Some people believe that camping has to be rugged, uncomfortable and should help to build character. But unless you are training to join the armed forces or you are looking for a challenge, camping shouldn’t be about surviving misery. It should be an opportunity to recharge, relax, connect with nature, and have fun. With the right planning, a camping trip can be highly beneficial to your physical and mental health. So, how can you make your summer camping trip more enjoyable and turn it into a fun-filled adventure? Here are some tips.
Identify a Good Campsite
Choosing the wrong campsite can quickly turn your camping into a frustrating and boring experience. Therefore, if you want to have an enjoyable camping trip, picking the right spot should be a priority. Ideally, you should pick your camping spot depending on what you will be doing during your trip. For instance, if you are planning an educational and fun experience for your children, then you should opt for state or national parks. Most of these parks have visitor centers, featuring exhibitions and museums. They also provide guided tours around the park, which will keep everyone entertained throughout the day. Also, they usually have well-developed and established campsites, with decent bathrooms, trash service, as well as running water. The presence of these amenities will save you plenty of time and effort during your trip.
On the other hand, you are planning a get-together or a bonding session with your friends, then you should choose a campsite that is close to your home. Such a time will save you time and reduce the stress that comes with organizing a trip. By choosing a campsite that is close to everyone, your friends can join any time they want, including those who are non-campers. And if you just want to get away from the city and have a romantic time with your partner, then you should pick a spot that is close to a water body, whether it’s a river or a lake. You can also pick a spot based on sunrise or sunset views. It should also have shade and trees that you can use to set up a hammock. Also, your preferred spot should be away from other campers.
It’s important to note that the best campgrounds around the country fill up fast during the summer. Therefore, you should ensure that you plan and book your campsite early. Also, you need to check whether there are any permits that are required in the area that you intend to go camping. When booking a campground, make sure you read the reviews of other users and check all the photos that have been uploaded. With that information, it will be easy to choose a good campground, which will, in turn, make your trip more enjoyable.
Choose a Decent Shelter
Once you choose the right campsite, you will then need to figure out the shelter that you will use during your camping trip. There are various types of tents to consider for your summer camping trip. Obviously, the one you will choose is hinged on your needs. If you will be camping with your whole family, you will need something that can comfortably accommodate everyone. For instance, you can go for a camping tent that has two separate compartments – one for the parents and the other for the kids. However, you should note some large tents could consume quite a considerable amount of time when setting them up or taking them down.
For backcountry camping, you should choose something compact and lightweight. Apart from space and ease of set up, you should also choose a tent that will fill well on your chosen campsite. If possible, go for one with a large fly, since you can use it to create an entryway where you can store shoes, gear and other accessories. Having lesser items inside the tent translates to better circulation and less dirt. A tent with a double door is great too. In short, your shelter system should be spacious enough to accommodate all the occupants, easy to set up and well equipped with plenty of convenience features such as a tarp, a gear loft, a bug net, and a rainfly. It also needs to be lightweight, well ventilated, and as comfortable as possible.
Create a Cozy Sleep System
Most people carry sleeping bags whenever they are going on a camping trip. However, unless you are going for a backpacking trip, you should not use a sleeping bag during your camping trip. Instead, you should select a decent sleep system, which can guarantee an enjoyable and comfortable camping experience. And an air mattress is a good choice. Air mattresses are inflatable sleeping pads, suitable for all types of outdoor camping excursions. Air mattresses provide support, comfort as well as temperature regulation, making them ideal for camping on rough outdoor terrains and conditions. Furthermore, air mattresses are portable and lightweight, since they are easily inflated and deflated.
There are hundreds of air mattresses that you will find on the market, designated as ideal for camping. However, not all air mattresses are built the same. The features and designs vary from model to model and from one brand to the other. But whatever option you choose, make sure you go for a model that is made from eco-friendly PVC. Also, go for a model that comes with a battery-powered pump, since you can carry it anywhere that you want to go. As for the thickness, it’s advisable to choose an air mattress that is at least 10 inches thick.
Also, it should comfortably support your weight and should hold air for a long period, before it requires a refill. It’s also advisable to choose and an air mattress that is equipped with extras like LED lights and USB charging ports. Apart from carrying an air mattress, you should also remember to bring several pillows. With a top-notch air mattress, several soft pillows and you nestled in the middle of it all; you can rest assured that your camping trip will be an enjoyable one.
Prepare Delicious Meals
Cooking food over a campfire is what makes a camping trip unique. After all, you are used to cooking with electricity or gas cookers or ordering foods from fast-food joints. As much as it can sometimes prove to be a challenge, it should not stop you from enjoying delicious meals. Some of the foods that you can prepare during your camping trip include various types of soups, chicken on the bone, Dutch oven pot roast, stir-fry, banana bread pancakes, French toast, sausage egg, and cheese sandwiches, apple, bacon, and cheddar grilled cheese, campfire grilled fish taco and campfire BBQ chicken, just to name a few. All these food ideas are tasty, delicious and easy to prepare.
Whichever meals you choose to cook during your trip, you should modify your recipes in a way that you will only need one pot or two to prepare an entire meal. The same should apply to ingredients. Cooking meals that use common ingredients will reduce the number of items that you will have to carry. A week prior to the camping trip, you should prepare some foods that you intend to cook during your trip. For instance, you can pre-make some tinfoil dinners, chili, tuna salad, and chicken, and then freeze them. Preparing some of the foods prior to the trip will save you time, effort and fuel needed to prepare a large meal, especially when you’ve been hiking the entire day. And the lesser time you will spend preparing and cooking food, the more time you will have to relax and enjoy your new surroundings. This will go a long way in making your camping trip more enjoyable.
Carry Warm Clothing
As much as summer is usually hot and dry, weather conditions are always unpredictable. For example, you may have packed for hot weather, only to encounter some light rain. Furthermore, the evenings are usually cool even during the summer. Therefore, when you’re packing your camping clothing, make sure you throw in some warm pieces. A jacket and a hat will keep you comfortable on those misty mornings when you are enjoying your coffee or as you drink some beer, enjoying the sunset. You should also pack some wool socks, to keep your feet warm and toasty at night. By keeping your body warm, these pieces of clothing will help you to sleep faster and longer, thus helping your mind and body to relax, refresh and rejuvenate.
Whether you will be camping alone, with your family or with a group of friends, there are several ways that you can entertain yourself and have fun. For instance, if you are camping near a river, a lake or a pool, you can go swimming, kayaking, and fishing. If you are swimming in an unknown location, make sure you check the water first, before you jump or dive in. Also, ensure your children are using floatation devices. Some campsites also offer different types of water sports. You can also do some hiking and explore the area. Hiking will help you to exercise, as you enjoy fresh air in the great outdoors. Playing card games and board games will also add fun to your trip, keeping everyone entertained. Other fun activities that you can engage in during your camping trip include geocaching, scavenger hunts, balancing rocks, nature photography, and bird watching, just to name a few.
A summer camping trip is a great opportunity to escape your daily routines, reflect on your life, and deeply relax. It also provides a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with nature and appreciate its beauty. It’s also a fantastic way for friends, families, couples, and colleagues to create incredible memories, forger closer relationships, share unique experiences and just have a great time together. Whether you will be car camping, RV camping or you will simply be setting up your tent out there in the open, the above hacks will help to make your summer camping trip more fun.