Weekend Warriors: Five Camping Tips
Pick the Right Site
Once you’ve picked a general camping spot, you’ll want to choose the best site at that location. After all, there’s nothing less peaceful than being right next to a main road when you’re trying to get in touch with nature. Online camping forums like CampingForums.com http://www.campingforums.com can be very helpful when looking for location advice. If you’re camping at a campground, check out the map on the campground’s website before booking. You’ll likely want to find a spot with appropriate shelter or tree cover, and preferably away from loud neighbors. A flat surface for your tent is a must.
Don’t spend your time in the great outdoors tired and groggy because you were cold and uncomfortable the night before. Get a good night’s rest by planning appropriately. Bring a pad or inflatable mattress to be a buffer between the rough terrain and your back, and get a good sleeping bag that keeps you warm and cozy. These are not the items to buy as inexpensive as possible – make the right investment so you can sleep easy and conquer the trails the next day.
Get the Fire Going
“We Didn’t Start the Fire” is a Billy Joel song, not an excuse – you’re going to be in charge of starting the fire. Grab some nearby twigs and small sticks, and start small. Using a lighter or matches, you can light pieces of newspaper or cardboard and stick them under the smaller sticks, which should be in the teepee formation. If you use matches, make sure to block the wind at first. Putting some “strike anywhere” matches in a plastic container so they don’t accidentally get wet or crushed is also a good idea. Once you see a flame, a light breeze should help your cause.
You don’t have to eat freeze-dried everything just because you’re camping. You can prepare sandwiches beforehand, which can stay fresh for days. Bring nuts, cheese and vegetables to munch on as snacks. Bring a small spice kit to make what you do cook taste more flavorful. Sunset Magazine even has nine gourmet recipes for campers who want more than just hot dogs and marshmallows. http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/kitchen-assistant/campground-cooking-recipes/view-all
You’ll spend more time enjoying the great outdoors and less time setting up and locating gear if you stay organized throughout your journey. Place items in your bag in the order in which you’ll take them out. Place beverage cans at the bottom of your ice chest with ice over the top of them to ensure they stay cold. Have a system for how and when to set up the tent before it gets too dark. And don’t try to do it all yourself – see if your family or friends can help.
The payoff for following these 5 tips is that you’ll have a more peaceful, comfortable experience and can focus on more challenging things, like catching fish or tackling that nearby hiking trail.
Tip: Spray WD-40® Multi-Use Product on lawn chair hinges to make them easier to open and prevent rust.