Mishaps sometimes make the best stories, but if your camping plans run smoothly you’re likely to makes room for a lot more fun.
Not being properly prepared can bite worse than mosquitoes in Minnesota. And preparation is a big part of the anticipation leading up to a trip. Let’s get ready to have a great time with these 6 tips that will make camping more fun for everyone.
Put extra thought into your camping crew.
We’ve all been there. Perhaps someone you hardly know wants to share the tent. Better think that through… Are your personalities compatible enough for close quarters? Who will share which tent or RV? Do they snore?
The company you keep can have a big effect on the quality of your trip. So plan carefully when you’re sending out those invites. Or, you can always camp solo. It’s great fun to get out there on your own, without the hassle of other people’s schedules and preferences.
Know your campground before you go.
You can check out reviews and photos of campgrounds around the country at The Dyrt. Get tips and descriptions from people who have gone before you or click through to campgrounds’ websites to book your spot. The people you’re camping with should all have access to the basics, like whether or not there are showers, and what types of vehicles can reach the site. Be sure to share valuable information with everyone in your party.
Do a practice run with campground recipes.
Finding out it’s best to use butter and not oil in a recipe after pitching camp is a bit too late. And if eating fancy matters, some dishes are just easier to prep beforehand—like your sourdough Belgian waffle mix or homemade burgers. Once you’re at the campsite, you can focus on not burning the brats.
Know your gear ahead of time.
Go ahead and snag that great deal on a used tent online. But make sure you know whether it’s actually waterproof before you leave your house. An unexpected rainstorm with untested gear could mean wet clothes and sleeping bags for the whole trip. Testing a new stove or lantern beforehand is wise, too. When a piece of camping gear does give you trouble, it’s helpful to have a Leatherman for fixing things up in a pinch.
Make a camping box for all your gear.
Keeping all of your camping gear in one place makes the preparation stage so much easier. And when it’s easy to go camping, you’ll go more often! Many people use a large Rubbermaid style container, which keeps out moisture and is easy to carry and store. Some even have wheels. It’s amazing how much you can fit into those things. And they keep any curious critters out, including toddlers.
Check the weather forecast!
You’d be crazy not to. Check out the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration site for reliable weather forecasts. In the Pacific Northwest, we don’t have frequent lightning strikes, but rain or high winds can kill your plans. Regardless of where you’re heading, keep a close eye on the forecast for as long as you can. Once you lose cell reception, you’ll be glad that no matter what, you’re prepared for whatever strikes.