Preparing for Your First Camping Trip
One of the best ways to get a dose of nature in your life is to go camping. You can do it with friends, family, as a couple or even alone. It really is a great way to relax while enjoying the outdoors, getting some fresh air into your lungs, and disconnecting from city life.
There is a downside, though, if you have no experience (and are camping with someone equally inexperienced) the whole thing can turn bad really quickly. Instead of a relaxing time, you’ll be having a hard time staying warm, dry, and fed which, of course, can make anyone angry and anxious. There are some things that only experience will teach you, but generally, if you exercise some good judgment and plan ahead, you should be able to avoid any of the major problems rookie campers face:
Practice at Home
We’ve all seen it either in movies or in real life. A first-time camper gets to the camping site incredibly excited, starts to set up, and promptly starts stumbling with the tent. Sooner rather than later, the rookie gets frustrated, gives up and vows never to go camping again. It happens a lot, and it’s a surefire way to have an awful experience right from the beginning.Make your life easier by practising at home. Learn how to set up your tent way before you leave. You could do it in your living room or your backyard. The important thing is that you learn how to correctly assemble your tent in the comfort of your own home.
The same goes for any equipment you might be using for the first time during your camping trip. Test out sleeping bags, jackets, boots, blankets. Really, anything that you plan on bringing to the trip should be tested. You have to familiarize yourself with the gear, and also check that everything is working just fine. This way you can avoid bringing any unnecessary equipment and have time to replace faulty ones.
Another thing that always gets the rookies is the meals. The best thing you can do is plan in advance. Figure out what you’ll have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the duration of your trip. Try to avoid junk food and elaborate meals. You should also remember to bring a few snacks and strive to buy fresh ingredients a few days before your trip. If you want to be extra ready, be sure to bring along a few prepared meals to eat when you arrived at the camping sites, chances are that’s going to be when you’re the most tired from the trip, the most hungry, and also the least likely to want to cook something before setting up.
Prepare for the Weather
Always check the weather before you start planning your trip and on the day you’re going to leave. If there’s going to be heavy rain, don’t hesitate to cancel your trip altogether. Few things are worse than trying to wait out a storm while in a tent. Things are just as bad right before rain as the ground is soggy and it will make it hard for anyone to set up a tent. On the same subject, make sure you check out the sunset times and get to the camping site well before that. For experienced campers is hard to set up their camp in the dark, for newer ones it might be impossible. Besides, you want to make sure you get there early enough to familiarize yourself with the terrain, other campers and the rules of the sight. Camping is supposed to be fun and relaxing. The reason some people associate it with hard work and frustration is lack of planning. So remember to be prepared, so that you can make the most out of your time out in nature.