Summer is rapidly approaching and with that so are all of the fun, warm weather activities that we all look forward to all year long. One of the most beloved activities to do in the summer is camping. The chance to get out into the great outdoors with the people you love the most is so wonderful. To prepare for your first camping trip of the year here are a few helpful tips:
Pinpoint the Location
The biggest decision you’ll have to make is exactly where you want to go camping. This will depend on a variety of factors, such as if you will be using a tent or a camper or how much you want to rough it or have access to some of the comforts of home (running water, etc.). Word of mouth can be a great way to gain insight into the best campsites or hiking trails. Ask friends that go camping a lot where they like to go and the reasons why they choose those locations. Internet searches can also help narrow down your choices as well. Sites such as Yelp provide you with ratings and opinions on different camping locations, as well as inform you of what amenities are available.
Go Through Your Supplies
Haul out those bins in the garage where you keep your camping gear and take an inventory of what is still usable and what you are going to need before your adventure. Assess your tent for any damage or check the camper for anything it might need before you take off. This might be a good time to purchase some new camping items such as sleeping bags, snacks or paper products needed for eating.
Decide what you should bring and what can stay home – do you need that huge hiking backpack if you don’t plan on doing any hiking? If not, leave it at home. When packing for camping, less is more. The whole point of camping is to spend time together as a family and to get away from things such as technology and so many of the distractions of modern life. Leave your laptop at home, but bring your cell phone to take photos and in case of an emergency.
Create an Itinerary
Although camping is all about relaxing and slowing down the pace of life for a little while, it can also be downright boring if you don’t have a few things to do when you get there. Depending on the location you are going to, research different activities that are nearby that your family might enjoy. Maybe there is a petting zoo close to the campground or a local farmer’s market that you can purchase some yummy foods to cook over an open fire? If not, bring some board or card games that you can play right at your camping location. Fishing, hiking, and birdwatching are fun alternatives if you just want to spend time in nature. Whatever you do, don’t forget the s’mores!