Every year, more than 30 million Americans leave the comfort of their homes to sleep in a tent, RV, or simply under the stars. There are lots of reasons to rough it on a good-old fashioned camping trip, from physical health benefits to stress relief. (Who needs a Tempur-Pedic mattress when there’s a sleeping bag?) In order for a safe, comfortable, and exciting experience withlearn all the camping dos and don’ts to fully enjoy the Great Outdoors!
Nature-Made — The Need-to-Know
Forget stress balls and screaming into pillows: Just being in the presence of plants can be therapeutic. The word’s the term for humans’ desire to connect with nature . (Yep, it’s science!) And camping isn’t only the perfect way to it can also be . (Also Check Out:) Trekking to a campsite with the sun beating down provides a healthy , plus walking is a that may help burn off some of those campfire S’mores. Embracing that inner Yogi Bear may help reduce stress, too: Levels of when we’re outdoors, which can help improve mood . Who said only five-star hotels were relaxing? Check out these pro tips before hitting the trail for a comfy, relaxing, and fun outdoor experien
Now Camp It Out — Your Action Plan
To ensure a memorable stint with nature and stay out of harm’s way, follow the guide below — perfect for any neck of the woods!
- Gear up: Figure out what to bring based on how much room you have and how long you’ll be gone. If hiking to the campsite, be mindful about weight and bulk — nobody wants to schlep a 50-pound pack up a mountain! Stick to and leave the fancy extras for car camping.
- Pick your pack: based on how long the trek will be. The volume of the pack is measured in liters. Multi-day packs are 60 to 80 liters and are perfect for two- to five-day hikes. If you’re driving in and doing day hikes from one base camp location, a small day pack is large enough for daily provisions and supplies.
- Sleep well: Don’t forget the tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad (for extra cushion!), and pillow. The depends on how many people are squeezing in. And make sure that thing’s weather resistant. A light-weight “three-season” tent is made for spring, summer, and fall conditions — designed to keep people dry during light snow or rain while keeping the bugs out! If camping in the winter, go with a mountaineering tent that can withstand harsher weather conditions.
- Fire up: Unless you’re planning to subsist on PB&J sandwiches alone, bring along some charcoal (for campsite grills), , wood, newspaper, matches, propane stove, skillet, pot, utensils, and cups/bowls/plates. Always check to see if the site allows campfires, and if available. Keep sand and water nearby in case the fire needs to be put out quickly.
- Chow down peanut butter, beef jerky, canned beans and soup, trail mix, drink powders, and are all great camping food options. They’re perfect for pack, won’t spoil, and don’t require any cooking. Keep an empty water bottle on hand, too. Use the tap provided at the campsite to fill ‘er up — o if collecting from a fresh body of water. Try to drink at least hour while doing high-intensity outdoor activities.
- Dress for success: Cotton is great for staying cool in the ‘burbs, but it’s not your friend in the woods. Instead, choose moisture-wicking clothes and
- Grab the gadgets: No, we’re not talking about video games. A flashlight (or headlamp or lantern), extra batteries, a , and phone charger (for emergencies) all make camping much safer and easier.
- Keep clean: Obviously you’re going to get dirty in the woods, but bring soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, and toilet paper to stay as clean as possible. Bonus tips: Use baby wipes to get rid of dirt, always carry hand sanitizer, try soap to wash hair, and bring garbage bags to separate clean and dirty clothes!
- Stay safe: Safety is no joke, especially if camping in a remote area. Every camping group should bring along a well-stocked first-aid kit, creams for blisters,, sunscreen, and any other personal medications.
- Add some extras: Bringing along a camera, set of binoculars, maps, books, folding chair, cooler, and chapstick makes any trip in the woods much more enjoyable. For even more ideas, check out these
- Pick a place: After everything’s packed up, the next step is figuring out where to park that tent! There are tons of campgrounds to choose from, like and other Find out what amenities are provided; most sites have grills, and some have showers and even wifi! Remember to call ahead and reserve a spot, especially in the summer. (I want to spot a chipmunk, but not a bear, please!) and watch out for campgrounds that are at high altitudes — this may cause
- Set up camp: Once at the campsite, find level ground to pitch the tent. (some extra hands will help!) and make sure to in case of rain. Pick a place that’s close enough to running water for easy access when cleaning dishes, showering, and filling up water bottles. And remember: Keep food out of the tent! Place it in or hanging bear bags if the campsite recommends doing so.
- Play it safe: Following the tips listed above should make any camping experience smooth sailing, but remember that it’s best to camp with others so someone can always call for help in an emergency. With common sense, the right equipment, and a Mother Nature will quickly become your second home.
- Proceed with caution: some rough terrain, so make sure to wear good hiking boots to avoid sprains and strains. Slip on the right socks and shoes to avoid blisters, and keep a first-aid kit on hand incase there are some cuts and scrapes along the way.
- Stay safe in the sun: Slather on the sunscreen, and wear a hat and sunglasses to keep the sun out. Drink to avoid dehydration, too.
- Avoid ticks: Wear high socks, use insect repellent, and avoid high grass to If a tick attacks, with tweezers, making sure not to squeeze or crush the bug. Disinfect the area with soap and wash your hands immediately after!
- Beware of bears: As for fending off our furry friends, make sure the campsite’s clean and remove all food from the tent. In the unlikely event a black bear enters a campsite, remember they are generally timid, so and make noise, or fight back with sticks and rocks if it attacks. Grizzly bears perceive humans as a threat, so. Curl up in the fetal position and play dead.
- Break it down: Most importantly, leave the campsite Throw away any trash (that might mean bringing it home with you), make sure the fire is out, and pack your gear into a backpack, trunk, or RV.
So you want to go camping? There is a lot to know about how to go camping, but it does not have to be complicated. Get started with the camping basics and learn about how to go camping with these simple steps and lessons.
The following tabs will present you with basic camping lessons that address the premises for enjoyable camping: setting up camp, managing a camping kitchen, how to get comfortable sleep, cooking delicious meals at the campground, outdoor activities, breaking down your campsite, and storing your gear.
- Making Your Bed
Whether you are tent camping or sleeping outside under the stars you need to put something between your torso and the cold hard ground. Learn how to make your camping bed and not wake up with a sore back.
- More About Bedding
Sleeping pads are just one solution to sleeping on the ground while camping. You’ll want a layer of comfort between you and the hard ground, but there are other alternatives to sleeping pads. Learn the alternatives to sleeping on the hard ground
For many campers, the standard sleeping bag will be the primary camping bedding, but to minimize buying camping gear you can take regular bed items to the campground: sheets, blankets, pillows, comforters, and quilts. Learn how to add the finishing touch to your campground bed without buying any new gear.
- Campsite Shelters
If you are sleeping outdoors you’ll need a camping shelter, which is usually a camping tent. Tents today come in all shapes and sizes to meet a variety of camping needs and weather situations. There’s more ways than a pitching a tent to get a shelter over your head. Here’s how to put a roof over your campground bed.
Tents come in all shapes, sizes, and varieties; from the high-tech models used by mountain climbers to the multi-room cabin tents made for fair weather family camping. Choose a tent for your style of camping.
To understand the adverse effects that wind can play on a tent, one need only look at a tent from an aerodynamic perspective. The consequence of wind blowing across the dome shape of a tent is not unlike that of air passing over the curved wing of an airplane, namely lift. And this lift is the main reason why you need to stake your tent. Use the right stakes for the ter
Once you’ve arrived at your campsite and check out the area to see where to set up your campsite. What should you look for? Here’s some dos and don’ts for setting up your campsite.
- Now We’re Camping
What comes next after setting up camp? The fun stuff. Enjoy the great outdoors, learn how to cook over the campfire, and relax/
- Dealing With Outdoor Pests
Yep, there are bugs, and animals that can be pests at the campground. Learn how to deal with pest and take precautions against insects and other bothersome critters.
- Cozy Campfires
There’s no better way toend the day at the campground than around the campfire. You’ll want to have a safe and effective campfire. Learn the basis on how to have a campfire.
- Leave No Trace
The golden rule of camping is to leave no trace. All it takes is a little effort to ensure that you leave the campsite as clean as you found it, or even better! Have no impact on the environment and keep a clean campsite.
- Kitchen Duty
Everything tastes better in the great outdoors, but a camping kitchen is only as good as it is clean. Since you are preparing meals in the outdoors, you’ll need to take extra precautions to keep a maintained camp kitchen. Respect the wildlife and don’t feed the animals! Here’s a few tips for maintaining a campground kitchen
- Breaking Camp
The dreaded time has come to break down camp. Our top tips for packing up and breaking down camp.
- Returning Home
Unpacking is every camper’s least favorite thing to do, but returning home and unpacking after the camping trip is every bit as important as going camping. Tips for unpacking after the camping trip.
- Gear Storage
The final step in a camping trip is putting your camping gear in storage after the camping trip is over. you’ll want to do this properly to make packing on your next trip easy and simple, and to keep your gear clean and long lasting. Here are a few suggestions for storing your gear between camping trips