Camping tips for beginners
If any good ever came out of this Covid thing is that people are getting out more and that includes going camping. According to a report published by Kampgrounds of America (KOA) the total number of camping households has increased by 6 million since 2014 and 53 percent of them are choosing tent camping for the first time. Camping is popular because it is fun, but only with the proper perspective and preparation. If you are planning to try camping this summer go about it with some thought and considerations before heading to the nearest state or county park.
The first and most obvious thing to do is to create a checklist to make sure you’ll have everything you need. If you are using new or borrowed equipment like a tent or stove don’t skip testing your gear before you go. Finding out you are missing a tent pole or that the fuel tank on your stove can’t be pressurized will quickly put a damper on a trip once you arrive at your destination. Be sure you know how to set up and tear down the tent and if you are taking young children make sure there is plenty of room inside! Cramped sleeping quarters invariably lead to a poor night’s sleep for all and leads to nothing but grumpy campers.
This may sound like obvious advice but be sure to make a reservation at the campground where you’ll be staying especially on holiday weekends or any weekend for that matter. When you reserve the campsite, research the campground so you know whether or not you’ll have bathroom or shower access and whether or not you need to bring your own firewood. To prevent the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer it’s best to purchase any firewood from a source near where you plan to camp.
The weather could sometimes put a damper on a new camping experience so be sure to research the area or campground for alternate activities like sightseeing or visitations to a nearby nature center and, don’t forget games for the kids and a deck of cards for the adults.
Plan your meals and bring plenty of snacks. Take shortcuts to meal preparation by getting things ready before you go. For example, pancakes can be ready beforehand by adding dry ingredients at home. Once at the campsite, just add water and eggs, shake, pour and cook.
Finally, practice proper campground etiquette and find out when quiet time is and adhere to it. If you must have music, turn it off or turn down after quiet time – some people go to sleep early and may not appreciate an unwanted serenade.
Remember, camping should be a fun and relaxing experience. Plan it right and the whole family will be asking for more.