Camping Trips and Tips

Camping is an excellent way to explore new locations and get outdoors. It is both affordable and Covid travel friendly. So whether you’re a veteran camper or are looking to break the quarantine blues, here are some tricks and suggestions to planning the ultimate camping experience.

How to select the right campground?

  • Go to reserveamerica.com to find campgrounds.
  • What is your purpose for going? Enjoy camping, go hiking, check out local sites?
  • If you want to go hiking or see local sites, look for a campground with good proximity to the things you want to see.
  • If you plan on staying at the campground, mostly, look for a campground with things to offer.
    • A beach or pond
    • Hiking trails
    • Picnicking
    • Playgrounds, pools, etc.
    • Convenience stores
  • What kind of facilities are your “must haves”? Showers, Pit toilets, flush toilets?
  • Balance your budget. Private parks often have amenities like playgrounds and pools but are more expensive than State Parks.

How to select the perfect campsite?

  • Look for sites with privacy. (are there many sites around)
  • How far are you from the bathrooms? You want to be close but not right next to it.
  • Are there water views or possible water access?

How do I fit all of this in the car?

You always want to pack your car in reverse order of when you will need things during set up.

  1. Pull everything together to make your plan.
  2. Clean out your car so you are completely empty.
  3. Pack snacks up front for road trip munchies
  4. If your coolers are ready, put those in next.
  5. Next, put items that go inside your tent (clothes/pillows/air mattress etc).
  6. Make sure you keep a space for your canopy or any long items.
  7. Put in the items that you need to set up camp: Tent, Canopy, hatchets/mallets, lights, etc.
  8. Last, if it wasn’t ready or needed last minute ice, are coolers.

If everything fit and you can see out of your windows (even a little bit), it was a win! Don’t worry, coming home is always easier as food gets eaten.

How do I pack this cooler?

  • Use frozen water bottles to help keep things cold.
  • Keep drinks in a separate cooler.
  • Bag everything to prevent water from getting in as the ice melts.
  • Put meat and most perishables closest to the bottom
  • Layer ice throughout, not just on the top.
  • You will need about 40 lbs of ice for a 3 day weekend (1 large cooler).
  • If all the ice does not fit, plan to purchase 20-30 lb to start and buy more after your first day.
  • Make sure you drain some water out each morning to prevent things from floating.

Setting Up Camp

  • Assess your space
  • Find a large flat spot, not very close to the fire pit.
    • This is where your tent goes.
    • Remove any rocks or twigs from the space.
    • Lay a tarp under your tent to help water ingress
  • Place your table away from your tent closer to your fire pit. Add a canopy or cover to your table if you have it.
    • This is where you will most likely hangout if it rains.
  • Try to set up to optimize privacy.
  • Park your car in a way to help block people’s view.

Can I camp in the cold? Of course you can!

  • Check the weather and plan ahead.
  • Bring an insulated sleeping pad (the ground is cold) and a temperature rated sleeping bag.
  • Limit the amount of ambient space in your tent (helps to trap your body heat).
  • Bring hats, gloves, and thermal underwear.
  • Keep your boot liners and other items in our sleeping bag to stay warm.
  • Use a hot water bottle to stay warm.
  • Bring high calorie snacks.
  • Remove frost from your tent in the AM.
  • Avoid getting yourself or your gear wet (bring extra clothes and layers).
  • If you are having trouble breathing or can’t stop shivering. Leave and get help. Frostbite isn’t worth it.

How do I start my fire?

  • Always easy to burn to harder
  • Start with paper/cardboard or a fire starter on the bottom.
  • Add small sticks on top of that. You will need to scavenge these from around the site, they do not come with the purchased wood.
  • Then medium sticks. Also scavenge these.
  • Then place larger logs in a teepee shape above the smaller stuff.
  • Always ensure there is plenty of oxygen allowed (don’t stack sticks or logs too tight).

Food Preparation Tips

  • Cook as much food ahead of time as possible. This way you don’t have to worry about eating under cooked food.
  • Reheat your pre-cooked food in foil tins.
  • Always bring a grill (we use charcoal) or cold food options in case of rain. You don’t want to not be able to eat if you can’t start a fire.
  • Cook over a grill if cooking raw meat.
  • Plan meals that are simple unless you plan for cooking and cleanup to be a large part of your day.
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