If you’re looking to venture into the Great Outdoors for the first time this summer (and you should), I read an article recently that offered a number of suggestions for ensuring your first experience camping is a positive one. Because, well, what part of sleeping outside on the ground far away from civilization doesn’t sound appealing?
Here’s the advice that outdoor expert Georges Seguin has to offer:
1. Organize a trial run. Attempt a night or two in the backyard with some borrowed gear before you fully commit to the endeavor.
2. Bring the right gear. This, of course, all depends on where and how long you intend on camping. For the most part, drive-in camp sites are generally low maintenance and worry-free because you’ve got your backup plan right there with you: the car. If you’re planning on venturing into the wilderness on foot, you’ll need a little more preparation and quality camping and hiking gear. And if you live in the Pacific Northwest (like me), always be prepared for rain.
3. Pick the right spot. Think about what you intend to do when you arrive. Are there activities nearby? Hiking, swimming, biking? Or do you simply need peace and quiet to engage in a good book or relaxation? Let your intended activities dictate your camping spot.
4. Be safe. Learn first about the area you’re headed to, including its native dangers and hazards — wildlife, plant life, weather, etc. Also, make sure you’re comfortable with campfire safety. And always carry a First-Aid kit.
5. Share the load. You’ll notice this tip assumes you won’t be alone (because you shouldn’t be). Let family and friends all pitch in when planning and preparing. Believe me, I’ve seen too many moms and dads get burned out because they try to do everything for everyone else. Many hands make light work.
Ok, now you’re set to venture into the world of camping!