You’ve had the date set for five months – don’t sabotage your weekend with one of these top ten camping mistakes!
Wanna take forty minutes setting up your tent?
It’s easy to do if you don’t know how it works. Make sure you grab the manual (do it guys) and set it up in your yard before you use it. This goes for that fancy new camp stove and that solar shower you bought too. Figure it out first at home.
Even if you learn how to set that tent up beforehand you’re going to expel a few choice words trying to do it in the dark while getting bit by bugs. Your campsite is basically an outdoor room, and a bit of organizing goes a long way. It’s not fun to do at night.
Some of the best times I’ve had camping were in a torrential downpour.
Why? Because I was playing cards high and dry while listening to the storm all around me. It can be a great time – if you prepare.
You want to prepare for two scenarios: 1) Rain at your campsite and, 2) Rain out on the trail. For the campsite I always hang a tarp over the picnic table. Either drape it over a guideline and tie it off or find a 10 foot dead tree and stick it up in the middle. You’ll have a shady, rain-free place to hang all weekend. For the trail I’m a big fan of the emergency poncho. They take up almost no space and will keep you dry in a pinch. If you check the radar on your phone before heading out you’ll never even need to use it.
You know what’s really fun?
Running to the campground office for a band-aid like a lunatic after someone cuts their finger trying to make a hotdog stick.
You obviously don’t need a kit as big as the one shown here, but get something. At the very least throw some Neosporin in a big can of band-aids and call it a day. It makes all the difference in the moment.
How many of your friends have pet raccoons?
That’s right, none – because they’re mean little buggers.
Don’t leave food uncovered anywhere, even in your tent. You might come back to a raccoon getting his grub on. Not fun. Not too mention that it makes your campsite very unattractive as fellow campers walk by. Keep it clean folks.
“Dad, what’s wrong? Can we get out of the car yet?”
“Um… Honey can you do a quick campground search in Google? Pretty please?”
Also not fun. All campgrounds have reservable sites. Don’t wing it. Check out our tips on finding and picking out a campsite online.
I throw a full set of long johns, a sweater, and a wool hat in my bag no matter what time of year it is.
The weather can change in a few hours. A cold front can roll in and all of the sudden you’re pretty uncomfortable playing cards in your shorts. You’ll also end up wearing it sleeping more that you would have guessed. Grab it.
Nothing is more annoying than messing around with the same smoldering log for an hour.
Ok, this one might not ruin your weekend, but I added it because nothing beats a great campfire. Learn how to properly build a campfire so you get it right the first time, every time.
In my opinion camping without a headlamp would be as fun as camping without thumbs.
Yes – I love my headlamp that much. They make life so much easier. Make sure you buy one that has a red light option. That way you’re not annoying everyone when you flip it on to make S’mores.
I love researching an area online before I visit it.
Here are just a few of the things I like to figure out:
1. Where can I get beer? Specifically, good beer?
2. Where is the grocery store? Is there a popular meat market on the way?
3. Are there any roadside attractions along the way that the kids might like? There’s an excellent app called Best Road Trip Ever! that shows you all sorts neat things to stop and check out along the way.
4. What’s the most popular place to eat in town? I love camp cooking, but I’m also a big fan of hole-in-the wall restaurants where I can experience something new.
5. What are the local attractions? Sometimes a campground doesn’t want to tell you about that popular zipline down the road that would create one awesome memory!
What camping fails did I miss?
Let’s hear about it in the comments! The more positive camping experiences people have the more support camping will receive in general, right?
As always – Share The Fire!