I camp believe you’ve never slept in a tent! Camping can be a fun way to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life… you just have to make sure you’re prepared.
1.Find a Site
The easiest way to find a campsite is to do a google search of campsites near you. You can also download a mobile app called ‘The Dyrt’ which will give you the inside scoops on tons of campsites in an area, like reviews, amenities, contact info and more – it’s a bit like AirBnb, but for camping.
Tip: Be aware of the difference between primitive/back-country, walk up and drive up sites. Primitive is going to be a site that has zero amenities, like bathrooms, and will probably be a site you have to take a long walk to.
2.Make a Shelter
You can buy a tent at any basic store like Walmart or Target, but if you want a more quality tent then check out a store like REI. You can also go really simple with sleeping under the stars in a sleeping bag or a hammock, (like an Eno) but have a backup plan in case of rain! Bring pillows, extra blankets and possibly a blow up mattress for a cozy sleeping experience.
3. Bring Nourishment
Bring simple-to-cook foods or non-perishable items. I would suggest things like chips, granola bars, fruits or bread. If there are grills at your site and you want to make things like hamburgers and hot dogs, make sure to bring coals and lighter fluid, as well as things like tin foil, a cooler with ice and a spatula. Plus, you will of course need plates, cups and silverware. Be sure not to leave food out overnight because it could attract bears! Check out this website for more information on keeping food away from wildlife. https://www.nps.gov/subjects/bears/storingfood.htm
In terms of drinks, you can bring anything you want, but the one essential is lots of water! The more water the better. I suggest gallons of water rather than bottles, but either works.
4. Build a fire
You don’t need a fire, but it is highly recommended. The big thing that many people forget is to bring LOTS of wood. One bundle of wood lasts about two hours, so usually I bring between three and four bundles of firewood, but the more the better. Of course you will also need some type of fire starter blocks or a starter log and a long nose lighter to get the fire going. Bringing lighter fluid can help start or keep a fire going too.
5. Protect Yourself
Bring lots of protection, such as sunscreen, bug spray and a first aid kit. A portable lamp and a pocket knife could also be really helpful. Bringing a roll or two of toilet paper can be something very handy to have in case your campsite does not have bathrooms, or if the campground’s bathroom runs out of toilet paper!
6. Make it Fun
You always need to have fun while camping! You can bring board games, cards, or even just tell fun stories. Bring a football or frisbee to stay active, and if you’re staying by a body of water you can bring a kayak, paddle board, or blow up tube. I also always bring a portable speaker to listen to music, but be mindful of volume levels so as to not disturb the people or wildlife around you.
For a delicious treat, bring s’mores ingredients.
Follow the ‘Leave No Trace’ Principles