It is not just Eagle Scouts who make the most of camping trips. Hundreds and thousands of people go camping every year just to sleep under the stars, or in a tent away from the urban noise and the routine that comes with it.
If you have been invited for an overnight camping adventure or need to plan one, fortunately for you, you have landed just at the right place.
Check out these 11 things to remember when you are prepping for your trip.
1. Numbers Help
It helps when you plan your trip as a group, this way you have more input on what place to go to and who is responsible for bringing what equipment. It is always a bad idea to take up the burden of planning all by yourself. There might be others who are just as much or even more experienced than you when it comes to venturing into the outdoors. Their input and feedback on your initial plan are super valuable. Plus, you don’t want to mentally picture every step and turn of the trip, let others lead the way too sometimes.
The compass and map may be the two necessary items that you need for your navigation, but they are not the only ones, you could do with a GPS tracker and a wrist altimeter. Make sure that you opt for a topographic map which will allow you to know nature trails and short paths. Remember, even a tiny GPS tracker is an excellent precautionary tool.
Get yourself a sighting mirror to aim reflected light flashes with pinpoint accuracy in case you are lost, and there is an aerial search party making rounds. With an altimeter, you will be able to tell how high you have progressed and even help you pinpoint your location on the topographical map.
3. Always Check the Weather
Make sure that you check the forecast before putting the finishing touches on your trip preparations. You do not want to be the person who was stuck under the pouring rain for the entire weekend, where instead of having a good time, you regret planning an overnight camping trip in the first place.
4. No Such Thing as Enough Water
You always need backup water, even if you are very sure that the place you are going to has fountains or a water source. Your primary water necessities should include a reusable bottle that you fill to the brim, but apart from this you also need 2 full bottles with a filtration kit, in case you need that water to refill for drinking, or for cooking. Most people camp near their vehicle for the first night, during that just keep a water cooler with you.
5. Minimize Your Eco-Footprint
Make sure that you pick everything back up before you leave, an easy way to do this is to play the game Leave no Trace, and you will catch on how to do it correctly. Also, bring along an extra trash bag to collect everything you came with, especially your trash.
6. The main items
Go for Green and thoughtful options when it comes to camping essentials including the reliable bell tent. Get a multi-purpose washing liquid, lots of wilderness washes help you clean dishes, clothes, and yourself. And the best part is that they are all biodegradable. Before you finalize what washing liquid to take with you, go find a good one, preferably one that doesn’t say that you have to use the liquid at least a few hundred meters from any waterways.
7. Medicine and First Aid
There is nothing that can topple the entire trip than the possibility of getting sick, or an injury that you can do nothing about, or an accident that puts the entire camping experience to a halt. Make a rule to definitely pack a well-stocked first aid kit with surgical dressings, antibiotic cream(s), pain relief medication, anti-diarrhea medicine, antihistamine for allergic reactions and a hand sanitizer.
Other useful items to consider include sunburn relief ointment or spray, sunscreen, burn ointment, tweezers, scissors, safety pins, and knife.
8. Tell Someone Who Isn’t Going With You
After you are finally done prepping, write down the entire plan on a piece of paper and leave it with someone who is not going to participate in the overnight camping trip with you. If anything should happen, this person can inform the authorities about what camps you planned to stay at, what was your route, and what days you were supposed to be ‘out’ on the trip. This tactic is an excellent backup plan and has known to help cut down search time for people by days.
9. Take Extra Clothes
Even if you decide to stay for only one night, it is a good idea to take changes of underwear and socks with you. This is so that in case you fall in the water, or it starts raining, you have dry clothes to wear. It is also essential that you choose the right footwear.
Ideally, you should wear insulated, waterproof boots as these are perfect for all rain, snow and warm summers. If you are going in winters, do not forget your essential thermals.
Stock up on waterproof matches, if you cannot get a hold of them don’t worry just store them in a waterproof box. Avoid matchbooks which are not constructed for use in the wilderness even though you may be tempted to take those because of their handy nature. Mechanical lighters should be your first options, but matches are plan B and are needed more than people anticipate.
11. Decide on the Food Beforehand
When you are planning out the food that you are going to eat during the trip, it makes it easier to divide responsibilities. You want one person to be responsible for getting items like buns and condiments, one to take care of freeze dried food that you can prepare in sealed bags so that you just have to drop them in boiling water to cook. On that note, it is vital that everyone brings their own little pot to boil water whenever they need it for themselves. This also means the heat source you take with you, should be good enough for everyone.
There you have it. 11 things to streamline your camping trip planning and keep it hassle-free. There are plenty of reasons to plan a good old-fashioned camping trip from adventure to stress relief. What are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy!