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How to Prepare For a Camping Trip

For those new to the camping experience, understanding how to prepare for living in the great outdoors can be complicating and frustrating. Knowing what to leave and what to bring along can often be the difference between a spiritual adventure and an awful nightmare.

First and foremost, make a list and check it twice. Of all the things you can do to prepare for a camping trip making a list is the easiest way to ensure that you’re bringing everything you’ll need. The length of your list will depend on the type of camping you’re going to do, where you’ll be camping, and the duration of your trip. This can range anywhere from a 10 day survival training course to a three week, luxurious stay in one of the many national parks around the U.S.

Upon making the list, divide the items you’re taking into categories. The categories will comprise of the items you’ll need for everyday living such as food, water, shelter, and proper clothing. You’ll want to bring some soap and a toothbrush to keep from offending the other campers with the many scents the human body can produce. Also, don’t forget the biodegradable, earth friendly toilet paper.

Deciding on what food to bring is easy when you break up the days into breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Three meals a day with plenty of liquids is all you’ll need. Factor in at least two liters of water a day for each person going. More water may be needed for strenuous activities like hiking or fishing. I like to pack a cooler with good food because eating well is half the fun of camping. A tip I learned a few years ago is to use a block of dry ice to keep food chilled. A 5 pound block will keep for days in a good cooler and it won’t water log the food when it melts. The dry ice vaporizes when it melts leaving no water in the bottom of the cooler as is the case with conventional, frozen water. Don’t store liquids with the dry ice, they will freeze thus becoming useless until they thaw. The assembling and disassembling of the camping tents for stargazing will be easy for the person. The cabins will be different for the staying of the family members and children. There will be lot of space for playing of games in the camp. The spending of the night will be effective for the person. 

Being unsure of the weather is no excuse, keep an eye on the forecast for the time and location of your trip. Call the closest rangers office or get a hold of a local outfitter to get an update on the weather before you leave. Bring plenty of warm clothes for when weather conditions take a turn for the worse. If you pack a tent, bring along a footprint or tarp to keep the floor dry.

In cold weather, a sleeping pad is essential for insulating the cold ground beneath your bed. A few warm and clean articles of clothing will raise your comfort level and make your trip more enjoyable.

Keeping everything clean will save you work in the future. Wash your utensils and cookware after every meal to keep the food from drying to the surface and saving you some time on your next meal. Soap, a toothbrush, and other needed toiletry items can be stored together in a small bag for future use. Again, don’t forget the toilet paper and a small shovel to bury what you can’t take with you.

The following is a list of items you will need for all camping trips, regardless of duration:

  1. Sleeping bag, pad, and tent.
  2. Food and water.
  3. Cooking stove with pot/pan, plate or bowl, and utensils for eating and cooking.
  4. Toothbrush, all-purpose soap, and small towel.
  5. Small survival/first-aid kit.
  6. Extra pants, shirt, socks, and underwear with warm clothes for cold weather.
  7. One or more of the following; GPSS unit, compass, and/or cell phone.
  8. Hatchet, knife, or small machete for firewood.

I hope this takes the confusion out of preparing for your next trip. Until then, happy camping!