How to Pack For A Camping Trip: 10 Mistakes to Avoid
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Summer is almost here, which means you might be looking into taking your family camping! Camping is one of the best ways to enjoy the great outdoors and spend time with your friends and family, and it can be quite an adventure.
If you’re a first-time camper, it can be easy to make some common mistakes. While most people end up learning the hard way, we want to help you avoid those mistakes altogether. Sound good?
Leave the busy work-life behind and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of nature. An important part of finding that work-life balance is taking time to enjoy life and let go of the stress and bustle of everyday life.
Here are some camping mistakes to avoid so you can have a fun and safe trip:
Looking into Your Campground
A few things you’ll want to check before you make your camping reservation is that it has picnic tables, washrooms close by, showers, what the fees are, and if any areas are for day use and might have specific hours.
I also like to check on their cancellation policy if something comes up and we need to cancel the trip.
You will also want to check your permits and if they have fishing available nearby.
There are lots of great state parks and conservation areas that are great for a camping trip that offers everything you could need.
Packing too much stuff
This is probably the most common mistake people make when they go camping for the first time. They pack too much stuff, thinking they need everything from their kitchen sink to their favorite pillow. The truth is, you don’t need that much stuff.
Camping is all about simplifying and enjoying the outdoors. So, pack light and only bring the essentials. And don’t forget to pack extra batteries for any electronic devices you might be using.
Not checking the weather forecast
Another common mistake is not checking the weather forecast before you go camping. It seems like a no-brainer, but it happens all the time! When you’re camping, you’re at the mercy of the elements, and it’s important to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature might throw your way.
If you’re staying in an RV, it might not be an issue but still good to check so you can plan some indoor rainy day activities.
Make sure to check the weather forecast in advance and pack accordingly. If there’s a chance of rain, pack a tarp or tent fly to keep your gear dry. And if it’s going to be hot, make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and water.
Check the latest updates to be sure you don’t leave anything behind.
Not knowing how to pitch your tent.
Pitching a tent may seem like a simple task, but it often trips up first-time campers. After all, there’s much more to it than just putting up four posts and throwing a tarp over the top. If you don’t know how to pitch your tent properly, you’ll have a saggy, misshapen mess that’s sure to leak when it rains. And, even worse, you could find yourself sleeping on the ground if your tent collapses in the middle of the night.
Thankfully, avoiding this camping blunder is easy enough – all you need is a little bit of practice. So before you head out into the wilderness, be sure to learn how to pitch your tent correctly. With a little bit of effort, you’ll be an expert.
Not knowing where to place your tent.
One of the most common mistakes first-time campers make when camping is not knowing where to pitch their tent. This is because most people don’t realize that where you set up your tent can have a huge impact on your overall experience. Here are some tips on where to place your tent:
- Look for a spot that’s flat and level. This will help you avoid any uncomfortable bumps in the night.
- Make sure your tent is away from any large trees or branches. You don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night to find a tree branch poking through your tent!
- If possible, try to camp near a water source. This will make filling up your water bottles and cooking meals easy.
- Avoid camping in low-lying areas. These spots are more likely to flood if it rains.
Not being prepared for insects
If there’s one thing you can count on when camping, it’s bugs. There will be bugs no matter where you go or what time of year. If you’re camping in an area known for mosquitoes, ticks, or other insects, it’s important to be prepared. Make sure to pack insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants if possible. And if you’re worried about insects, consider investing in a mosquito net or bug shelter.
Not having a first-aid kit
Any experienced camper will tell you that a first aid kit is an essential item to pack for any trip into the great outdoors. But what should you include in your kit? A good starting point is to make sure you have supplies for common minor injuries, such as cuts, scrapes, and insect stings. You’ll also want to include bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and allergy medication.
Of course, every first aid kit should be customized to fit your specific needs. So before you head out on your next camping trip, take some time to put together a comprehensive kit that will help keep you safe in the event of an accident.
Not knowing how to start a fire
One of the best parts of camping is sitting around the campfire at night, telling stories, and roasting marshmallows. In emergency or survival situations, having a source of warmth is a literal lifesaver. But if you don’t know how to start a fire, it can be a big problem. So, before you go camping, be sure to learn how to build a fire properly and take a Ferro rod with you in case something happens to your matches or lighter.
Not packing layers
Camping in the mountains can be very different than camping on the beach. And no matter where you go, the temperature can vary greatly from day to night. That’s why it’s important to pack layers to be prepared for whatever the weather might bring. A good rule of thumb is to dress in layers, with a base layer, an insulation layer, and a waterproof layer.
Not packing enough food and water
This is a mistake that can ruin your camping trip. Make sure to pack enough food and water for everyone in your group, plus a little extra just in case. When you’re planning your meals, make sure to take into account that you’ll be burning more calories than usual when you’re hiking and exploring. And always pack more water than you think you’ll need.
When it comes to water, it’s always better to have too much than not enough. Even better if you have a water bottle with a filter to refill at just about any water source. And when it comes to food, make sure you have plenty of non-perishable items that are easy to prepare.
Not being mindful of your surroundings.
When you’re in the wilderness, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to avoid dangerous animals or plants. Make sure you know what kind of wildlife is in the area and how to avoid interactions with them. For example, if you’re camping in bear country, make sure you have a bear-proof storage container for your food.
Leave No Trace
Last but not least, one of the most important things to remember when camping is to Leave No Trace. This means leaving your campsite as clean or cleaner than you found it. That means packing out all your trash, picking up any litter you see, and being careful with fire. Campfires are great, but they can easily get out of control and damage the environment. So, make sure you build them in designated fire pits and put them out completely before leaving.
So now that you know some of the most common camping mistakes to avoid, you’re ready to get out there and explore the great outdoors!
Do you have any other tips for first-time campers? Share them in the comments below.