tentAs summer is almost here, you may be planning some camping trips…having been on several camping trips myself, I thought of sharing tips and ideas to make your camping experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible…

  •  Find out ahead of time if there is a fire ban or not. If you’re picking between two different camping areas and one has a fire ban, then you’ll probably want to go to the other. How else will you be able to cook s’mores and sing campfire songs?
  • Find out if you’re allowed to bring firewood from home. Some don’t let you bring wood that’s not locally grown, and bringing it from another state would be a definite no-no.
  • Have two methods of cooking available. If your propane tank becomes inexplicably empty, you can still cook on the open fire.
  •  Carry a spare propane tank.
  • Get reservations ahead of time. It’s a long way home if you were hoping there’d be an open spot at the popular campground on a holiday weekend.
  • Always have spare batteries for your flashlights and other small gadgets.
  • Remember your phone charger. Reception may not be good, but you shouldn’t have to go too far to make a call if there’s an emergency.
  • Bug spray is a necessity. Don’t count on the smoke from the fire to save you at night when the bugs come out. Many of them will brave the smoke to get a taste of you.
  • Bring a spare roll of toilet paper because you never know when it might come in handy.
  • Don’t assume matches or a lighter are stowed with your camping gear. Hand-carry these with you each time.
  • Pay attention to check in and check out times. If you don’t leave when you’re supposed to, you could be charged for another day. Or you could have the next camper coming in waiting impatiently for you to leave.
  • It always takes longer to break camp than you think it will.
  •  bearIf in bear country, always change out of your day clothes before you go to bed. You probably have food odors and maybe even food stains on your clothing, which can attract bears.
  • Also in deference to bears, lock your food in your car with windows shut tight and the food and coolers covered. You don’t want a bear seeing what’s inside your car and make an attempt to get at it.They know what a cooler is.
  • Don’t leave the back hatch of your car open all day or you’ll kill the car’s battery. Take everything you need out of it in the morning and close it back up.
  • Kids who only know how to electronically entertain themselves at home might need a little help getting started in the great outdoors from you. Play Frisbee, flag football, or an impromptu softball game. Set up an obstacle course or send them on a scavenger hunt.

Camping is a lot of fun, especially if you listen to advice from experienced campers. Hopefully you won’t make the same mistakes they did when they started roughing it outdoors!

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