With summer right around the corner, it’s time to start planning your great outdoor adventure!
Whether you’re a seasoned camper or you prefer the glamping lifestyle, we’ve got a list of what you
need to prepare for below. June (next month) is both Great Outdoors Month and National Camping
Month, and with the warmer weather, it’s the perfect time to experience what the great outdoors has
to offer. From the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf Coast, this list works for any location of your choosing.
Here are the five things you need to know before you head out for your outdoor venture.
First, you’ll need to find the perfect destination for your camping or glamping trip. Fortunately,
the National Parks Service has you covered with detailed information about America’s 400+ national
parks. You could also lookup campsites at local and state parks if you want to stay closer to home.
Keep in mind that many parks require reservations in advance, while some can be on a first-come,
first-serve basis. Be sure to read up on the details, rules, and fees of each campsite. Here’s a helpful
guide about finding and setting up your campsite.
If you’re camping in a tent, there are many tents to choose from. Make sure to choose a tent
that has enough sleeping capacity for the total number of campers, and that is well-suited for the
climate. Some tents come with interior pockets and loops to hang lanterns and gear, extra
ventilation panels (ideal for hot climates), and multiple entrances (to maximize space). Don’t want
to invest in a tent until you know whether camping will be a regular activity? Some stores and even
parks will rent tents, along with other gear like sleeping bags, hiking gear, camp stoves, and more!
Think Safety First
The great outdoors has a wild side. You’ll need to be prepared for anything. You’ll need bug
spray for those pesky bug bites, sunscreen, and a well-stocked first aid kit – including items such as
over-the-counter pain relievers, antacids, and allergy and cold medicines. You will also need multiple
flashlights, fire-starters, warm clothes, band-aids, ice packs, and more. It’s important to be
overprepared in case of an injury or weather changes. Also, be aware of the types of wild animals
that live in the location you choose to camp. For example, if there are black bears near your
campsite, you’ll want to lock up all food in your car at night to not entice them to come sniffing
around during their dinnertime.
Plan Your Campfire Cuisine
One cardinal rule of camping is this: Only Yogi Bear is allowed to steal picnic baskets. Be sure to
pack more food than you think you’ll need, because outdoor activities, and sometimes just
being in the outdoors, tends to ramp up appetites. If it’s your first time cooking outdoors, you
can keep it simple. You can choose from sandwiches, canned soups or pasta, or the classic:
hotdogs (vegan if you prefer) roasted over the fire. You should also bring snacks that require
little preparation, such as granola bars, trail mix, and protein bars. Also, make sure to bring
PLENTY of water. You will need to stay hydrated.
Pack Your Sense of Humor
Camping (or glamping) is a wonderful life experience and one that you shouldn’t miss out on.
Your summer adventure will bring wonderful memories with your family and friends! There will
be funny stories to recall as well – from getting caught in a rainstorm, or your hotdog falling into
the fire – so you decided to skip straight to dessert and roast some s’mores.
Just remember to be overly prepared for a good time – and have fun this summer!