Lessons from our First Camping Trip

My wife and I recently endeavored on our first camping trip of the summer. After that first night back in a tent and remembering the smell of a campfire, I was hooked. When we were there, it felt like forever since we had last camped, and I guess it showed too. The trip was an impromptu decision, and turned out to be a good one, with the exception of a few minor setbacks.

Here are a few things we learned that will hopefully help make your first experience slightly more successful than ours…

  • Figure out if your intended destination is “first come-first serve” or “by reservation only.” This will ensure you’re not the only tent amongst a sea of RVs.
  • In addition to meals, pack food to snack on, too. You’ll find there’s a lot more time to munch when you’re not so busy.
  • Don’t forget firewood. Two pieces is not enough.
  • Pack towels. They’re especially helpful for taking showers.
  • Check your LED headlamp for dead batteries — unless you can see in the dark, then dead batteries might not be an issue for you.

If you haven’t been camping yet this summer, make it a priority to do so; there’s still plenty of time. Camping is a great get-away from the pressures of daily life, and with our economy struggling, camping is a far more affordable vacation than hopping on an airplane or cruise ship. Here in the Pacific Northwest, you don’t have to go far to find a great spot. In fact, my wife and I stayed at a state park that’s literally minutes from our home. Grab some quality gear, throw it in the car, and spend a night in the Great Outdoors. You’ll be glad you did. We sure were.

[photo: courtesy Betty Southard Stokes]

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