you could head to Sweden for a 3 Day Kayak and Camping Experience.

Camping Preparation

Even if you weren’t a Scout, you should “Always be prepared”.

Check the weather forecast, and pack accordingly. Toilet paper, paper towels, soap and toothpaste are absolute necessities. Don’t forget sunscreen, bug spray and hygiene items. Fully stocked survival and first aid kits with bandages, pain relievers and topical antibiotics are essential supplies for every camper.

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Tents and Camping Gear

Whether you are an experienced camper or you are starting off on your first camping experience, it is important to have the right gear of good quality. Many of the supplies can be expensive and some items may be hard to find.

Your camping gear has to be durable and reliable under all weather conditions. If you find it expensive, you could borrow from friends who have camped in the past, or check on the internet or local resale shops for used gear. If it is your first camping trip, for maximum convenience, you can rent a recreational vehicle or travel trailer with cooking and sleeping facilities.

Most first timers though, start out with a tent. Four season tents are sturdier than three season tents, with poles to protect from snow and gale, but three season tents are fine if the weather forecast is pleasant.

There should be at least 30 sq ft of tent floor space per person, and dome tents are a good option to consider as they provide good headroom as well, along with porch extensions in some models, if needed.

Polyester and nylon tents are light, but canvas tents with metal bars are the sturdiest for high wind conditions. UV-Tex-5 is the material to go for if you are looking for long-lasting tents that would not degrade in harsh sunlight. A polyethylene flooring is best for all types of tents.

Sleeping

Sleeping bags made for the appropriate season are a minimum requirement for keeping warm and comfortable while sleeping. Adding a waterproof sleeping mat and sleeping pillow can also enhance comfort.

Alternately, you could use plastic padded mats with air bubbles, vinyl cover stuffed pads and air mattresses instead of sleeping bags.

Food and Cooking

Campfire cooking can be a fun if it is not too windy. Portable gas-powered stoves and Hibachi grills are other options if you do not want an open fire on the ground. Coolers and mini-refrigerators are useful to keep perishable items from spoiling.

Make sure you are carrying everything you need for a quick bite and drink, such as biscuits, water, juice boxes, tea bags, instant coffee, sugar and long-life milk cartons.

Stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables at every chance. Take one prepared meal in a freezer meal that can be easily reheated on arrival at your destination.

Carry old cutlery, pots and pans, a small meat mallet, Swiss army knife, barbecue tongs, matches, enamel crockery, and paper plates and plastic dishes if water is scarce. However, you must ensure you discard your trash appropriately and do not litter.

Fun

The great outdoors provide endless opportunities for fun times. It’s the best time to try new activities, like boating, fishing, catching butterflies and searching for fossils. Apart from hiking and trekking nature trails, you can play Frisbee and ball games to engage your kids. If there’s water nearby, carry inflatable kayaks with you if you want to do more than swimming and rock-diving. Many campgrounds provide fun activities like pools, playgrounds, fishing or recreational boating, so check ahead for these and provisions for renting sporting equipment.image

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