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Whether or not you’re planning to hit the campground for a long weekend, it really pays to go on an adventure fully aware of what to bring and what to do. Of course, you won’t realize the perks at first. But soon enough, you’ll be able to appreciate everything about being well-prepared because through this, you can maximize your time outdoors.
While making a cozy camp is an essential, it helps to learn more about other things like how to camp like a pro. To guide you on your upcoming adventure, we have outlined these tips for you to have a trip that could have only been experienced by the best hikers on the planet.
Your base camp is going to be your shelter for a couple of days. That said, you need to make comfort your top priority. When assembling your tent, make sure it is durable enough to protect you against the changing weather conditions.
How do you do it?
Create an organized and durable campsite and shelter
If you are going on a trip with a small group, consider bringing a cot and a small backpacking tent. Once you arrive at the site, assemble everything in a way that you won’t need to sacrifice comfort. For example, if you don’t want dust and dirt to get into your tent, an old rug could get rid of the dirt in your feet.
Select a perfect campsite
The location of your campsite is something that could make or break your entire camping experience. It would be better if you determine where the sun rises and sets because a nice view of the sunrise and the sunset will make your experience equally rewarding.
It is important to know the general wind direction as well. You don’t want all the smoke from the campfire to get into your tent all night.
If it is your first time to arrive at a campground, make sure you walk around the area. Nobody wants their camping weekend to be ruined by loud neighbors.
Bring the best possible shelter
Tents have varying features. While some only have one door, others have two, which is an advantage for those camping in large groups. But be careful in choosing a tent. Larger tents require more effort to set up. Thus, it is wise to bring a tent that is easy to build but still fits your needs.
If you aren’t comfortable sleeping inside the tent, a hammock could be a great option. Aside from occupying lesser space, this is ideal for solo campers because it is versatile enough for varying weather conditions and temperatures.
Consider your sleeping habits
If you want to sleep above the ground, then you might want to consider a large tent or a cot system. Though these things don’t really require more room, they can still contribute to a good-night’s sleep. For the kids, a sleeping bag makes a good choice as it fits their body well.
For those who are traveling with their families, an inflatable mattress is preferable. Not only will this fit everyone, it’ll also provide them comfort and convenience like the usual beds.
Fire is the only thing that gives warmth to campers throughout their stay. However, putting up a bonfire is not a walk in the park because you need to consider the availability of wood. If you put in too much at once, then it won’t last until dawn.
How do you really build the perfect campfire?
As soon as you have assembled your shelter, you need to work on your wood pile. Then, you need to add some smooth rocks along the firepit ring. This will be extremely useful in heating your cold hands or cooking smores.
Before you even embark on a trip, research about the different ways to start fire. From there, you’ll learn what particular method works on a certain condition.
Learn how to start a fire effortlessly
There are different things you can use to start fire. While fire-starter sticks are readily available in the market, you can also use cotton balls with a small amount of petroleum jelly.
Always observe fire safety, especially if there are kids
If you are camping with kids, you have to implement the “one-poker rule,” which means they can poke the fire if and only if the poke is in the hands of a grown-up.
To ensure overall safety, you also need to consider what the kids are wearing. Any synthetic garment can easily ignite, especially when exposed to an open flame.
Also, when starting fire, make sure you also explain the process to the kids. This way, they’ll understand what you’re wrong and how everything works.
Determine your burn rate
Every camping scenario is different. If you’re going to a place with a colder temperature, expect that you’ll have to fuel the fire all day. On the other hand, if you’re on the desert, you burn fire only when needed. Just take note that dry wood burns faster than hardwood. So if you bring one of that kind, then you need to take enough extra wood to cover any emergencies.
Keep these five tools in handy
- Steel grate—If you enjoy dutch oven cooking, a steel grate will do all the magic. Simply put it in the fire pit ring and over the coal to enjoy a cup of hot coffee or a plate of steak.
- Military shovel—In moving coals, a folding military shovel can help you ease the work. It can also be used to cover the fire pit with dirt as you leave.
- Rocks—Rocks aren’t only decorative pieces placed around a fire pit. These also work as barrier to prevent the little ones from going near the fire.
- Fire-resistant gloves—When moving cast iron or the steel grate, a pair of fire-resistant gloves should protect you against extreme heat.
- Poker—If you don’t have a good poker, a stout tree branch can help you keep the fire burning throughout the evening.
Everybody understands that the highlight of camping is enjoying a sumptuous meal with your loved ones in a natural setting. So how do you elevate your camping cuisine experience?
Plan a delectable camping menu
Each meal has varying prep times. Therefore, it is wise to choose those meals that are easier to prepare. As much as possible, look for recipes that have are proven suitable for camping. If you don’t want to consume much of your time in cooking, you can always opt for canned goods.
Take your camp cuisine to a whole new level
Before you start cooking, you have to organize your camp kitchen. You don’t want to roam around for hours only to find the missing ingredient in your bed. To save some time, create a storage plan or label the containers. This way, you can quickly find the kitchen utensils and ingredients you need.
Prep meals at home
Measure, dice, chop, and mix everything while you are still in the comforts of your own kitchen. Preparing everything at home allows you to bring just what you need for every meal.
Bring the appropriate cookware
Although there are lots of cookware you might possibly need, it helps to plan the menu beforehand so that you can distinguish which utensils are really necessary. But to give you an idea, frequent campers often bring the same things, and that include steel grates, nonstick pans, cast iron, and spices.
Cook with coals
When using coal, you need to put a dutch oven in the coals and your hand over it. Then count backwards by 50 starting at 550. Once you reach 0, you can slowly remove your hands. Doing this will give you an idea about the temperature produced by the coal.
Keep the ingredients cold with block ice
Compared to ice cubes, block ice melts slower; and even if it has already melted, all the water will keep the temperature low.
Here’s an advice: do not drain the water if there is still food. Doing that will only contribute to food spoilage.
Make cleaning up a habit
In order to maintain cleanliness, it is best that you keep a few garbage bags nearby. While some campgrounds have dumpsters and garbage bins on site, it’ll make the process of cleaning faster if you have your own bags.
For utensils that need washing, such as cups, plates, and bowls, you can use one storage bin. Once you arrive home, it’ll be easier for you to sort them through and place them in their rightful containers.
Nothing else can quench your thirst after a long day on the trail but water. Though beer can do that, water has something that makes you want to ask for more.
Before you head to the camping site, make sure you bring water with you. It doesn’t only function as a thirst quencher, it’ll also help you complete some other chores.
Choose a handy water storage
These days, you can buy portable water carriers on the market, and they come in a variety of sizes. Some of which can store up to two gallons of waters; others can keep up to 20 liters. But the point here is to bring containers that can contain amount of water enough to keep you hydrated throughout your stay.
Bring a personal water storage
Water bottles can be a great option for campers who plan to be on the trail the entire day. However, they can also opt for other containers such as hydration bladders and water bags, which are affordable and handy.
Consider having filtration, treatment, and purification systems
Filtration and purification systems aren’t really required when camping. But if you want to be sure about the purity of the water you are drinking, you can take them with you.
The most popular sterilization method is the ultraviolet sterilizers. Made by SteriPen, this system is easy-to-use but is powered by battery. Other than the ultraviolet sterilizer, there are other filters you can choose from, such as the drops, handheld pump filters, drops, and gravity flow filters.
Manage water and hydration
If your campsite is next to a stream or a river, then you can take advantage of that. You can wash utensils here so that you can save potable water.
Other Bonus Tips for Campers
After a long and tiring day of pure adventure, there is nothing more relaxing than returning to the camp and enjoying a great meal with your loved ones. Learning to camp like a pro, however, takes time. Hopefully, with the additional tips we listed below, you get to enjoy a more fun and exciting camping experience.
1. Plan ahead. You don’t want any last-minute preparations to ruin your big trip.
2. Keep the kids engaged. If you are going on a trip with little campers, you need to keep them engaged, and the only way to do this is to organize some fun games and activities.
3. Use tent rope. A tent rope makes a great clothes line when hung in between trees.
4. Bring a headlamp. In order to set the mood and take stunning camping photos, you can bring with you a headlamp.
5. Speakers can make the night livelier. Because most campsites are quiet all the time, especially at night, you can use a small battery-powered speaker to make some noise. But make sure you don’t disturb other campers with your loud music.
6. Explore other flooring options. Although an old area rug is commonly used to make the floor more comfortable, a modular foam also offers the same result.
7. Divide the campsite into different zones. To organize everything, you can create different zones for first aid, washing, and eating.
8. Don’t let money hinder you from having the best camping adventure. Do not have second thoughts about pursuing your trip because of your tight budget. You can still maximize every dollar you have when purchasing camping utensils and equipment.
9. Consider using compression bags. Not only do compression bags squeeze in all the contents to save space, they are also great alternatives for sleeping bags and pillow. Just fill it up with extra clothes to make it comfier.
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