Every camping adventure is a unique experience. The small obstacles that you may encounter along the way, whether it be losing your way in the woods or snuffing out the fire by accident make it even more fun.
Given that mistakes happen to even the most experienced of veteran campers, there are quite a few things you should know about before heading into the great outdoors. This article is dedicated to helping you learn all about camping; even if you’re a pro, you may still learn a thing or two about your favorite hobby, so let’s begin.
As a beginner camper, you’ll probably feel inclined to pack all kinds of items, most of which you probably won’t need.
Bear in mind that your backpack space is limited, and even if you’re going by car, you don’t need to bring every item that crosses your mind. The essential camping checklist items include:
●A first aid kit
●Nutritious snacks and energy bars
●A pocket knife
●A lighter or a set of matches
●A sleeping bag, pod, or a mat
If you are camping as a group with your friends, colleagues, or family, make sure to communicate who will bring which tools. You’ll also need some cookware, portable lighting, and a few heavier tools, such as an axe and a shovel.
Wearing the Right Clothes
Regular clothes aren’t meant to be used in the wilderness. You’ll notice that the humidity, temperature, and weather are much different outdoors than it is in urban areas. Although you may feel comfortable in a pair of jeans and a cotton t-shirt, consider buying new clothes for your camping adventures:
1.If you expect rain, polyester and nylon-made clothes are great. You can always weatherproof your shoes, or simply wear boots
2.On warm, sunny days, wear light, sweat-resistant clothes with a loose-fitting material. Ventilation and breathability should be your primary concerns
3.For cold-weather camping, consider wearing multiple layers of clothing with good insulation. Wool-made clothes are the best for this occasion.
Picking the Right Place
You could camp anywhere you want, but you’ll make your camping experience far more comfortable if you can discern good from bad spots.
The first thing you should pay attention to is the wildlife that frequents the area. If you’re planning on visiting a designated campground, this won’t be an issue, but if not, there are dozens of wild animals and plants that you may don’t want to interact with. A plain Google search could give you a rough picture of this.
Secondly, consider camping near a water source. You should bring plenty of bottled water on the trip, but you shouldn’t use it to cook, clean, and shower when necessary.
The main purpose of your water bottles is to keep you sated; when camping near rivers or lakes, you’ll have an infinite supply of technical water. It could be used to cool off, prepare some coffee, for hygienic reasons, and more. Furthermore, if you’re carrying portable water filters, you could easily drink technical water as well.
Finally, pick a place that’s not too far from civilization. You may need to go on a run for extra supplies, or some of your friends may be late to the party and you need to pick them up. In worst-case scenarios, if your car breaks down and you can’t get a cellphone signal, being stuck hundreds of miles deep into the wilderness can be very dangerous.
Creating a Fire
One of the main highlights of any camping trip is setting up a campfire. It’s much easier said than done, but it should be simple enough if you follow these simple tips:
●Consider upgrading to a weather-resistant lighter. This way, you can light up a fire even if it rains and the wind is strong
●Cut up firewood in different sizes. Set up the largest chunks opposing each other, then place the smaller ones on top
●Add crumpled newspapers and cardboard to strengthen the flame
●Always have at least one person overseeing the fire to keep it from spreading
Foraging for Food While Camping
It’s fairly common for inexperienced campers to bring too much food, but there are scenarios when you will be short on supplies. Whether you’ve made miscalculations when planning how much food you should bring or if someone forgot to bring their part, this isn’t the reason to call it a day and pack up.
If possible, head to the nearest store to resupply on highly nutritious snacks, such as mixed nuts, dark chocolate bars, fruits, and such.
You may find yourself in a situation where your camping party wants to try searching for food outdoors. Although this may be a true camping experience, you should know that many wild plants are not only inedible but could also be potentially lethal.
Although it’s highly recommended not to with wild plants you know very little about, you can’t go wrong with nuts, such as pecans, hazelnuts, chestnuts, pine nuts, or black walnuts.
Although poisonous plants usually have green leaves, there are numerous exceptions, such as the Giant Hogweed with white flowers, the Wild Parsnip resembling a dandelion, or the gorgeous Foxglove, which is as poisonous as it is beautiful.
There are dozens of things that could go wrong on any camping trip, but there are just as many ways to prevent them. Here are a few safety tips that could be of invaluable help to beginner campers:
1.Always assign duties in pairs when handling sharp, heavy tools. This way, if anyone is hurt, the second person could provide treatment on the spot or call for help
2.Only use sterile equipment in your first aid kit. Check the kit before the trip, and replace any opened bandages, gauzes, roll pads, and wipes with unopened ones.
3.Always have a pocket knife nearby while camping.
4.Stick to snacks and energy bars if you’re unsure if the plant you’re eyeing is edible.
Don’t feel disheartened if you don’t do everything right on your first couple of camping trips. You’ll learn with each mistake, and as you do, your camping experience will become more enjoyable. We hope that you’ve found this guide helpful and wish you a wonderful camping trip. Make sure you are staying safe in these times we are all going through and have a good one, guys!