You’ve decided it’s time to escape into nature! Ditch the smartphones and laptops and grab life by the reigns in the outdoors. You’ve picked your destination. You’ve got your crew. Now what? How do you make sure your trip goes off without a hitch?
As wonderful as camping and backpacking trips can be they can go downhill real fast if you’re not prepared. Even the most leisurely trips take forethought. Make the most out of your camping trip by following these steps for preparation.
Tell Someone Where You’re Going
Whether conquering a stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail or doing a two-night stint at a drive-in campsite, make sure someone who’s not on your trip knows where you are! Leave your coordinates with a friend or relative and give them a cut-off time for when they can expect to hear from you. This simple step brings you tons of comfort when you’re in the backcountry.
Plan Your Meals
Once you decide on a location and length, it’s time to start planning. You’ll need three meals for every night you’re gone, plus snacks for every day. It’s important to think about weight and perishability when planning your meals. It’s great to be ambitious with backcountry eating, but you’ve also gotta be practical. As much as you crave scrambled eggs in the mornings, brittle shells and perishability probably aren’t the right fit for a backpacking trip. Instant oatmeal or power bars might be a better choice. If on the other hand, you’re going for a low-key camping trip to a drive-in spot and can keep things refrigerated, scramble away.
Water, Water, Water
Water is essential for any camping experience, and every trip has its requirements, you just need to make sure you have access to enough water for your entire voyage. Campsites often have running water available. If you’re backpacking it’s a good idea to have a water filter, so you don’t have to pack in all your H2O. No matter what your situation make sure to start your trip with some full bottles.
A handy dandy list is just the thing to ensure you don’t accidentally forget any essential items on your trip. Sure you want to pack light, but you also want to make sure you have everything you need. Afterall, there’s a lot of little things to remember for your trip. Of course, every trip has different requirements but here is our basic camping list:
- Food for three meals and snacks
- Water or water filter
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping pad or camping mattress
- Camp stove
- Water bottle
- Appropriate clothing (i.e. warm layers or swimsuits, also shoes for the campsite and hiking)
- Bug spray
- Books and/or games for rainy days
- Toilet paper
- First aid kit
Have the Right Gear
Alright, so you know what gear you need, but it’s also important to make sure you have the right type of equipment. Wrong gear can get you in trouble quickly. Double check everything before you go. Make sure that lighter still lights, you know how to set your tent up and that nothing is missing any pieces. Good quality gear is also necessary. Feeling uncomfortable with not having the right clothing or waking up with aches and pains from not having the right sleeping pad, can put a damper on an otherwise beautiful trip.
Camping is a great experience for friends, families and solo adventurers. The more prepared you are, the better your trip will be. Don’t let bad gear or ill-preparedness get in the way of an amazing time!