Top 10 Camping Tips
We are now living in a time wherein only few have an idea how to survive outdoors. Only few know a thing or two about survival when exposed to Mother Nature’s elements. But let’s admit that it’s fun to also explore things that you don’t get to see every day. That’s why we have created this top 10 camping tips article.
It’s a good idea that you also explore more than what the four corners of your office can offer. And when you leave the comforts of your home, you better expect the worst!
The Best Top 10 Camping Tips
The wilderness is no joke. If you don’t have plans of losing your sanity while exposed in the elements, better have a plan that can come in handy for your situation.
Are you one of those clueless campers that may get lost, get hungry and never be found again in the wilderness? If you answered yes to any of those, or all of the things we mentioned, then it’s a good idea that you read this entire article.
Here, we’ll offer 10 useful camping tips that you can implement when you decide to take a hike.
1. Don’t get yourself killed by learning some first aid skills
The first tip that you have to take seriously is to never get killed in the wilderness. Don’t get attacked by bears, and if you find yourself mauled by some bear, then better know some first aid skills.
Whether it is a sprained ankle or fever, it is important that you know how to conduct basic first aid treatment. Without a doctor, you must rely on your own knowledge on how to conduct first aid treatment. Unfortunately, expect that there’s probably no internet, or signal in the place where you are going. So yes, say goodbye to Google for now in answering some of your medical queries. Instead, you can rely on books, and brochures.
If you plan on camping, always remember that there is always that chance that your trip might end up as a disaster. To prevent this from happening, make it a point that you become knowledgeable of some basic treatments.
But before we discuss proper treatment, it is crucial to know the materials needed for the trip. What are the most common items that should be found in your first aid kit?
Make sure that you have gauze which can come in handy when you get wounded or blisters during the trip. If camping involves hours of walking, then might as well get more gauze and bandages. Even the best footwear can easily fail the human feet.
Sprain is another injury that you need to anticipate when it comes to hiking. You want to make sure to have some athletic tapes, splints and even menthol spray that can numb the pain temporarily.
Next, make sure to include antiseptic wipes and antibiotic creams. These can be useful especially when there’s an open wound.
And of course, the first aid kit should also contain assortment of medicines that can come in handy during the trip. Anticipate an upset stomach, fever and even nausea. For these scenarios, try checking your over the counter medicines to see which ones can make it in your shopping list.
The number of things inside the first aid kit should depend on different factors. How many people are expected to camp? Do they have different conditions that you should be worried about? Preferably, camping trips should require individual first aid kits per person. This ensures that everyone will have sufficient supply of necessary first aid items.
Now that you have an idea what to include in your first aid kit, you need to know just how to address the injuries and common ailments related to camping. Sprain for instance, is all about isolating the injured part and providing extra support. For blisters and open wounds, it is about covering the wounded part with clean gauze. For other common outdoor injuries and illnesses, make sure that you do your own research.
2. Study the terrain beforehand
Next thing that you need to know is the terrain. Don’t ever expect that the terrain and the elements can be forgiving. One of the biggest blunders of campers is to take the outdoors lightly. Not only can this lead to injuries and difficulties, it can even lead to death.
What exactly are the things that you need to research on? First, you want to know the weather and climate. Is it cold? If it is expected to be cold, know exactly how cold it can get. Here, you will be able to prepare the necessary clothing and temporary shelter.
Also, you need to make sure that you check for any information online about the terrain. Does it have any wild animals that you can possibly encounter? If so, how exactly are you going to deal with these animals? Do you play dead or just accept your fate as lunch to these predatory animals?
You need to evaluate the danger involved in the terrain in order to make sure that you get back to your nine-to-five routine alive. Is there any special precaution that you need to take into consideration before hiking? Were there deaths and injuries recently recorded by people who went the same route as you? These are questions that can help make sure that you don’t lose your arms and legs or worse, your life when you decide to camp.
Next, you need to have a map of the place where you are going to camp. If there’s a trail, and there’s no way of getting lost, then it helps if you also know the distance between stations. This can come in handy if ever there’s an emergency that took place and you need some assistance. Also, never forget your means of communication whenever you are going to camp. Make sure that authorities are informed about your ongoing activity within the premises.
It is a good idea that you always get a buddy when you are traveling to any terrain. This can keep the stress level a notch lower especially when you made some uninformed mistake that can get you injured. But of course, there are people who love to do their soul searching while outdoors. If you can’t avoid walking alone, then make sure that you at least let someone know where you are and which terrain you took.
3. Get the right footwear
Apart from your clothes, footwear deserves special attention. A lot of people today wear shoes that are inappropriate for their needs. Going outdoors, you need the right kind of shoes to avoid injuries and to make sure that you don’t get any type of accident.
Keep in mind that your feet will need to support your weight. Could you imagine just how the hike can be without an appropriate shoe? Shoes will not only lessen the impact of your every step, it can even correct your gait and strides to ensure that you get back injury free.
What exactly is the best outdoor shoe? Given the wide variety of options, it can be quite confusing to choose which shoe you’ll need. And if you don’t have prior experience hiking or going outdoors, this can even be a greater dilemma.
First, it should be able to handle different types of terrains. The footwear should be made of a material wherein it remains effective regardless if you are going to hike in a dry or wet environment. Typically, a lot of outdoor shoes today have adapted trail running shoe design. This kind of technology allows brands to design shoes to remain effective in both wet and dry terrain while still being lightweight in the process.
Another important thing to check is your feet. Flat feet and those with high arches shouldn’t be wearing neutral shoes. Typically, the midsole require additional support. This means that you will need to invest on shoes that can even allow the use of orthotics. Failure to check your feet may create bigger problems ranging from heel pain to knee problems.
Next, it is important to also check if the shoes are water resistant or waterproof. Water resistant shoes can be used during dry seasons, but don’t expect it to keep your feet wet when you need to cross the river. Water resistant shoes are more breathable though perfect for humid conditions.
You also need to consider the weight of the shoes. When hiking for quite a number of hours, it is important to always consider the weight. It is a good idea to stick to a more comfortable lightweight shoe if it is the summer. However, you have no other choice but to even stick to hiking boots if the hike requires a number of days, and you need to deal with wet terrain.
It is a good idea as well to have extra footwear with you. Your extra footwear may not have to be too heavy. It can be a lighter shoe that you will use in case something happens to the shoes that you are wearing. Most of the time, you will not be using the extra footwear, however; it is better to be safe especially when you are going outdoors and the trail requires days of walking.
Always consider it as a spare tire. You may never know when you are going to need it, but you’ll be thankful for having one in case something arises.
When choosing the right type of footwear for your outdoor activity, it helps that you compare the different products in the market today. Here, you will have an idea which product fits your needs without blowing up your budget.
4. Pack light
No matter how tempting it is to pack the entire fridge and your 32 inch television in your backpack, always remember to pack light. The secret to a less excruciating hike is to bring only the essentials. But what are the essentials?
For a first timer, the border between the essential and the non-essential can be blurry. What exactly should you bring?
To have an idea about the essentials, let’s start discussing things that will meet your physiologic needs. It is important to have the right amount of food in your bag. Always make sure that the food you are bringing is easy to prepare and won’t spoil when you camp. One of the best options is to stick to canned variations for lunch. Canned tuna, sardines and spam can be some of the best options that you can go for. That’s the price of leaving the comforts of your home without your hunter gatherer skills in check.
Aside from food, make sure that you bring enough water with you. Always remember that there are areas wherein it’s quite a challenge to find a good source of clean water. One basic rule that you need to follow is to always bring extra water. You will never know when you are going to need it. Keep in mind that it’s far more dangerous to be dehydrated than be hungry out in the woods.
Next, pack the right clothing. You want to make sure that you bring appropriate clothing for your trip. If you are going to encounter subzero temperature, then better bring layers of clothing that can protect you from the harsh weather conditions. Or if you are expecting heavy rain to fall at any given time, make sure that you also have a jacket which can protect you from getting wet. It is also ideal to bring a few extra clothes. But of course, never bring too many since this will only occupy more space in your bag.
Other than food and clothing, it is also important to have tools that can help you communicate. Ideally, you want to pack a phone and a power bank to make sure that you have the ability to call and reach other people once you are outdoors. You don’t want to be totally cut from civilization. That’s if you don’t have plans to recreate Into The Wild and starve in some abandoned bus in Alaska.
Another essential item that you want to always have is a flashlight. When camping at night, you want to either have a lamp or a flashlight to give visibility when walking around. This can help prevent accidents from happening, not to mention make it easier for you to do the necessary chores such as preparing dinner when the sun is already down.
Now that you have completed your backpack, make sure that you check it at least three times. You’ll be surprised by the number of things that you can still remove every time you run a check.
5. Have the right camping shelter
How many days do you plan to camp? If you plan even to stay for the night, it is imperative that you have a reliable shelter that you can depend on. Without it, other than hypothermia, you can easily be targeted by wild animals that hunt at night.
If becoming lunch to some predators is not part of your agenda, it is a good idea to invest on the right kind of tent.
There are many types of camping tents that you will see out there. In fact, it can be a bit confusing especially for someone unfamiliar with the jargons and necessary features of a tent.
Should you invest on three or four season tents? As rule of thumb, stick to four season tents if you are going to camp in a below zero environment. However, if you are just expecting some heavy rain, then a three season tent will do. You also want to make sure that you get an appropriate sized tent. If you plan on relying on a single tent for the group, it is ideal that the tent has partitions to keep everyone organized.
When dealing with tents, you should be particular about the number of doors that it has especially if catering to a group of people. How many windows does it have? Keep in mind that aside from getting in and out of the tent, doors and windows provide ventilation that can keep everyone comfortable inside the tent.
You should also evaluate the designs available for different tents. Cabin tent is a more livable version than the typical dome style tents. This is perfect especially when traveling as a family. However, keep in mind though that it can be quite heavy making camping a bit more complicated.
Next, how hard or easy is it to set up? Does it require a rocket scientist to get things started? Having a newbie friendly tent can make a huge difference especially when you don’t have any experience camping.
You should also check the peak height of the tent. If you are using a dome tent, you at least want to be able to sit up straight when inside the tent. For cabin tents, though you may not be able to sit upright, you have enough space to feel comfortable despite being in the woods.
In addition to this, most people would prefer to check the durability of the materials. You don’t want the tent to get damaged in the middle of the night. If you are dealing with strong winds and rain, it is a good idea to have a rainfly. This can keep you dry inside your tent.
There are many kinds of tents out there that you can choose from. There are varieties of options regardless of your needs and budget. But what you have to do is be picky when selecting the right tent. If you don’t have plans of sleeping on the ground for a night or two, then better get a durable and reliable tent that fits the expected weather in the area.
6. Get the right sleeping set up
Sleeping at night in the wilderness can be a nightmare to some. On the other hand, it can also be a great experience depending on the things that you used. In fact, according to health experts this can help correct your body clock. Camping allows you to get to sleep early and fully recover. But of course, in order to sleep comfortably in the wilderness, it is important that you spend good money on the right kind of sleeping bag.
An ideal sleeping bag should be warm. It should also be comfortable to give you a good night sleep though you are not in your comfortable bed. The number one rule in picking a sleeping bag is to never settle for a crappy product. You’ll regret the fact that you did once you are already out there in the outdoors.
First, it should be able to trap body heat. To be able to trap the body heat, it should contain the right kind and the right amount of filling. Filling can either be cotton or made of synthetic material. This is the main function of sleeping bags is to keep you warm especially when faced with subzero temperatures.
Aside from its ability to trap heat, the sleeping bag needs to meet the demands of the outdoor. Similar to tents, sleeping bags are made different. There are those sleeping bags that are for winter, while there are those for your typical cold temperatures at night.
What is the expected temperature in the camp site at night? Unfortunately, not all sleeping bags have the same rating. Also, there are products that don’t provide the sufficient warmth even if it meets the temperature within its rating.
Next, make sure that it is durable. Reviews can tell you a thing or two about its durability whether its zippers are well made or the fabric used can’t tolerate the outdoors.
You also want to consider the size of the sleeping bag. If you prefer tossing and turning while sleeping, this becomes an important consideration. Most people prefer sleeping bags that can be attached to each other to accommodate a larger room. If you are camping as a couple, then this can easily be a great cocoon for you and your significant other.
Different sleeping bags will have different designs. There are those that have mummy style designs which cover the head and keep the pillows in place. On the other hand, there are those sleeping bags that allow adjustable length by the bottom. This is perfect especially for growing kids. It is also a good consideration to purchase a sleeping bag that includes a sack. This keeps your backpack organized.
Always consider doing tremendous research if you are going to buy a sleeping bag. Compare not only the price but the material and reviews of customers who used the product outdoors. This can help you make the right decision, especially if these products look similar to you.
7. Work on your conditioning
You just can’t decide that you want to hike all of a sudden. Imagine bringing around 40 pounds of extra baggage while walking uphill for hours. Can you do this? If your routine involves waking up and simply going to work, it may not be a good idea to immediately go camping. It is important that you are prepared not only in terms of gear but also physically.
Unfortunately, a lot of people today are obese and are considered out of shape. Going straight outdoors without any form of preparation can be detrimental to the enjoyment of your trip. But should this discourage you from going out and exploring the outdoors? It isn’t really the case. What you have to know is that the body can adapt to whatever stress that it encounters. It only means that the body be honed to a physically fit specimen.
How exactly do you build conditioning for all the walking that you will encounter? For this tip, you won’t need steroids or anything illegal.
If you are still young, then you may need a month and you are good to go. For someone who is a bit older, then expect it to be bit rough. Conditioning workouts sucks, but you’ll thank us later for taking this advice from us.
CrossFit is a great way to enhance your conditioning when hiking. Not only does it involve building your gas to walk for hours, but it also gives you the chance to mimic the movements of hiking by carrying heavy loads of bags. But of course, not everyone can do intense CrossFit activities.
A good alternative to doing CrossFit is doing your basic workouts in your local gym. Build on legs, back muscles, not to mention on your cardio. A good workout may include a 30 minute run uphill on a treadmill followed by a good basic exercise such as squats, pull ups and even some bench presses. To build endurance rather than bulk up, make it a circuit workout. That means working multiple body parts in a more functional way.
But like what they say, it isn’t about how hard you work, but also about how smart you approach the situation. It is important that you also know when to recover and rest. Rest is just as important as working out. This allows the muscles to develop according to your plan.
In addition to rest, you also need to make sure that you eat the right food at the right time. And often times, it is a good idea that you don’t just eat food, but also use supplements. Whey protein and Branched Chain Amino Acids make a good option for these scenarios.
It can be a nightmare going to the wilderness without checking your conditioning first. One great way to evaluate your ability to cope with all the walking is to jog for a few minutes. How long did it take before you completely gas out? Now, imagine having loads of bags on your back and doing all the walking.
Getting a good conditioning coach in your local gym can make a huge difference in preparing for your upcoming trip to the wilderness.
8. Get the right friends for the trip
Camping is an activity that can be enjoyed as an individual and as a group. For the Bear Grills, survivalist type, this might work. However, if you think that you won’t survive a zombie apocalypse, then might as well scratch solo backpacking off your bucket list for the meantime.
If you don’t have plans of seeing your face in the missing person’s list, it is always a smart idea to find likeminded friends and family members willing to take the journey with you. Having a buddy to depend on can make a huge difference. Could you imagine being injured or having some sort of difficulty camping? Having a friend who can figure things out with you can make a huge difference.
In addition to this, you can also distribute the load that you are going to carry. For instance, you don’t really have to carry individual tents. You can simply settle bringing just one tent, and let the other person carry other things to make the weight more or less equal on your backpack.
It is a good idea that you get a friend or a family member who has more experience than you in terms of going outdoors. This can make a huge difference especially when dealing with somewhat difficult situations.
Having a buddy with you can also help you prepare food, and make chores while camping a lot easier. You can distribute the tasks that need to be accomplished even cutting the time needed to accomplish tasks in half. This can make a huge difference especially when preparing dinner, and securing camp.
Aside from experience, you should also be aware of your dynamics. If you are getting a friend or a family member who you always clash with, then might as well try your luck with another individual. It makes a huge difference if you work with someone smoothly. Going outdoors with someone who you have a love-hate relationship with can make the experience a bit rough.
Better yet, find hiking and outdoor clubs in your area. Here, you can learn directly from seasoned outdoor enthusiasts and see how the pros actually do it. And the good news is that you don’t have to worry that you are uninformed on what you should bring and what to expect from the trail. These outdoor clubs will do all the research for you and cut the entire preparation in half.
9. Try Simpler Outdoor Activities
Are you planning to climb Mount Everest? Of course, you just can’t decide to go to the Himalayas, get some Sherpa guide and conquer the summit. Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But if you are planning to go outdoors, it is a good idea that you start small. If the planned camping trip involves a 4 hour hike going up, why not start finding an easier outdoor spot where you can train and get used to the outdoor activities?
Acclimatize your body to what you are going to expect. If you are going in high elevation, keep in mind that the air is going to be thin, not to mention the hike going there can be a bit challenging. A couple of outdoor trips may still not make you fit for zombie apocalypse, but this can help in preventing injuries and other mishaps from happening.
It is always a good idea to aim for the biggest challenges, but let’s admit that it can be a stupid idea especially without any prior experience. Over the years, a lot of people experienced getting injured or faced fatal accidents doing outdoor activities for the reason that they have no clue of what they are doing.
Now, let’s remember that the goal here is to survive the outdoors and not be dead or become lunch. Trying easier outdoor routes can make a huge difference on how you react. You can mimic not only the possible problems that you are getting, but you can even expose yourself and see what you need to work on. Is your tent too hard to set up? Or perhaps, your sleeping bag isn’t really what it was advertised.
Here, you will also have the chance to evaluate your footwear if it has the ability to meet the demands of an outdoor activity. Footwear plays a major role in your trip. Can you imagine your hiking boots turning out to be completely inappropriate for the trip you are going to make? It is always a good idea to learn it early on when the trail isn’t that hard yet.
Depending on the mountain you are about to hike, or conditions that you are about to face, you may want to try camping outdoors for a number of times first. It is safe that you try hiking or doing outdoor activities two to three times first. Also, it is a smart move to get the help of friends and individuals who are more experienced than you in exploring the outdoors. Here, you’ll be able to learn from their experience and eventually learn to anticipate problems that might appear along the way.
It is common that you’ll feel frustrated and confused when you try going outdoors. It isn’t always a pleasant hike. Keep in mind that being exposed to the elements can be difficult sometimes. On the bright side, it is always a good idea that you start doing some easy outdoor activities first before you go all-out on a difficult trail.
To get the most out of easier routes, take note of your progress and possible adjustments that you can make along the way. This ensures that you have an easier time on future outdoor activities.
10. Learn a few outdoor tricks
When going outdoors, always keep in mind that you are on your own. Going outdoors, there is always the possibility of experiencing the worst case scenarios. These worst case scenarios can get you injured, or worse, leave you dead. Now, let’s avoid these things from happening.
Remember is that your supplies and tools are the things that you will have to rely on. It is your ability to adapt to the environment which can make a huge difference.
Civilization might even be a few hours away, and there’s no way that you can get what you need such as food, unless you have the ability to hunt. This reality can be a bit daunting especially for people who grew up using modern technologies and conveniences.
Though we are not suggesting that you channel your inner hunter gatherer self, it is a good idea that you learn as many tricks possible that can come in handy during your camping trip. For instance, do you have tricks that can maximize your Swiss knife? Can you even open a can manually? These are simple tricks that can go a long way.
An important skill you will need to acquire is to learn exactly how to set up your temporary shelter. You want to know exactly how to set up your tent. There are many products in the market wherein their tents are somewhat complicated. If you plan on going for a hike, might as well practice in your backyard how to set things up.
Also, how exactly are you going to cook outdoors? A lot of times, there are areas wherein bonfires are prohibited since this can possibly be the cause of forest fires. For these scenarios, you will need portable cooking equipment. Now, not everyone is knowledgeable on how to operate these things. You also want to have a dry run on how to operate butane outdoor cooking kit, just to be sure that you are not eating your food cold.
Aside from shelter and food, you also want to make sure that you learn other outdoor tricks such as using a compass or a map. This way, you will still be able to find your way back without or without a trail.
And also, it is important that you know how to take cues from Mother Nature. Identifying when the weather is going to be bad is also a skill that you need to learn. Just by looking at the sky, there are cues that can allow you to anticipate and identify the weather in the coming hours.
YouTube can teach you a thing or two about surviving the outdoors. These tutorials can help give you an idea on how to lessen both stress and anxiety whenever you decide to expose yourself in the presence of Mother Nature.
The outdoors isn’t a joke. Regardless if you are finding Big Foot, or planning a family trip, it helps that you are prepared. Unfortunately, a lot of people have no idea what to expect from Mother Nature. With these tips, hopefully, you get the best experience without losing a limb in the process.