It’s almost summer, and that means that a lot of people will be heading into the great outdoors, so I wanted to share some of my most important camping tips that I’ve learned through the years.
The camping tips I’m sharing today are a bit unconventional. See, I’m not exactly a camping expert, and most of my past camping experiences have ended in disaster — like the time my entire family was chased by an angry mob of hornets after stumbling upon their nest (see #5 below).
Even still, I love camping and was always game for trying again in hopes of a better time. As a result, I have a few tips for what not to do so your outdoor adventures don’t end up like mine!
7 Camping Tips to Avoid Disaster
Don’t hit the trails without researching the area first – If you’re not camping on your own property, make sure you’ve done your due-diligence to know all about where you’re going. Rules, wildlife, weather, etc. Know where you’re going, who you can contact in an emergency, what you’re allowed to do (and not to do). If this is an unfamiliar area, having a hard copy of a map is a must! Know plants that are dangerous to touch (ex: poison ivy) or eat. Know if there are any potentially dangerous animals and how to keep from attracting them or bothering them. The more you know, the better!
Don’t skimp on your tent – I’m all about saving money wherever possible, but a budget tent is not something I recommend. If you think that camping is something your family might enjoy and do on a regular basis, you’ll want to invest in a sound structure. If a storm happens to blow in, a budget tent might not make it. Don’t ask me how I know, but I can tell you that it’s no fun to wake up in two inches of water from a leaky tent, or even have your tent blow over in heavy winds.
TIP: Try borrowing a tent before making a big investment in your own or purchasing a high-quality pre-owned tent.
Don’t forget the bug spray – There’s not much explanation needed for this one! Waking up in the morning covered in itchy bites is a major bummer.
Don’t rely on old-fashioned ways to build your fire – It’s fun to see if anyone can actually make fire using “traditional” methods, but always have a modern-day back-up plan!
For more about building a safe campfire, Smokey Bear has lots of excellent tips!
Don’t mess with holes in the ground – Kids (and grown-ups) are curious, and seeing a hole in the ground almost always sparks discussions about the wild creatures that might live there. Keep it a mystery!! Snakes are an obvious concern, but there could be other unexpected inhabitants that won’t take too kindly to being poked and prodded from above…like a nest of angry hornets.
Don’t rely on your cell phone – There were no cell phones when I did the majority of my camping trips, so this wasn’t a problem. It’s a totally different story now! Many of us are quite attached to our phones (guilty!) but in remote areas service may be spotty. Or your phone could get damaged or lost. Always have physical maps if you are in an unfamiliar area and know where you can go in emergency.
Don’t leave home without a first-aid kit – Always pack a well-stocked first-aid kit, because even with the best planning, accidents do happen.
Today, I look back fondly on my childhood camping trips, and as a family they are some of our favorite memories. However, we definitely could have planned better to avoid some of our now-laughable disasters!
Multi-Function Camping Essentials:
I love finding handy products that serve a multiplepurposes. Not only will these items be super helpful for your camping trip, but you can use them in a lot of other situations!
- Hand crank lantern with phone/mobile device charger (also includes flashlight, emergency siren, and AM/FM radio) — Handy, portable, and perfect for emergencies! This is a camping must-have and would also be an excellent addition to your at-home or car emergency kit.
- Dry Bags for storing and protecting food, clothes, phones, etc. from water and the elements. Lightweight and portable, these would also be great for boating and beach trips.
- A First-aid kit is a must-have! This one is light-weight, yet durable, and contains the essentials for treating minor injuries.
Do you have any camping tips to add? Share them in the comments!
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