Camping Trip: Some of us love camping for the chance to be out in the outdoors, get away from it all, and rough it for awhile.
And some of us are more in it for the peace, quiet, and Dutch-oven food.
No matter the reasons for the camping trip you’re planning (or participating in), there are ways to make it a comfortable experience without ruining the ambiance of a proper camping experience.
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Find Shade—or Make Some
Right now, it’s still hot out during the day in many of the places you’ve got on your list of possible campsites. While it is infinitely preferable to be hot rather than cold while camping, getting too hot can lead to heatstroke in some cases. So don’t let a trip-ruining hospital trip happen.
When choosing a campsite, try to find one with plenty of shade you can shelter under during the middle of the day, when the sun is at its hottest. If that’s not an option (or just in case you arrive and find the shade of your campsite was oversold), pack either a collapsible shade tent or the means to set up your own.
Of course, even the hottest summers can give way to sudden rain (or snow, as a friend of mine once learned in the Uintah mountains one unpleasantly surprising June). So don’t be unprepared and soaked!
When you pack for your camping trip, take multiple tarps along. I like to take two tarps per tent—one to put under the tent for extra ground protection (and to keep the tent as clean as possible) and one over the top as a fly (for non-campers: raincoat for the tent).
Pack collapsible rain ponchos and plastic garbage bags—especially if you plan to do any backpacking on this camping trip.
Sleep Well during camping trip
You can’t enjoy the butterflies and trees if you wake up tired and cranky. Anyone would wake up tired and cranky after sleeping on hard, uneven ground with rocks poking up from the soil into their back.
So, bring along whatever type of camp-bedding is most comfortable to you. For some people, this will mean cots a la sleeping bags or bedrolls. More power to you, but for most of us this means packing up the air mattresses and automatic air pump.
And of course, make sure your sleeping bags are free of holes, so they can keep you safe and cozy at night.
First Aid: Go Big or Go Home
You obviously know to take a first-aid kit on any camping trip. But this is no time to trust your survival to the basic Girl Scout kit in an old film canister. While everyone needs a personal first-aid kit about that size, the main kit should be a little more complex.
The main kit should contain at least the following:
- Solarcaine (for bug bites and sunburn itch)
- Gauze bandages
- Medical disinfectant
- Medical tape
- Medication anyone on the trip is currently taking
- Eye drops (in case of eye allergies or things getting stuck in the eye)
- Syrup of ipecac (for accidental poisoning)
- Remedies for other poisonous bites (for until you get to a hospital)
- Cold compress
- Wire cutters
Eat Like a Camper, Camper
If you’re going to be out camping in the summer or early fall, the main thing is to have access to plenty of cool, clean, fresh water. If you get dehydrated, you can pass out from exhaustion or heat stroke and that would end the trip real quick, wouldn’t it?
Beyond that, be sure you bring the ingredients for lots of delicious Dutch oven dinners—Dutch oven pizza, BBQ chicken, and the many delectable varieties of Dutch oven cobbler. And if your family is the type that enjoys tinfoil or “hobo” dinners, then bring the ingredients necessary along with a roll of foil. Throw in s’more components and you should be all set!
Nina Hiatt researches and writes articles to help people find balance and beauty in their personal space through landscape and interior design. In her free time, Nina blogs about many of her interests, which include gardening, technology news, and baking.