Each year more than 14 million young adults and children attend a camp in the US and more than twice as many family and friends will go camping on their own in some form or fashion over the course of the year. This makes for a busy summer for many Americans. Any good camping experience needs two things to be successful, fun and safety.
Have A Camping Plan
Spending an extended amount of time outdoors, while fun, can present some unexpected outcomes. Having a plan to meet these potential challenges can be the difference between a positive and negative camping experience. Being prepared for likely scenarios such as rain, insects, prolonged exposure to sunlight and other weather elements is of the utmost importance. Before heading out to camp or going out into the elements it is wise to know the area, its potential dangers, and where to go or whom to contact if help is necessary.
What to Bring on your Camping trip
"..being safe and having fun are the ultimate goals."
Once a plan is in place, knowing what to bring is next in line of importance. The National Park Service breaks it down to five essentials: Water, food and shelter, bedding, cooking supplies, and cleaning supplies. These five categories, while important, do not serve as a list of all that is needed, but more of a jumping-off point. Any good camping trip will include items from these five categories but should not be limited to them. Other important items to consider would be, bug repellent, sun protection, and most importantly an outdoor first aid kit. A good example of an outdoor first aid kit can be found here. While food and shelter come first in importance, overall health can be greatly determined by the extra items you bring.
Camping Do's and Don’ts
When a plan is in place and what to bring is determined, now what? Here is a list of Camping dos and don’ts to help make the camp experience an overall positive one.
Do: Get a lay of your surroundings. Knowing your area and its potential recreational areas as well as its potential hazards.
Don’t: Don’t forget to bring extra essentials. Having an extra jacket or warmer clothes can help if the weather changes quickly.
Do: Be safe. If something seems like a bad idea, for example, unsafe water activities, try to avoid them. Help isn’t always close by. Having a good first aid kit can help.
Don’t: Don’t forget to rest. Camping can be fun, but it can also be taxing. Being in the elements and enjoying yourself can tire you out, know your limits and don’t exceed them. Try to stop and smell the roses.
Camping season is rapidly approaching, and whether it’s attending a camp or camping on your own, being safe and having fun are the ultimate goals. Having a plan, knowing what to bring, and being prepared for the unexpected can go a long way to helping in these pursuits. So as you head out into the wild think about what you are trying to get out of your camp experience and remember, be safe and have fun!