How to Survive Camping

How to Survive Camping
Camping can be a fun way to spend time with family and friends, and an inexpensive way to vacation. Of course, not everyone loves camping, but with a little preparation, it is possible for camping to be a relaxing and enjoyable endeavor for even the biggest cynic. To survive camping, consider who will go on the trip with you and how they feel about camping. The younger, less experienced and less excited require different planning than those who are older or keen on camping. Before any camping trip, there are several things you can do to make the trip as enjoyable as possible.

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Selection of camping friendly food 10 essentials of camping First-aid kit Books Playing cards
  • Selection of camping friendly food
  • 10 essentials of camping
  • First-aid kit
  • Books
  • Playing cards
Step 1
Start small. Camp overnight or for a weekend the first few times that you or your companions go. Save longer trips for when all members of your group have more experience. Ease into camping and make it easier on newcomers by setting up camp in one location and completing short day hikes, returning to the same camping spot. This allows for lighter backpacks and less-complicated logistics than a camping trip where you companions pack up and move the base camp each day. This type of camping requires meeting a particular mileage goal each day and carrying all of the camping supplies on each hike.
Step 2
Check the weather. Before heading out, check the forecast. The majority of your clothes and gear should be items that will work with the planned weather. Weather is unpredictable, particularly at certain times of the year. Regardless of how pleasant you expect the weather to be, pack something warm and waterproof.
Step 3
Pack wisely. Think about how many meals you will eat on the trip and pack ample food for that, as well as snacks. Choose foods that will travel well and without being ruined by heat or a cramped pack. Foods that are calorie dense, such as nuts, can help you feel fuller longer. Include cooking utensils and cleaning items. It is tempting to leave behind items you don't think you will ever use, but all campers should carry the 10 essentials of camping, which include a map and compass, waterproof matches and a first-aid kit. See the resources section for a complete description of the 10 essentials.
Step 4
Put together a first-aid kit. Ideally, you will not have any need for a first-aid kit, but if you do, you will be glad to have one. There are varieties of first-aid kits available for purchase, but you might find that putting together a first-aid kit specifically for camping is a less-expensive option that will also leave you with more supplies that you will actually use. Rather than pack the items in a hard plastic case, like many premade kits, organize the materials into groups and place them in small resealable plastic bags, then place those bags into a larger plastic bag. This saves room in your pack. Include saline water, which is sterile, to use for cleaning wounds, antiseptic ointment, a variety of sizes of adhesive bandages and gauze pads, and medical tape. Moleskin can protect tender areas on the feet if blisters form. Include your favorite over-the-counter pain reliever as well as any medications you usually take.
Step 5
Choose indoor and outdoor activities. It is important to plan for the unexpected when camping. While you might plan to hike every day, weather or tired feet might prevent that. This is the time when people find camping boring. Plan activities that your partners will enjoy if you are stuck in the tent. Make shadow puppets on the tent walls, tell scary stories, read a book or play cards.

Tips & Warnings

 
Know the interests and physical abilities of your other campers

Article Written By Amy Hunter

Amy Hunter has been a writer since 1998. She writes about health and lifestyle issues and enjoys writing about hiking, camping, trail running and other outdoor activities. Her work has appeared in "Sacramento Parent," ASPCA's "Animal Watch" and other print and online publications. She is the author of "The History of Mexico" and "Tony Gonzalez: Superstar of Pro Football," aimed at young-adult readers.

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