Camping is enjoyable way to spend time in nature. You can camp overnight, for a weekend, or a longer trip. You can go to a favorite campground, hit the back country, or just pop up the tent for the kids in the backyard. Whether you’re a beginner or consider yourself an old pro, you can always learn a few new tips to make your camp adventure more pleasant – and safe.
Select the Right Tent
Choose a tent size that fits your needs. Smaller tents are often easier to put up. A tent with double doors can be helpful. Consider bringing an area rug for added comfort in your tent and easier dirt cleanup.
Pick the Best Campsite
Survey the potential campsite for any hazards, like dead trees, ant hills, snake holes, etc. Pitch your tent on level ground. Otherwise, you may find yourself rolling downhill. A campsite with some shade may be welcome in the mornings and during hot, sunny days. Determine the wind direction so you’re not downwind of a neighboring site’s campfire smoke. Set up camp before it gets dark and while it’s easier to see what you’re doing. Keep your sleeping and eating areas separate.
Determine Your Bedding
Traditionally, campers use a sleeping bag and pad combination for their sleeping arrangements. But some people like to use inflatable mattresses instead of pads. If you don’t like sleeping on the ground, you may want to use a cot. Or, on a hot summer night, a hammock may suit you best. Don’t forget to bring a pillow and extra blankets if it may turn cooler.
Check the Weather Before You Go Camping
Pack weather-appropriate clothing and supplies. If it’s going to rain, you can either reschedule your camping trip or pack your rain gear. Don’t forget to pack books, cards, or games for activities to do while it’s raining. Pack sunscreen and bug repellent for warmer, sunny days. If your shoes get wet, remove the insoles and stuff them with newspaper or a dry shirt to help them dry out overnight.
Prepare a camping checklist, so you don’t forget anything you need. Start packing your camping gear a couple days before your trip, so you’re not scrambling the night before.
Bring extra of everything – toilet paper, matches, batteries, trash bags, water, and even food. Also, don’t forget extra socks and footwear. It’s no fun having wet and/or cold feet. Pack a first-aid kit for any injuries. Take baby wipes and hand sanitizer for easy cleanup. Bring two sets of car keys in case one set gets misplaced.
Plan Your Meals and Store Food Securely
Choose your menus wisely. Simple meals will make food prep quicker and easier. Refrigerate cold foods in a cooler. Be prepared to buy ice daily. You don’t want food poisoning to ruin your fun family getaway. Pack fire-starter materials like newspaper, dryer lint, or old birthday candles to help you get your fire going easily. Lock up your food in an animal-resistant container or in your car to keep animals out. Throw out trash in appropriate containers. Clean your campsite after every meal to keep critters away.
Take a map and compass to help keep you from getting lost. Carry a cell phone with you in case you do get lost and need to call for help. Pack plenty of water to keep you hydrated and a snack to keep your energy up. Also, don’t forget sunscreen and a first aid kit. Pace yourself and don’t overdo it. Dress appropriately for your hike – that includes your shoes. Don’t hike in flip-flops or sandals. For easy hikes, athletic shoes will do fine. However, for more strenuous hikes on rugged terrain, wear well-insulated, properly fitted hiking boots. If you suffer from foot pain, consider adding a pair of ezWalker® Custom Fit Orthotics in your shoes. These custom orthotics provide better foot support while giving you proper bio-mechanical alignment from the feet up. You’ll experience greater comfort and less pain with every step you take. For more information, visit the WalkEZStore. Or, click here to order your pair of ezWalker® Custom Fit Orthotics today.
This year, why not explore new locations and camp in places you’ve always wanted to visit? Not only will you have fun, you’ll make camping memories that last a lifetime.
Remember … when your feet feel good, you feel good.® And your camping trip will be more enjoyable.
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Cover Photo Credit: 123RF / Supot Suebwongsa