Camping is a fun way to spend time with your friends and family. Camping can be done anywhere– in a backyard, in a park, in a field, or even on the top of a mountain!
Camping can be done practically anywhere, but one of the most popular places to camp is the wilderness. The wilderness can be defined as a natural area that is not very populated by humans.
There are many ways to camp in the wilderness, from sleeping on the ground to sleeping in a tent or shelter of some kind. Some people even camp in RVs!
Sleeping on the ground can be very rough, especially if there are no mats or blankets involved. This is why many people choose to camp in tents or shelters- it provides some floor and roof protection.
Make sure the campground accepts reservations
If you plan to go camping during the spring or fall, you will likely find many campsites are full. This is because most people prefer to go outdoors during the warmer months.
If you want to be sure you have a spot, make a reservation through the National Recreation Reservation Service. You can make reservations up to six months in advance.
This service is free if you use Federal land, but if you want to go to private property it costs $6–12 per reservation. It is definitely worth it if you are not sure where you want to go yet!
The National Recreation Reservation Service also has a mobile app that makes it easy to make and change reservations. This is helpful if you are rushing to get somewhere and do not have time to go to a computer.
Make reservations for a site
If you are planning to go camping at a specific site, make reservations ahead of time. Many campsites require you to book a site ahead of time, especially during peak season.
This allows for the park rangers to know how many people will be in the area and where they will be, reducing the risk of someone getting lost or hurt.
It also helps maintain the nature around you as you know how many people will be there. More people would mean more impact on the environment around you. By reserving a site, you can keep that from happening.
Reservations can be made through government websites, online reservation services, or can even be done in person at a park office.
Pack your bags
Now that you have decided where you want to go, it is time to pack for your trip. Make sure you have all the essentials for camping, and more!
Camping basics include sleeping bag, pillow, sleeping pad or mattress, jacket or blanket, head covering, toiletries bag with towel, and water bottle.
Sleeping bags run on a temperature scale called the warmth-to-weight ratio. The higher the temperature rating of the bag, the heavier it is. So choosing a bag dependent on location and season is important.
A mattress or sleeping pad helps keep you warm by preventing contact with the cold ground. A thin blanket can be folded over the top of your mattress or sleeping bag to add an extra layer of warmth.
A head covering can help keep you warm at night as well! A lightweight one is a good investment. Your coat can be used as an additional layer as well.
Drive to Moab
The first step in camping outside of Moab is to get there. The best way to do this is to drive your own vehicle. You can also ride in someone else’s vehicle or take a public transportation such as a bus or train.
If you are driving your own car, make sure it is in good condition and you have enough fuel to get to Moab and back. Remember to keep track of how much gas you use while driving there so you have enough to return!
If you are riding with someone else, make sure your schedule matches so that you can get there at the same time. You also want to make sure your vehicles are similar in size so that you both get there at the same time.
Public transportation can be tricky, but if this is an option for you, then check out the schedules and go online to see if you can arrive at the camp site at the same time as someone in your group who drove or rode in a vehicle.
Learn about the area you will be camping in
Camping in a new area or going to a new area to hike can be exciting. However, it is important to do some research on the area you will be camping in and hiking in.
There are many resources available to you, such as National Geographic maps, Camping Survival maps, Google Maps, and others. These provide you with valuable information such as water sources, safety concerns, and the best places to camp.
National Geographic maps are great because they show you all of the trails and topography of the area which is especially helpful if you are going hiking. The colors also help you identify what kind of terrain you will be walking on which helps prepare your gear selection.
Camping Survival maps give you tips on good places to camp and where not to due to potential wildlife threats or lack of water.
Set up your campsite
Once you have found a campsite, the next step is to set up your camping space. This can be as simple or complex as you would like it to be.
If you are using a pre-set tent, then all you need to do is position it at the designated spot and peg it down. Make sure to double check all of the strings and snaps to ensure it is stable.
If you are using a tent that requires assembly, then you will need to lay out all of the pieces and connect them together according to the directions. Make sure all of the pieces are correct and fit together correctly before starting to erect the tent.
Depending on how heavy your sleeping bag is, how warm you want to be, and whether or not you have an air pad or hammock, determines how many blankets or layers you need.
Follow camping regulations
While camping in national parks is an amazing experience, you should always follow the regulations set by the park. Regulations can be changed at any time, so it is important to check up on them frequently.
There are two types of camping regulations you will come across. The first is campground regulations, which tell you things like where you can and cannot camp, how many campsites there are, and what amenities are available.
The second type of regulation is park-wide regulations, which cover things like wilderness permits, food storage requirements, and fire restrictions.
It is your responsibility as a camper to know and follow these regulations to help preserve the park for yourself and others!
Some general camping tips that apply to most parks include setting up your tent away from tall trees or branches that could potentially fall on your site during a storm.
Keep your camping space clean
Once you have found your ideal camping spot, it is your responsibility to keep that area clean. Make sure to pick up any trash that was left behind by previous campers.
If you see an area that is heavily littered, choose a different spot or spend some time cleaning the area you have chosen. By doing this, you are not only being a good camper, but also creating a healthier environment for the next campers that come along.
By keeping your camp site clean, you are also keeping insects and rodents away. They do not want to build their home in an area that is clean and has no food leftovers.
You can never go wrong by being a good camper and leaving your camp site better than you found it! Being a good camper also helps promote being a good tourist- someone who contributes positively to the place they are visiting.