When the demands of everyday life increase, camping can be a refreshing getaway. The simpler pace of 'roughing it' does not come without a price though. Adequate preparation will prevent your trip from becoming more stressful than you bargained.
Before You Leave
Preparation can mean the difference between an enjoyable camping trip and a disaster. Before you pack a thing, research the terrain in which you'll stay and choose gear to meet the demands of the environment. A heavy down sleeping bag may not be the best choice for a mid-summer overnight on the beach, for example. The type of trip you choose will also determine the quantity of supplies you'll need. The more rustic your site, the more gear you require.
Once you determine and become familiar with your location, select the type of shelter you'll use. Whether you use a pop-up camper or tent, choose a model based upon the amount of room you need, how much time you plan to spend in it, ventilation, and waterproofing. Practice setting up your shelter before the trip. This will help identify tools you may need, ease of assembly and its functionality.
With your shelter ready, next turn your attention to your provisions. Plan a menu and pack an extra day's worth of provision in case of emergency. Be sure to include an ample amount of snack foods to keep your energy up for activities. Opt for healthy snacks such as dried fruit, nuts, and granola over sugary junk food. Camping involves a higher activity level, so it's important to provide your body with the right fuel.
Beyond the basic necessities of shelter and food, you will need additional essentials for your trip. Weather is an unpredictable factor, so pack a variety of clothing. Layers are your best protection for varying weather conditions, temperatures, and activities. Be sure to include a hat for sun protection and/or warmth. Don't forget adequate rain gear, either. Depending upon the time of year, bring along sunscreen and bug repellent. Separate products are preferable as sunscreen requires more frequent applications.
To prepare for anything you encounter, pack emergency and first aid kits. Your emergency kit should include:
* Flashlights w/ extra batteries
* Cell phone
* Thermal reflective blanket
* Waterproof matches
* Extra high-carbohydrate snack foods
* Bottled water
* Map and compass
Your first aid kit should include:
* Sterile gauze
* Antiseptic wipes
* Calamine lotion
* Adhesive strips or bandages
* Butterfly closures
* Sterile eye pads
* Adhesive tape
* Disposable latex gloves
* Snake-bite kit
* Alcohol pads
* first-aid instructions
* Prescription medications
Finally, inform a family member or neighbor of your location, departure and return dates.
Safety On Your Trip
Having the right supplies is only part of a good camping trip. Upon your arrival, keep in mind the following:
* Do not hike or camp alone
* Do not leave camping gear unattended
* Park in a spacious area to avoid getting blocked in
* Carry pepper spray when hiking, noting evidence of wild animals in the vicinity
* Tightly seal all food and garbage in a double layer of plastic and suspend from trees
* Avoid bright colors and perfumes to discourage insects
* Wear light-colored clothing that covers your body to protect against ticks
* Avoid plants in three leaf clusters since these may be poison ivy
Camping can be an enjoyable remedy to our hectic lifestyles. A little advance preparation and commonsense choices during your trip will also keep it safe.
-- Catie Hayes"
Buy your camp safety tools