Have you ever gotten a tip that saved you hours of time & frustration? These camping tips were compiled to hopefully do just that. Some may seem like common sense while others may help you pack or stay safe. If you have a tip that could help others, please use the contact us form below, and I’ll update these pages with your ideas and tips.
Because everyone’s trip is unique, the tips were divided by category to help you locate the ideas that can help you the most. These pages are continually added to and refined based on lessons learned and input from people like you, so please check back often. These tips can help you look like a pro from tent set-up to mealtime ideas. I hope that they help make your outdoor getaway that much more fun!
Many first-time campers set up the tent for the first time in the woods. This can be a frustrating place to get acquainted with your new tent. Another eye-opener for new campers is that a 6-man tent sleeps 4 comfortably or 6 adults hip-bone to hip-bone! Depending who you are sharing a tent with this could be less than fun ;-). Some tents also recommend that you waterproof the seams prior to using it which might just come in handy if you encounter a rainy day. Check out the tent tips page for ideas on how to get the right tent set up with the right tools. Most tents are easy to assemble and use, but a little practice before the trip is worth the time and effort.
Depending on how much car space you have and how much you have to lug in the woods yourself, smart packing can make your trip a bit more enjoyable. At campsites that allow a vehicle, it’s easy to unload a cooler, charcoal, and other heavy items. At sites that are a few miles in the woods, these items are no fun to carry. Another consideration is how to pack your personal items, such as clothing and toiletries. I personally like using zip-lock bags which assures that I have a nice pair of dry socks and underwear for the next day…even if my backpack falls in the creek! If you’re camping with kids, it’s also a good idea to give them some share of the load. We like using their school backpacks and giving them their water bottle, clothes, and snacks to carry. As our boys got a little older, we eventually would even strap their sleeping bags on their packs, as well. If you pack the items ahead of time by backpack, it’s much more manageable when you get into the woods. See the packing tips page for more ideas.
Where you put your tent and how you set it up can have a decent impact on the fun of your trip. For example, an area with a slight slope may not seem like a big deal…until you wake up at 2:00 am to find that the whole family has slid to your side of the tent! Or what about the small root that seemed harmless, yet felt like a boulder as you tried to sleep. In placing your tent, you’ll want to consider these things along with the lay of the land. Ask yourself questions like which way will the water run if it rains? Or when the sun rises at 5:30 am which side of the tent will it shine in on? Another idea that we adopted over the years was the use of a tarp to provide a lean to rain shelter for our table, chairs and tent entrance. Breakfast is more fun when you don’t have to sit on the cool morning dew ;-). Check out the campsite set-up tips page for more ideas.
First let me say that I’m no chef. Most of these tips have come from my wife’s creativity or things that I learned in the military. But it’s amazing how a nice meal or treat around the campfire is what everyone will remember about the trip. Items like long cooking forks are worth packing, as they can cook hot dogs, marshmallows, and even toast bread. Camping stoves come in all shapes and sizes and they can be a nice thing to have to boil water for pasta, coffee, or stew. Tin foil is another item that can really help with cooking things like fish fillets, corn on the cob, garlic bread, and other treats. Camping meals can be fun feasts! Check out the campfire cooking tips & camping recipes page for more meal ideas.
If you’re going outdoors when the temperatures may dip below 40 degrees F, there are some other considerations to think about. Should you bring a tent heater? Is your sleeping bag sufficient? What clothes should you pack? And what are some ways to minimize the effects of the cold? One of the hardest things to do on a winter camping trip is to stick that first toe out of the sleeping bag in the morning. One of my favorite camping tips is to put your next day’s skivvies and socks in the sleeping bag with you! This way they’re nice and warm; you can change in the privacy of your own sleeping bag; and that morning chill is a bit less harsh. If your next trip is with Old Man Winter…check out the cold weather camping tips page.
I hope these camping tip pages help you in your planning and enjoyment of your trip. If you have a camping tip to add, please fill out the form below and we'll share your ideas. Thanks!
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