When the weather is pleasant, do you start dreaming of a quiet day outdoors? Only a small percentage of people will actually pick up their camping gear and head out to the campground. There, certain things happen that make them very unhappy campers. The sacrifice of comfort, bugs, and sheer chaos can make camping much less pleasant than you’d hoped. Luckily, there are ways to make every tent camping trip (even if it's Truck tent Camping) the best it can possibly be. Maximize your opportunities for adventure by using these tips for tent camping:
#1: Test Drive Your Tent
The mistake many people make is not practicing their tent building skills before packing up and heading out. It is always a great idea to test your camping gear in the backyard (or anywhere you have enough space) to make sure you understand exactly how to get that tent up. That way, you know if there’s going to be any missing pieces or confusing steps.
When it comes to choosing a tent, remember that smaller tents or hammocks lessen your footprint and are more flexible than larger models. Hammocks are also great if you’re going somewhere where ground space is limited. Still, pitching all tents and hammocks takes some practice!
#2: Beginners Should Camp Close to Home
Never go far from home if it is your first time. You want to be able to head back to where you are comfortable, especially if the whole roughing it thing doesn’t sit right with you or those you are with. As you get more comfortable with camping, you can go farther away.
#3: Buy Comfortable Camp Chairs
Sure, you can purchase the cheap camping chairs at the dollar or grocery store, but where does that get you in the end? In pain. You are going to be spending a lot of time that chair when camping—as you cook, eat, and fish. Purchase a camping chair that supports you well enough so that when you sit back after a long day of hiking, canoeing, swimming, and other activities, you let out a sigh of relief.
#4: Pack Simple
One mistake people make is overestimating how much they need. The idea behind camping is getting back to the basics, so you probably don’t need all of the things you think equal comfort. Of course, many people equate “light packing” with “completely without any comforts whatsoever.” That’s not the case, though. You can compromise with your needs.
Can you leave the extra pairs of shoes home if it means you can swap in your memory foam pillow? Sure. Make a checklist for yourself that is built off what you need to be comfortable but not in the lap of luxury and pack according to that list.
Source: Fix.com Blog
#5: Be Selective of Your Site
Some campgrounds will do the work for you and give you a lot of ground that is well kept and without any visible dangers. However, if you’re setting up along a trail point in the middle of nowhere, you need to be more selective. There are a couple of things to be aware of when choosing a site:
- Dead trees that could fall in a potential wind storm or other inclement weather. Steer clear of anything that could shed limbs and other debris.
- Your neighboring campers. Nothing will spoil the fun more than loud, obnoxious neighbors. Also, be sure to research camping etiquette so your party doesn’t become the group no one wants to be around.
- Determine your directions so you know where the sun rises and sets. I mean, a camping trip isn’t complete until you’ve seen the sunrise from your tent, right? But for those who want to sleep in, this also goes the other way. You can place your tent behind trees so that you don’t get a face full of daylight at the crack of dawn.
- Figure out the wind direction. This will help when setting up a campfire if no pits are provided. This way, you can put the pit where wind won’t affect the flames too much.
- But make sure your tent is downwind of the fire for obvious reasons.
- Be sure to pitch your tent on a level surface. Sleeping with your feet above your head won’t feel that grand in the morning.
#6: Temperature Control
Extra blankets for days (or locations) where the temperature fluctuates can been a huge boon. Sleeping bag liners are also a great way to ensure you are going to be safe from plunging temperatures at night.
Another trick is to heat or cool a water bottle and put it inside your bedding before going to sleep. The temperature of the water will spread throughout the sleeping bag so you never have to deal with slipping into too cold or too heat bedding again. If you don’t have a bottle, use some cleaned stones.
#7: Noise Management
There are a couple of reasons why you are going to want to bring ear plugs to the campsite. First, some people bring their pets with them to the campground. A dog barking throughout the night means less sleep for you. Second, there will be rowdy campers who are partying, playing music, and gaming until late in the night.
If you are setting off early, you don’t want to be up all night because of noise. So do yourself a favor and bring some earplugs or noise reducing earbuds.
Dirt doesn’t hurt, but you should try to stay as clean as possible. If the campground where you are staying has showering facilities, use them daily. Even if it is just to rinse off the grime you will accumulate while hiking. Be sure to pack some hand sanitizer and other sterilizing wipes. You never know when you’re going to have to clean your hands while outdoors—especially when cooking or providing first aid for yourself or someone else. Skinned knees and grass stains happen. Be prepared.
If you don’t have access to hygienic facilities but there are freshwater streams, then bring along some baby wipes, old (but clean) socks, and soap. In a stream, you can grip the soap with the old sock and get reasonably cleaned up.
#9: Essentials For Fire Building
Every fire building situation is different. In colder climates, a fire is more than just a means of illumination or for cooking. Plus, you’ll be stoking that fire a lot more often than you would in a drier climate. There are a couple of things to do when calculating what you need to start your campfire.
1. Figure out the burn rate. 12-14 wooden logs should provide enough wood for making a meal and will last overnight.
2. Lighter kinds of wood will burn faster, so mix light and hardwoods to get ample fuel for the flames.
3. Bring a folding military-inspired shovel. These are great for moving coals, shifting logs in the pit, and even covering the smoldering remains with dirt when you are packing up to leave.
4. If you don’t have a shovel, at least bring a poker or make one. This can be a branch or a mountaineering pole. Anything that can resist the flames and let you make adjustments is going to work.
5. Fire resistant gloves will come in handy when you have to move cast iron grates (like on a campfire grill) or when cooking.
6. For those who have a hard time starting fires, you should bring either char cloth or cotton balls smeared with petroleum jelly (or both). Make use of any tinder sources, dryer lint, and other things that can quickly catch fire.
source: world market
#10: Pest Control
Mosquitos buzzing in your ear overnight is certainly not how anyone wants to sleep. Here are a couple of ways to deal with the pests:
- Avoid floral, fruity, or citrusy scented body soaps, deodorants, and perfumes. Opt for unscented if possible.
- Stay away from moist or damp campsites. Go high and dry.Opt for waterproof and all-natural bug sprays.
- Burn sage. Skeptical? The scent of sage will actually ward off all kinds of bugs. Pair that with a citronella candle, and your campsite will be impervious.
- Invest in a bug net. You may have to go through dozens of these before finding the one that works for you, because some weigh more than others. Some have to be assembled. This can potentially change a quiet camping moment into one of aggravation, especially when the bug net doesn’t adequately cover your hammock or tent. Always read reviews when shopping around, and purchase the one that matches exactly what you are looking for. One of the best on the market is the Guardian Bugnet.
- Lastly, don’t forget to zip up the tent door. That alone makes a world of difference.
#11: Plan Activities
Never underestimate how tranquil a campground can be. If you are with children, the quiet campsite may be the exact potion for immediate boredom. So, use this chance to break out the old school card and board games, since you’ll have the time to come together and play a few rounds. Card decks also don’t take up too much space in a backpack.
For people who have a bit more room or have a vehicle to pack extra, consider portable game sets, like badminton, disc golf, and horseshoes. Such games are a fun way to pass the time but don’t require a lot of intricate set-up. You can also plan on other outdoor camping games like scavenger hunts, fitness meets, photography treks, and the like.
#12: Meal Prepping
Noshing in a natural setting is an underrated joy of camping. Cooking on an open flame, however, doesn’t mean that you have to settle for bagged meals and simple recipes. Depending on how you are camping—backpacking, motorcycle camping, or have a bigger vehicle—then you can change what you bring for meals.
Carefully plan and prep. Utilize multi-tool cooking utensils, portable burners, portable coffee makers, and aluminum foil. If you can bring along cast iron, do it. Forget the nonstick pans, as using them open flame will cause them to release toxic chemicals.
If you have ingredients that need to be kept cool, make sure you have an appropriate cooler to store the stuff. Next, use block ice. It melts much more slowly than cubes, so load the cooler with a single block.
As the ice turns to water, avoid the urge to drain it. The water will continue to keep the drinks and foodstuffs cool.
#13: Don’t Forget Water
Experienced campers have usually learned the hard way how it feels to go without proper hydration. Don’t underestimate how much water you are going to need while busying yourself with setting up the camp, hiking throughout the grounds, and doing activities.
Make sure everyone in the group has their own sufficient supply of water, purifying tablets or portable filters, and pressurized bladders for their hiking backpacks (if necessary).
Hydration bladders are extremely useful for campers who plan on being on the trails both day and night.
When trying to find a campsite out in the wilderness, seek out a riverside. If you need to cool down your personal supply of water, you can use a mesh laundry bag tied to a stake on the shore. Put in the water bottles and submerge in the running river. Your drinks will eventually match the temperature of the river.
One more thing: water enhancers. A couple of electrolyte tablets and powders in your bag can help the water rehydrate you better and will add some flavor.
Create zones around your campsite. Have a place for lounging, a spot for eating an cooking, and another place for sleeping. When the camp is organized, you will be able to find everything when you need it. This also maximizes your efficiency when cleaning up, because you will know where everything is.
#15: Finishing Touches
For a touch of comfort around the campsite, feel free to bring some battery-powered Bluetooth speakers, string lights, and fans. These things will help up the luxury around the site without adding too much weight to your gear. The more at home you feel, the better time you will have.
Having a comfortable basecamp and an awesome home away from home in your tent is the beginning to your hiking journey. By using these tips, you will not only get sleep while outdoors, but your campsite will be the envy of all others.
Tent camping is a great adventure. Once you get the basics down, you can start to camp for longer periods of time until tent camping is the only home you know. Happy camping!