Camping trips are supposed to be fun, exciting events where you can relax and enjoy nature to your heart’s content. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. People who don’t know much about camping often end up demoralized at their first attempts, and they end up quitting soon after. I know this feeling personally. When I went camping for the first time, I had a terrible experience because I absolutely had no idea what I was doing, and when things got worse, I was almost tempted to call it quits. Fortunately, I didn’t and eventually I learned from my mistakes and became a better camper.
This list details some of the most important lessons about camping that I’ve learned over the years. Not only can these camping tips allow you to have more fun while camping, they can also keep you safe and secure. So, if you are looking for advice on how to have a fun and memorable camping trip, here are a few things that you should know.
1. First Aid and Safety Supplies
First things first, you will need to make sure that you have the necessary items to handle any emergency situation. A good way to define an emergency situation is any situation where you need to get back to civilization as quickly as possible. Such situations can be caused by all kinds of things, including animal attacks, injuries, bad weather or even natural calamities.
Fortunately, you can find all kinds of information about this topic on the internet. Personally, though, I prefer to bring along the following items whenever I go out on the camping trail:
- Flare Gun
- Pain Killer
- Insect Repellant
Other people prefer to bring along additional items for emergency situations, but feel free to add as many items as you need. It’s better to have something when you don’t need it than not have it when you do.
Of course, no emergency kit will ever be complete without a first aid kit. Most first aid kits are designed to handle all kinds of injuries, from simple cuts and burns to broken bones and severe lacerations. So be sure to bring one that can handle all kinds of emergency situations.
Aside from your first aid kid, you should also bring along some bandages, an antiseptic ointment, some gauze, a bar of disinfectant soap and anything else that you may need. If you are taking prescription medication then you will need to make room for those as well. Remember that safety is an essential part of camping, so prepare accordingly. Once you have all the essentials sorted out, you’ll have an easier time planning your camping trip.
2. Weight Issues
When preparing for a camping trip, you will need to pay attention to the weight of your equipment and supplies. I usually limit the weight of my camping gear to about 45 kg but feel free to set a weight limit that your body can tolerate. If you think you can only carry 30 kg worth of supplies in an hour of hiking then limit your equipment and supplies to 30 kg. There’s no point in carrying 50 kg, worth of gear if you’re forced to abandon some of them along the way.
One way to avoid the weight limitations is to purchase a bag or backpack, or borrow one if possible, which evenly distributes the weight of your gear. Most camping bags already have this feature, but some offer better weight distribution than others. Good weight distribution may allow you to add an extra 5 or even 10 kg. to your supplies, which is why you should get a camping bag that will help you carry more items out on the trail. The more items you can carry, the more fun you’ll have camping.
3. Bring Your Friends Along
I always try to bring my friends along whenever I go camping. Aside from keeping me company, they also allow me to carry more items, and when there’s an emergency, a companion or two can be make your situation a lot less dire. Camping with your friends also means that you have someone who can help you cook your food, set up camp and gather wood and water.
If you have a friend who has a lot of experience at camping and hiking, try to persuade him or her to go with you. They can be your mentor throughout your entire camping trip, and you’ll be better off for it.
4. Set Up An Itinerary
Camping requires discipline. Yes, you want to have fun but you have to consider a lot of other factors as well. You will need to consider the weather, your supplies, your distance from the nearest town and even the local wildlife. All of these issues can and should be addressed by your itinerary.
For example, if you can only carry enough supplies for 3 days then your camping trip should last 2 and half days. Likewise, if you want to camp at a specific area then you will need to choose a specific route to get to your destination.
It’s important that you don’t deviate from your itinerary, except when there’s an emergency and you need to get back home quickly. Your itinerary is your plan. It’s your path to safety as well as your plan for having fun. If you don’t know how to plan a camping itinerary then look at some samples online. They can give you some idea on how to prepare your own as well as some tips on how to plan a camping trip with your friends.
5. Develop The Right Mindset
This advice is a little hard to explain, but if you can manage it then you’ll have more fun camping. In my experience, camping requires a certain mindset. Most people are so used to being at home or around town that they have a hard time when they’re surrounded by nothing but nature.
To develop the right mindset for camping, you will need to get used to be away from civilization or even just being alone. You can develop this mindset by hiking on your own or simply being close to nature. This mindset cannot be developed quickly, but once you have it, you’ll have the instincts of a professional camper.