COVID-19 travel restrictions and social distancing measures have made it much harder to plan any fun trip with family and friends. We’re all tired of staying indoors and need a break from the monotony. You are not alone if you are frustrated by the lack of options when it comes to traveling abroad. You may not be able to spend your vacations in an exotic country, but planning a camping trip can provide an equally fun escape from the stress of everyday life.
While indoor gatherings are not recommended, outdoor activities are considered much safer. Camping allows you to breathe fresh air and relax in nature, which is much more than just a leisurely activity. Spending time in open spaces is great for your health too.
If you are eager to go on a camping trip, just remember it’s always best to plan. Camping is one of those things that need a bit of planning. To make it easy for you, we have gathered a list of things to keep in mind when you’re planning a camping trip this summer.
Find a Campsite You Like and Make a Reservation
Countryside or state park? Thick green forest or sandy desert? Far away or nearby? Before you begin any camping adventure, you will have to decide on a campground. Depending on where you live, there are so many options to choose from.
Do a quick research of camping grounds near and far away. Make a list and then decide what kind of landscape you want in the background of your campsite and if you are happy to make a long trip there. If not, there is always a place to explore nearby.
Given the increasing popularity of camping since the pandemic hit, it’s become even more important to make reservations. Many camping spots are allowing only a limited number of people for the sake of social distancing.
Once you have shortlisted a few campsites, collect availability information. If there is a need to make a reservation, then do so well before your visit. Keep monitoring your chosen location until the day you begin your trip to the camping ground to avoid any last-minute cancellations.
You should check the available facilities at your selected campsite and pack some essentials with you accordingly. Some campsite facilities that might be important for you include:
- A restroom nearby
- Accommodation such as trailers, cabins, or camps
- Grocery stores or places to eat nearby
- Availability of BBQ pits
- Activities for kids
There are many items that you can add to your camping gear. However, it is better to keep it simple, especially if you are new to camping. Some of the camping gears you should have when going on a camping trip are:
Tent – Tent camping is the most common type of camping that most people picture when they think about camping. If you are going to an open space and intend to stay the night, it’s best to carry a tent.
If you reach the campsite by car, then the weight won’t matter. But if you hike to the campsite, then make sure to carry a lightweight tent. If you’re a newbie, set up your tent at home for practice.
- Camping chair – While sitting on the ground might seem to be the authentic camping experience, having chairs to sit on raises the comfort level quite a bit. There are many designs of foldable, lightweight, and affordable chairs available.
- Sleeping bag – It is important to keep an appropriate sleeping bag to sleep on inside your tent. Some things to consider when buying a sleeping bag include size, weather, and insulation needed. Some bags are designed for use in all weathers, while some are made to keep you warm in colder climates.
Lighting – Lighting makes it easy and safe to navigate at night, especially if you’ve chosen a primitive campsite or an isolated spot. You can carry torch lights and headlamps as well. Some decorative lighting can be added to enhance the ambiance of your camping trip.
Setting up a bonfire can also light up the place and improve your camping experience, especially if it’s a cold night in the desert. Make sure to check with the local authorities if it is allowed to have a bonfire. Then stock up on fire logs, twigs, newspapers, liquid fuel, and matchsticks.
Foods and drinks
Good food has to be the soul of every camping trip. All the activities surrounding a camping trip make you hungry, and a hearty meal prepared freshly can greatly improve the experience for everyone involved.
You can choose to have a BBQ for which you will need all the necessary equipment. Dutch oven cooking on a portable stove is also another convenient option. Some of the items usually needed for cooking during camping are:
- Grill or stove
- Folding table for preparing food
- Food storage: coolers and ice
- Cooking utensils such as spatulas, knife, cutting board, whisk, and others
- Pots and pans like a Dutch oven
- Disposable plates, bowls, cups, spoons
- Ingredients to make quick snacks like peanut butter sandwiches, jam, etc.
Some people love spending time in the campground to enjoy the beauty of nature away from the hustle of daily life. For others, camping is about seeking other adventurous activities, like rock climbing, hiking, kayaking, or mountain biking.
If adventurous activities are important for you, choose a campsite to have access to such activities. For instance, you can look for campgrounds located next to hiking trails or near the river for boating.
Some things you could take along with you for pastime activities could be badminton rackets, Frisbee, balls, card games, speakers for music, books for reading, etc.
Safety and Protection
Going into the wilderness, you must keep yourself safe. Some of the things to ensure your safety on the campsite include:
- First Aid Kit – You must be prepared for any minor injuries that might occur since you will be roaming around in the wild. It is always better to be keen on any mishaps.
- Sunblock – In all the excitement of camping, don’t forget to carry sunblock with you to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
- OTC Medicine – Since there may not be any pharmacies nearby, you should carry a few painkillers or medicines for stomach disturbances – in case your stomach is upset from all the snacks and food you consume while camping.
- Bug repellent – There are many creams and sprays available on the market that can protect you from mosquitoes and insect bites while you’re camping outdoors.
Many of us have fond memories of camping with family and friends, and in times of a global health crisis, camping remains an adventurous option for planning a short trip. Camping provides a fun opportunity to spend time in the open air and take in the beauty of nature.
Spending time outdoors is an antidote for stress, and studies indicate that it can potentially elevate mood and improve health by boosting the immune system. So go ahead and plan your camping trip for a much-needed break from the monotony of life.