Photo credit: 123RF / Supot Suebwongsa

Photo credit: 123RF / Supot Suebwongsa

During the summer, there’s nothing more relaxing and enjoyable than being one with nature while camping. However, if you’re not properly prepared or something goes wrong, your camping trip can easily become a disaster. To ensure your trip goes smoothly and everyone remains a happy camper, here are some helpful tips.

  1. Check the weather before you go. If it’s going to rain, think about rescheduling your trip. Or, pack your rain gear, umbrellas and/or some activities to do while it’s raining, like cards, board games, books and toys for little kids. Don’t forget extra socks and footwear.
  2. Get organized. Prepare a camping checklist so you don’t forget anything, especially something important like your tent or sleeping bags.
  3. Start packing your camping gear a couple days ahead of your trip. Then you won’t be scrambling the night before.
  4. Be prepared for injuries. Pack a first-aid kit.
  5. Make sure you stay comfortable. Treat yourself by bringing an air mattress. Or, pack extra blankets for padding and to keep you warm if it turns chilly. Also, don’t forget your favorite pillows.
  6. Pack foods that won’t go bad during your trip. Or, take a cooler and be prepared to buy ice daily. Food poisoning can make a fun getaway go bad quickly.
  7. Bring two sets of car keys. And have two different people carry them. Because no one wants to search for lost keys along a trail, or figure out how to get in the car if you lock the keys inside.
  8. Set up camp before it gets dark. It’ll make things easier when you can see what you’re doing.
  9. Pitch your tent on level ground. Otherwise, you’ll spend your night rolling downhill.
  10. Photo credit: 123RF / Kamila Starzycka

    Photo credit: 123RF / Kamila Starzycka

    Keep your sleeping and eating areas separate. This will help when the kids need to go to bed early.

  11. Lock up your food. Place it in your car (with the windows up) or in an animal-resistant container. Because raccoons are faster and smarter than you think when it comes to stealing food.
  12. Bring along toilet paper and baby wipes. You never know when the public bathrooms may be out. And baby wipes are great for dirty fingers after exploration trips.
  13. Pack dryer lint. No, we’re not kidding! It makes a great fire starter.
  14. Hike with a map, compass and at least one cell phone. The map and compass can keep you from getting lost. And if you do get lost, you can call the campground and ask for help.
  15. Make new memories. Camp at places you’ve always wanted to see. Explore new areas. Try new things, like rock climbing, fly fishing or ziplining.

Above all, have fun on your camping trip. And don’t forget the fixings for s’mores!

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