When Camping Goes Wrong

raccoonIt’s rare for something to come out of left field and ruin your camping trip. Usually, if you are prepared, aware, and somewhat responsible, you will have an enjoyable camping experience. Sure, there’s always the chance of some unforeseeable freak occurrence could happen. Maybe a tiger escaped from the zoo in the middle the night, and it interrupts your campout. There’s nothing you can do about that. But more often than not, horror stories of when camping goes wrong stem from forgetfulness. Here are some things you should always keep in mind to make sure that your camping trip goes well.

Be prepared for stormy weather

First and foremost, check the weather before you go camping. This helps prevent surprises. If there’s even a chance of rain, prepare for rain. Bring your rain fly, tent footprint, and a tarp just in case. Also have plans for what to do if it starts raining while camping. How will you start a fire? Are you going to wait it out in the tent? How will you pass the time? These are all things to consider.

Don’t leave food out

This prevents food-borne illness, but it also prevents animals from inviting themselves to your campsite. An army of raccoons raiding your campsite, or a bear wandering into your tent are not freak accidents if you leave a bag of Doritos and a pot of honey sitting out overnight. Properly store food, especially in areas with bears and other active wildlife.

Practice good fire safety while camping

  • If there’s a burn ban, don’t start a fire.
  • Only build fires in designated fire pits or rock rings.
  • Make sure that fires are out completely before bed and before leaving your campsite.
  • Never build fires under low-hanging trees or coverings.
  • Don’t keep extra firewood too close to your campfire.
  • Never leave campfires unattended.
  • Don’t let your campfire get out of control.
  • Always have water on hand.

Understand what temperatures really feel like

You checked the forecast and saw a low of 55 degrees. While 55 degrees can feel downright pleasant while you’re hiking in the sun, it can be frigid in the middle of the night. Make sure you bring enough insulation and warm clothing to be comfortable.

Stake your tent down and secure your items

A strong gust of wind can turn your entire campsite upside down. Make sure you don’t lose your tent – or any of your belongings – and make sure your items are secure.

Don’t forget the toilet paper

Toilet paper is easy to forget. Don’t assume that there will be a toilet with a stockpile of toilet paper at your campground. Even campgrounds with facilities might be out of toilet paper, leaving you in a predicament. And of course, more primitive campsites will lead to “the sock of shame”, “the disposable bandana”, and “now I know what poison ivy looks like”.

Make a checklist

You will inevitably forget a can opener, a lighter, eating utensils, or some other easy to forget and necessary item. A checklist is the best way to make sure that you have everything you need on your camping trip.

Here’s how to keep camping from going wrong

They keys to having a good camping trip are:

  • Make sure you’re prepared
  • Be aware of your environment
  • Be responsible for your belongings and your campsite

Stop by and see us before your next camping trip. We have everything you need for a weekend car camping trip or a week-long backpacking excursion.

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