Whether you prefer to rough it or do it in style, camping can be a fun and simple way of escaping from work and other stressors in your life. June is National Camping Month and the best time to schedule and plan your next outdoor getaway. Before you pack your car with a tent, sleeping bags and ingredients for s’mores, read these tips to help you have the best experience.
Set up your tent beforehand.
If this is your first time camping or with a new tent, it’s important to set it up at your home before you reach your campsite. Practicing the setup a few times will allow you to speed up the process when you’re out in nature. This is important if you’re nearing nighttime and running out of daylight.
Choose a campsite ahead of time.
Selecting your campsite before arriving can eliminate some unneeded stress by already knowing what to expect before arriving. This also helps you know how much space you will have for your tent and other items you plan to use while camping. Most campsites should have maps you can view on their website. In addition, reading campground reviews can help you choose which is best for you and your family.
Make campfire-friendly meals at home.
Part of the fun of camping is cooking food over an open fire. While you may enjoy just eating hot dogs and baked beans, your camping buddies may think differently. Prepare fire-friendly meals ahead of time like chicken/steak kabobs, breakfast burritos, soup/stew and more. For recipe help, visit here.
Pack extra blankets and padding.
Although you’re away from your bed, it doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable when sleeping. Packing extra padding to sleep on will ensure you get a quality night’s sleep and stay warm on the cold ground. Sleeping pads, air mattresses and blankets are effective ways to sleep comfortably. It’s also not fun to get cold while sleeping in a tent, so the extra blankets will keep you and your family warm under the stars.
Prepare for weather changes.
Weather in the Midwest can be unpredictable and change in a matter of minutes, especially in the summer. Before leaving your home, check the forecast. If rain is predicted, waterproof your tent by spraying a can of silicone sealant from top to bottom, even the zippers! Having a tarp on hand can help keep the rest of your campsite dry.
The most important thing to remember when camping is to have fun, relax and make memories with your loved ones. Things may not go as planned, but that’s OK. And before heading home, clean your campsite and leave it as you found it.
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