When one feels like stepping away from it all and getting some perspective, camping is one of the alternative escapes that comes into the mind of the modern person. The chance to sleep outdoors, conquering the wilderness as your own, is an aspiration that may have subsisted since childhood. From school requirements to family vacations, camping has been a mainstay of our culture. Camping does not have to be as tiring as going backpacking and sleeping in the woods, roughing it at every opportunity. A family can just take their SUV with camper in tow to the nearest camping grounds. This way, you can have all the comforts of home while eating marshmallows around a fire. However you prefer your camping trip to go, a degree of preparation will do you some good.
Before leaving for the great outdoors, a weather check is in order. No matter how well prepared you are, there is no way you should be out camping in the middle of a raging storm. Even if the weather guy foresees clear skies however, you will still need basic weather protection just in case. Jackets and rain ponchos are must haves. Your tent ought to also be waterproof. Speaking of which, one must practice putting up the tent at home, so you can set up quickly in case the weather takes a turn for the worse. Sleeping bags are of utter importance as well, because the right one can protect you against the onslaught of the elements. There are synthetic bags that can protect you against below zero temperatures, but if you want to go light, using down filled bags is the way to go. Down bags are best against extreme cold and can go as light as two pounds, perfect for family trips and backpacking.
Even if you have your trusty cell phone, coverage areas are not as trustworthy. In case of medical emergencies, a first aid kit is essential. Alcohol, gauze pads, antiseptics, sting and rash lotion, bandages and even a snake bite kit will help against most situations. Medicine that helps against allergies, the flu, fever, and body aches can also go a long way. Sun block is also very important. Aside from melanoma protection, you wouldn’t want to suffer a sunburn on vacation. You also wouldn’t want to be scratching yourself all over, so anti-itch and bug lotions are a must have.
If backpacking is a part of the itinerary, physical fitness is important. Core, leg, and shoulder training are essential to avoid hurting yourself. Packing light will also help as this will keep you nimble and hence less prone to injury. Properly distributing the weight of your pack will also help with balance, comfort, and avoidance of blisters. This is also where a lightweight sleeping bag comes in handy. Maps and compasses are also handy for getting you home.
Easy to prepare food is best on camping trips. Sandwiches are great for these trips, as well as healthy snacks. Energy bars also provide a good source of sustenance in case of emergencies. Speaking of which, you wouldn’t want to create a crisis by drinking river water. Bottled water or a water purifier is very important, as water in the wild can contain bacteria, making it a health risk.
Your source of nutrients, though, can also pose unnecessary risk if not stored properly. Keeping food in higher ground and in air tight containers will keep wild animals from sniffing around. Proper trash disposal will also help against these critters, and keep the environment clean. It’s all about being green these days.