Camping is a great way to spend time with your family or friends. Camping can mean different things to different people, however.
For some, camping only means sleeping outside without any type of shelter or protection. For others, it includes sleeping in a tent and having a fire for warmth and cooking. And then there are the savages that include a truck or RV!
You can camp in the city, in the woods, at the beach, or even in a national park. It is up to you and your group how far you want to go with camping.
Camping can be a fun short trip or a longer vacation destination. Short trips are perfect for testing the waters and getting used to camping for the first time. Longer trips give you more time to enjoy the nature and fun activities on site.
Once you have found the perfect spot, the next step is to make camp. This can be as simple or complicated as you want it to be.
If you are wanting to do it yourself, then you will need to find a suitable spot to put your tent, find some trees to hang the tent from, and then lay down the sleeping bags and pads.
If you are using an app, then the app will guide you through this process. Some even have a feature that tells you which direction the front of your tent should be so that you get the best view!
Once this is done, all that is left is to relax and enjoy your time at the park. Make sure to keep up on things like water and food so that you do not run out! Having enough of these resources will help ensure a fun weekend in the park.
Once you have decided what type of camping you will be doing, you can then look into what camping items you will need. The main areas of camping gear include:
The tent you use depends on the number of people and whether or not you want it to be waterproof. There are many styles of tents, so find one that fits your needs and budget!
Depending on where you will be camping, how long you will be camping for, and how many people in your group, there are different sizes of sleeping bags needed. If you are buying a sleeping bag for yourself, make sure it is close fitting to keep warm!
Obviously, blankets are necessary for campers- either ones used at home or acquired via purchase or donation. Camping pillows can help with sleep as well!
Duffle bags and backpacks are great storage containers for campers.
When choosing a day to go camping, consider the weather. Is it a rainforest? If so, then maybe do not choose a day with no rain in the forecast to camp.
Can you see the moon and stars? If not, then it may be hard to navigate with just a GPS. Is there a chance of thunderstorms? If so, then bring a waterproof tent and hammock!
Camping can be done anywhere, but if you are planning on going far from civilization, make sure you pick a spot that has decent soil to put your tent in. Otherwise, you will not sleep well!
Another important thing to note is whether it is warm or cold when you go camping. If it is warm, then make sure to bring lots of water and/or hydration solutions to keep yourself and your camp mates healthy. If it is cold, then make sure to bundle up!
Finally, remember to always be prepared for the worst case scenario– have extra water and shelter in case of emergency.
When choosing a place to go camping, consider the location you will go. Will you go close to home, or far away?
Close to home camping is a great way to test the waters and see if camping is something you enjoy. Nearby parks usually have easy access and facilities available.
For example, if you live near the woods or a national park, try going there for a day to see how things work. Or if you have a friend with land, try spending a night or two there to test it out.
Going far away can be fun, but requires more planning and money. There are lots of places that are cheap to stay at, so don’t think you have to spend a lot of money to have an enjoyable trip. Check out local shops and see what kind of deals they have!
Whether close to home or far away, make sure it is safe by doing some research on the area.
When you gather with friends to enjoy a campfire, you should have some basic rules to ensure everyone has a good time. Most of these rules are safety measures to protect people and property.
The first rule is to make sure everyone is aware of the rule set. If there is a leader, they should hand out punishments for violations and make sure people understand what is acceptable.
The second rule is to keep the conversation and jokes appropriate. Naughty jokes or comments about someone or something may be funny, but not if they are directed at someone in the group.
The third rule is to keep the music selection appropriate for the crowd. If everyone likes country music, then by all means, play some tunes! Just make sure it is all agreeable music. No one wants a music clash while sitting around the campfire.
The fourth rule is to ensure all trash gets thrown away properly. Make sure to have enough bags available for everyone so they can safely discard their trash.
While camping, you will encounter lots of bugs. Some of these bugs can be very annoying and even dangerous.
To avoid pesky insects, make sure you have a good insect repellent. Also, make sure to spray your tent with a strong spray as well- nothing gets you out of your house faster than an allergic reaction to a bug bite!
To reduce the number of insects in your camp, keep your food in sealed containers and do not leave any food out. Once you are done with your meal, dump the remains in water- this way any insects cannot live in the water.
Once you get into the rhythm of camp life, you will find ways to avoid the most annoying insects. Some become friends with them, and others just learn to live alongside each other! Campers are very friendly towards bugs, most of the time.
Bedbugs in tents
While rare, it is possible for bedbugs to hide in tents. If you purchase a used tent, or purchase a cheap tent, it is possible for bugs to be in the fabric.
While camping, you bring your clothes and gear into the tent. Your gear then comes into contact with the ground where bugs may be. Your clothes then come into contact with the interior of the tent where bugs may be.
Since campers are outside, they may also bring creatures like ticks or chiggers into the tent with them. These insects can then hitch a ride into your sleeping bag when you crawl in.
How can you tell if your tent has bedbugs? Well, there’s no clear sign, unfortunately. Some people report seeing blood spots on the inner walls of the tent, but that could easily be from mosquitos or other insects hitting the barrier.
What to bring camping
When going camping for the first time, it is important to know what things are necessary and what things are nice to have.
Camping basics usually include a tent, sleeping bags or blankets, a lantern or flash light, weather-appropriate clothing, and eating supplies. If you are going car camping, then your vehicle is your transportation, so including a car rack or hitch attachment for gear is essential.
Car camping also requires GPS coordinates and location of the camp site. This is for safety purposes in case of emergency and to know where to drop off supplies. Campsites can also provide some of this information if needed.
For beginner backpackers, it is good to know that you will most likely not need much clothing due to the warm atmosphere of the tent. Light clothing that covers you well is best! Also, having an extra blanket is always good because of the slight drop in temperature at night.