Ahhh. The great outdoors. The fresh forest air. The smell of camp fires. Sleeping under the stars. Camping can be a great adventure, as well as a relaxing and serene trip with the family or friends. But, if you’re not prepared, it can also be full of bug bites, sleeping on hard ground, rain, poison ivy… etc. Here’s a list of things to consider when camping to help make your next trip your best one yet:
Packing: Items you won’t want to leave home without!
- Dry shampoo – when showers aren’t readily available dry shampoo will be your saving grace from oily, unwashed hair.
- a small first aid kit: a few doses of pain medication, band aids, benedryl, cortisone crème, copper tone face stick, anti-bacterial spray, pre-packaged alcohol rubs for cleaning wounds and a set of tweezers – find a small plastic container to keep everything dry and together in.
- A roll of toilet paper kept in an old, plastic coffee container.
- A headlamp; these come in handy for hands free late night bathroom runs, looking for firewood at night and any other evening activities.
- Extra tarps, bungees, stakes and large zip ties – if it rains you will be glad you have these extra items to cover and tie down items.
- An extra set of matches, kept in a small, pint size canning jar topped with sand paper, for easy lighting, to make sure you always have dry matches for starting a fire.
Fire: Learn the essentials for building a fire
- Make sure you have a safe, open area for you fire. If a fire ring isn’t provided for you with your campsite (and open fires are allowed where you are camping), look for some medium sized rocks to create a small fire ring to container your fire safely.
- Collect Kindling, this is smaller, dry pieces of wood and needles that ignite easily.
- If you have or brought newspaper place crumbled newspaper in middle of fire ring.
- Place Kindling on top of newspaper.
- Create a teepee out of your larger logs, making sure there is room between the kindling and the top of the teepee so that air can get to the fire.
- Light the newspaper
You will probably have to add kindling to keep the fire going until the logs on the teepee have sufficiently caught fire and stay going on their own. You will then need to continue to add logs to the fire as the initial logs dwindle down. Make sure that you have brought a container to fill with water to make sure your fire embers are completely out before you go to bed.
Cooking: Don’t forget these time saving tricks!
- Precook any food items that can be cooked ahead of time, especially breakfast meats so all you have to do is reheat when you need them. This saves you time, and also you don’t have to keep pre-cooked meat as cold as uncooked meat.
- Freeze all items that can be frozen, this will cut down on how much ice you need in your cooler.
- Freeze old gallon water jugs or juice jugs and place in your cooler, versus using ice, this way when they melt you don’t have to worry about water getting in your food. Plus, you can use them as water once they’ve defrosted.