It may not feel like it, but spring is here and our thoughts turn to the great outdoors. For many of us that means camping and black flies. For the inexperienced camper (and some experienced ones), the challenge is not over once you have decided on the type of camping and location. So what else do you need to think about?
You have booked yourself into a campsite for three days. Now what?
Have you considered what type of food to bring?
What are you cooking your food on?
What type of clothes should you be wearing?
What protection do you have for the sun and bugs?
How much storage space is required?
What type of activities are available?
What are the camp rules and how should we conduct ourselves?
Having a safe and enjoyable camping experience means that you have to think about all of this ...and more
Let's explore a few of these camping items in further detail
1. DO NOT OVERPACK
I know it’s tempting to grab everything you think you might want on your upcoming trip, but trust me you will be better off if you keep things simple and only bring what you need. Lugging around that third bathing suit and fourth pair of jeans won’t feel like such a great idea once you have to carry them with you. Think practically, dress in layers, and make sure you have comfortable footwear that will help you along the way.
2. MANAGE YOUR TIME
Depending on what type of camping trip you are on, keeping a tight schedule isn’t always necessary but it is important to think about. Going for a long hike on a beautiful trail? Make sure you have enough time to get back to your site before dark and bring a flashlight just in case something happens that causes a delay.
3. EAT RIGHT
Oreo’s - check, potato chips - check, hot dogs - check. Wait, what is wrong with this picture? The activities you have planned are going to take some energy. Processed food may be a nice treat but it will leave you feeling empty. Make sure you pack some nutritious food. It’s easier than ever now that many stores carry dehydrated meals that are well balanced and perfect for camping. Protein, veggies and the right amount of carbs will help you power through the day. And yes, you can still have your favourite beverage!
4. PACK IT IN/PACK IT OUT
Does this phrase sound familiar? That’s because most campgrounds encourage people to follow the golden rule of camping. Whatever you bring in should go out when you leave the site. All the delicious meals you are going to make are bound to cause some garbage to build up. Make sure you have a garbage bag to keep the waste contained either in your car or up a tree and away from any animals who are looking for a late night snack.