Camping out in the great outdoors is one of the most classic family vacations there is, and one of the most popular. Camping in tents, camping in cabins, camping in RVs, camping with nothing but what fits in a backpack, this versatile vacation is always unique and always refreshing. Make your next camping trip even better with these 5 easy tips.
- Organize organize organize. If you have a system, you’re less likely to leave anything behind once you pack up for home. This is especially important if you’re backpacking or camping in tents. It sucks to lose any of your expensive gear or to be a sock short when you have a 5 mile hike ahead of you. Plan out where things go when camp is set up and avoid setting something on the ground thoughtlessly. If you need a spot to set things, a tarp can keep them out of the dirt and visible.
- Know your campgrounds. Important not only for picking the best location, but also for making sure you’re even camping where it’s legal. This usually isn’t an issue, but you still want to be sure you don’t need a permit or payment to be there. It’s also important to let friends or relatives know where you will be and for how long in case of emergency. Part of the fun of camping is living for a while without boundaries, but it’s still only common sense to take precautions.
- Bring your buds. Few people camp alone, and having a friend along helps split the burden of driving or carrying gear. It’s always good to have someone watching your back, and the more the merrier! Make a party of a weekend backpacking trip or bond by camping in tents with someone special. This is another time to keep location in mind — a hill with a view of the stars for a romantic outing, a watering hole for an impromptu pool party. Customize!
- Do something other than camp. The camping part is your home base, the place where you sleep. But what about the rest of the day? Scope out hiking trails, camper gatherings, and points of interest. Camp resorts might host activities (though it may be restricted to whether you’re paying to camp with them), or you can make your own party. Hunters should know where they’re allowed to hunt, what they’re allowed to hunt, etc., but let’s reiterate that you must plan properly if you want to hunt while camping out.
- Keep an open mind. Planning is important, but don’t be afraid to go off track either. Camping gets you away from the schedules society imposes, so take advantage of that freedom. It can be just as enjoyable to fill the day with activity as it is to just relax and listen to a world without modernity. Be a Thoreau or be sporty, just make sure to enjoy yourself.