Archive for March, 2010

Common Camping Mistakes

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Camping is no easy chore. For beginners, you can save a lot of headaches by learning from the camping mistakes of others. Consider avoiding the following common camping mistakes on your next trip to the woods for a better time!

1. Arriving at your campsite exhausted and near dusk. Setting up camp in the dark can be a complete nightmare. Be sure to arrive with a sufficient amount of daylight left so you can get everything situated.

2. Leaving the mattress pad at home. If there’s nothing but the bottom of the tent between your sleeping bag and the ground, be ready for a restless night!

3. Leaving food or trash out overnight. Do this and you can almost certainly expect to wake up and find that an animal of some sorts has ravaged through everything.

4. Thinking a tent for four people will comfortably fit four people. Unless you like sleeping on top of your friends and family, always buy a bigger tent than you think you’ll need. Believe me, you’ll be glad you did.

5. Bringing too much stuff. People, you’re camping! You don’t need to bring your kitchen sink with you. Unless it’s an essential item, leave it at home and rough it up a bit!

6. Letting the dog off leash. Even the most obedient dogs will find it hard to contain themselves in an area full of new smells. Unless you want to be walking through the woods calling out “Sparky!? Sparky?!” all night, consider keeping your best friend curbed.

7. Setting up camp near a cliff. Going to the bathroom in the middle of the night should not be a life or death matter.

8. Bringing insufficient drinking water. If there’s one thing you don’t want to skimp on, it’s drinking water. Think about how much you think you’ll need and bring double.

9. Not bringing enough blankets. Do you know how cold it gets at night when you’re sleeping outdoors? Oh, double up on the socks too!

10. Leaving the flashlight at home. Bring several flashlights and spare batteries for each of them.

11. Forgetting bug repellent and/or sunscreen. Both of these items are crucial to enjoyable camping.

12. Not cleaning up. Camp responsibly. Clean up after yourself before you leave. The only evidence of you having been there should be your fond memories.

13. Building a fire or using a stove inside a tent. This is incredibly stupid. A torrential downpour is still no reason to start a fire in a tent. Never start a fire in a tent.

14. Setting up a beach campsite below the high water mark. Usually high tide is around midnight. If you set up camp close to the water line during the day, you’re likely to wake up to a wet campsite. You should be able to detect evidence in the sand of the high tide point from the night before. Set up camp considerably behind that mark.

15. Cooking elaborate meals. Even if you have a stove or grill, cooking at a campsite is nowhere near as nice as cooking in your kitchen. Keep the meals simple and easy!