Summer camping is one of those things you either love or hate, but don’t give up on it until you do it the right way. Taking time to reconnect with family and nature, sleeping underneath a starry sky, taking a refreshing dip in a cool mountain lake, or waking up to the sound of ocean waves is well-worth fighting the bugs, heat, and other elements.
Here’s how you can enjoy a fun camping trip this summer:
Pitch or Park in a Good Location
Whether you are tent or RV camping, a successful experience begins with the right location. Think of the activities you and your family enjoy and plan accordingly. Do you want to lounge on a sandy beach? Go hiking for stunning views?
In most places, camping is more popular in the summer, so avoid disappointment and frustration by booking ahead, especially if you will be RV camping. If you want to avoid crowds, consider primitive or dispersed camping. Many state and national parks have plenty of free dispersed camping.
Find a Spot to Beat the Heat
The summer heat can make basic camping activities more challenging. Set up your tent in the cool of the evening so that you won’t get exhausted from doing it in the heat, and your tent won’t have a chance to bake all day in the sun. Pick the shadiest spot you can find to set up camp. If you are RV camping, pick a site facing east or north for shade in the evenings and warmth in the mornings.
Pack the Right Gear
For the best summer camping experience, consider more gear than just the basics. For example, take along a few tarps. They can be used as ground cover or for protection from the sun and summer pop-up showers.
Extras like a table, a collapsible crate, and a collapsible closet organiser can make your camping trip surprisingly more comfortable. Get creative. Collapsible camping tables are great for dining and activities like playing cards or board games. Collapsible crates can be used for storing stuff in your vehicle. As you use items, you’ll gain back space, and a hanging closet organiser can be used for keeping items like kitchen stuff handy.
Rethink Your Ice Chest
Instead of filling your ice chest with chunks of ice, fill it with pre-frozen bottles of water. Keep chunk or crushed ice in plastic zip-lock bags for drinks. The frozen water bottles will help keep water out of the ice chest, and they can be thawed out for cold drinking water. As for perishable foods like meat and eggs, you’ll learn quickly that they aren’t packaged at the grocery store with camping in mind. It’s best to repackage the food you want to take in other easy-to-store containers.
Pack the Right Gear for Hiking
For most people, camping and hiking go together like peas and carrots. Don’t forget hiking essentials like good shoes, a hiking backpack with a water bladder, a first aid kit, and a multitool.
If you plan to do some serious hiking, don’t be one of the thousands that get lost in the wilderness. With modern technology like satellite GPS, there is no excuse. For an all-in-one hiking tool, consider an outdoor G-Shock watch. These rugged watches aren’t costly at all, and they come with great features like digital compasses, altimeters, barometers, and thermometers.
Know Your Surroundings
Knowing your surroundings means being informed about the location and includes watching the weather. Gather as much information about your camping destination as you can beforehand. Are campground hosts available for information and advice? How far is it between gas stations? What services are available in the area?
Pack Clothing For a Variety of Conditions
The best way to stay comfortable on a summer camping trip is to pack clothing for layering. Temperatures in arid climates can be hot during the day and drop drastically at night. Even in tropical climates or by the sea, early mornings can be significantly chillier. Dressing in layers allows you to remove or add clothing as needed.
Sunblock and Bug Spray
Last but certainly not least, don’t forget summer essentials, such as sunscreen and insect repellent. Pack them along with your emergency items. Choose a sunscreen with an SFP of 30 or higher. If you are fair-skinned, add sunblock to the list. Kids will be better protected with sunblock. If you’re concerned about the chemicals in bug spray, find out how to make DIY insect repellent with natural ingredients like lemon eucalyptus oil, lavender, and cinnamon oil.