Camping is all about getting back to nature, hiking during the day and star gazing at night. Fishing, swimming, hugging trees, hearing sounds out in and around your campsite that you can't possibly hear in the city. But above anything else, it's all about beauty. A red tailed hawk soaring overhead, the crackle of a vibrant campfire at night, and the sun rising over a lake at dawn. That's what camping is all about, and if you have never been camping before, here is how to make it all so much better.
Camping is not all about dropping everything and heading out to the woods. There is a method to this madness, and the better prepared you are, the better the camping experience will be.
- Sleep warm -- Layers of clothing will go far if you only have blankets to sleep under or a summer sleeping bag. Teeth chattering on chilly nights, does not a happy camper make. (Now you know where they got that saying.) Sweat shirts, sweat pants, heavy socks, should all be included as sleep wear, just in case.
- Insect Repellent -- Don't get all buggy with insects flying around. Unfortunately, you are in their element now, so get some good insect repellent, either as a lotion or a spray, and you won't have to worry.
- Keeping dry -- Nothing is more miserable than getting caught in a storm, falling into a river, or stepping in a bog, and not having dry clothing. Make sure you have enough pairs of clothes so that if you do get wet, you can dry off and change.
- Snack food -- You won't even notice this, but when you are camping you are going to be burning calories. If you are not near your campsite, down at the lake, out on a trail, and you get hungry, you are out of luck until you get back to the site. That's why you always pack some snacks with you, that fit in pockets, nap sacks, pouches, whatever. Grabbing a granola bar when you are starving, is going to make all the difference in the world. This is doubly true if you are camping with the kids.
Camping is, ultimately, as good as you make it. But you can make it better by always being prepared, so you can focus on the wonder of the world before you, which is what camping is all about.