Love to Eat and
Lists of Tips & Ideas - Travel Tips
Camping with Family & Friends
20+ Camping Tips
— During Camping
— After Camping
1. Research your
camp location and fun things to do in the area... Google the info
or go to the library.
Consider the needs and interests of those
2. Get maps of the area, campsites
3. Go to a good outdoor adventure store before
your trip and check out their clothing, hiking boots, sandals etc.
to get some ideas. Think layering for clothing and appropriate
4. Buy or borrow a good sleeping bag and/or
air mattress (see more details below under "During Camping")
5. Research what facilities are provided or close
by... or take everything you need and deal with what you encounter.
6. Take a bicycle — it's a good taxi and an
enjoyable outdoor option.
7. If you are new to camping, don't buy too much
equipment. Make it simple and easy. The more stuff you bring, the
more there is to unpack, lose, and then repack.
8. Make a reservation or
early in the day — most campgrounds don't completely book
up, but there's a lot
of "first-come first-served".
9. Avoid the holidays
if you can, it is usually amateur
hour — people want to hoot and holler as much as they
can in the shortest period of time.
10. Start with trips
close to home. No sense driving four hours to find out you don’t
like camping or the campground is awful.
11. Bring plenty of water and other "appropriate
beverages" along on the trip.
12. Make sure your flashlights work and you have
extra batteries. Check before leaving.
1. When picking a site, try to get a visual on
where the facilities are and who your neighbors might be. Their habits
may affect you.
2. Pay attention to where you are. You're not in
3. Make your meals simple.
Everything tastes good
outdoors; just make
sure you have enough. Avoid cooking with fats; clean up may be
difficult in the dark without hot water. Here you may want to break
the rules and say "screw the environment" — bring
paper plates. Clean up is simply
starting the fire!
4. Dress in
layers. It may be warm during the day, but at night
under tree cover, it can get nippy, especially if you are normally
to a soft life. Many thin layers are much better than one thick layer
and you can adjust the layers to your comfort level.
two most important sources of warmth are your hat and good socks,
i.e. the parts of the body furthest from the heart. Jeans are not
good in the cold or heat, unless you're a lumberjack. They also
don't dry out.
5. Get a good sleeping bag.
It is better to be too warm (you can
always unzip the bag) than too cold. Although my family takes issue
with me on this point, I feel you are warmer inside a good bag with
fewer clothes. One reason you can get chilled is if sweat collects
inside your cotton clothing while you sleep, and then evaporates.
either wear little or wear breathable non-cotton fabrics.
6. Campgrounds range from a close commune with
nature to just awful. It is nearly impossible to know about any given
campground without visiting it. Books are sometimes helpful, but
in the end you have to be your own judge on things like acceptable
notice levels, privacy, amenities (flush/pit toilets, shower/no showers,
7. Sure it's cheating, but we often travel to a
close-by town while camping to buy dinner and then bring it back
to the site.
travel especially well, fast foods do not (cold chicken or French
fries are icky). Check out local specialties too (bakeries, etc.)
8. Please observe the campground rules.
When the campground says
firewood gathering, don't. As tempting as it is to pick up a downed
stick, you are removing a wonderful home for bugs and other natural
life. Buy wood at the camp host. Or, ask yourself, "do I really need
fire at all?" We often skip them altogether, instead playing games
talking by lantern, or admiring the stars, until it's time to go
9. No food or toiletries where you sleep. Bears
can smell seven times (7x) better than a dog which can smell four
times (4x) better than
a human (roughly).
10. Put all your food in a locked car at night
or whenever you are away from the campgournd... bears, raccoons and
other critters are very
resourceful and used to humans visiting their turf. A trip can be ruined quickly
if your cooler is attacked.
11. During the adventure, keep a running list of
what equipment needs fixing, what supplies ran out, what items were missing.
When you get home, take action on the list; giving your next
camping trip the opportunity to have new and different problems.
12. Bring an air horn. It's fun, but mostly it'll
scare the crap out of noisy animals (and your neighbors)! Seriously,
an air horn might be useful in the deep backcountry where one might
encounter a bear, however 95% of the time, the worst
wildlife you'll probably see is birds, squirrels, and an occasional
13. Be considerate of your neighbors.
that voices really travel in the woods... and at night.
will immediately learn this from the people camping on either side
you as you must listen to their conversations. Speak quietly— no
radios or music at all, ever, so as to do not add to the din.
15. Get a good air mattresses — it's worth
every penny you pay. And get a
mattress pump that plugs into your car lighter; forget those stupid
hand pumps. Bring pillows with real pillowcases, a wonderful luxury
16. Count on not sleeping well the first night
camping. Too hot,
cold, too lumpy, the air mattress leaks, strange noises, etc. You'll
live. The second night is much better.
17. Plan fun day trips away from the site.
Make lunches right after
breakfast and keep them in the cooler. Then whenever the mood strikes,
lunch is ready and easy.
18. In a tent
at night remember to allow some ventilating as sleeping humans
give off water vapor. This can collect inside
the tent making
19. Bring good shoes.
Hiking (boots), beach (sandals), or an urgent
run to the restroom at midnight (slip-ons) all have different needs.
20. Bring a book, kick back, listen to nature and
look around you. I would hope you're camping to get away (unless
a group camp or family frolic and then you're hosed... you've got
to go with the flow!)
21. Clean up after yourselves. Leave the campsite
as you found it.
22. Relax and have fun.
Yup, it's not the genteel comforts of home,
allow yourself the luxury of being on the sun's cycle. Enjoy the
of the woods and admire the majesty of a very tall tree. If you have
kids, camping will not only expose them to the beauty of the natural
world, studies have shown that kids who camp have increased self-confidence.
23. Think dawn to dusk....get on nature's clock.
Sunrises and sunsets are terrific. Quiet time is usually after
8-10pm... depending on location.
24. Take lots of pictures!
1. Clean up your camping gear when you get home so it's ready for
your next camping trip.
2. Share your Camping Photos and Videos.
Upload your Digital Camping Pictures to Flickr, Facebook,
Shutterfly or MySpace and
upload your Video to YouTube after
your Camping Trip to share with your family, friends and co-workers.