Setting off on a camping trip can be exciting, but keeping these tips in mind could be the difference to a stressful weekend or enjoying your time away from home.
Make a checklist. You’ll thank yourself when you’re not missing an extra pair of shoes or run out of food on your trip. Take time to pack your bag. A good rule of thumb for most backpacks is to pack your heaviest items in the middle close to your back. Pillows, sleeping bags and light clothing items going on the bottom, followed by heavier items such as food. Make sure any liquids are in zip-lock bags so if they leak the rest of the items in your pack don’t get wet. If you are going with a group talk to each other ahead of time about what you are planning on packing so that you don’t double up unnecessarily.
Pack only the essentials, do you really need 3 jackets ‘just in case’ when you are only going to be gone a couple days? Take a rain coat and a couple long sleeve tops so that you can layer up but take up less space in your pack. This way you can fit in more items like extra pairs of socks to be comfortable in if it rains.
Take food items that are both filling and will sustain your energy. Before going to bed when camping, eat high-fat content foods such as nuts to keep warm through the night. Make sure to have a couple extra snacks that you don’t think you’ll need. You’ll work up an appetite hiking and it’s important to keep your energy levels up. Our self-heating meals are great to take along for a hot meal, especially when it’s cooler. Not to mention you won’t have to take extra pots and pans to cook with as everything is contained in the bag, and will be ready in about 10 minutes.
If you’ve bought a new tent, have a trial run at setting it up at home. This way you won’t be struggling through any adverse weather conditions or darkness on your next camping trip. When setting up your tent, if it’s really windy make sure your tent entrance is facing away from the wind and stake down the side facing the wind first. That way you aren’t working against it. If it’s not possible to find a level camping site and have to set up on a small incline, ensure that your head is facing uphill when you are sleeping so the blood doesn’t rush to your head.
Don’t have room for pillows? Use your sleeping bags carry case and stuff some soft clothes in it. Instant pillow! Alternatively there are blow up pillows on the market that can be folded down when not in use and take up little space.
Camping is supposed to be fun! Take a book, some cards or other games to enjoy when you’re not hiking or enjoying your surroundings. Take two forms of fire starters, such as a pack of strike matches and a lighter, in case one fails. Bring a length of rope to stretch between trees to help dry any wet clothes or air out your sleeping bag. Pack a couple extra small lights or lanterns to light your campsite so that your flashlight or headlamp won’t be the only light around. You’ll also have spares if anything goes wrong with your main light source.
What else would you suggest to help everyone camp smarter?