Camping 101
Technology is an amazing thing, letting us live lives of comfort and keep in contact with friends and family all over the globe.  The downside is it is very easy to find yourself isolated from people who are near to you and out of touch with yourself.  Camping is a great way to connect with friends and family and to give yourself a break from the LCD glow that surrounds us even while we sleep.  

One of the great things about camping is that it is something that you can tailor to suit almost every taste.  If you just want a change of scenery, you can go with very comfortable, well appointed campers and travel trailers.  If you want something a little more traditional but still want the comfort of a hot shower, many campgrounds offer modern amenities.  If you want to go totally rustic you find places suited for that as well, right down to simply stating out a spot in a State Forest and having to purify water and forage for food.  Regardless of how you choose to camp, there are a few tips that are almost always useful.
Preparation – nothing spoils a trip faster than finding out you forgot something important.  We like to keep our gear packed and ready to go at a moment’s notice.  Every time we return from a trip, everything is taken out, cleaned and repacked.  Depending on the style that you choose, make sure that you have a supply of the basics, stowed away to keep them protected.  
Another great way to simplify your trip is to prepare your meals ahead of time as much as possible.  Chop veggies and potatoes ahead of time, you save on time and space.  If you plan your meals ahead of time, you can freeze the meats you won’t use right away.  They will help keep the rest of your food cold and reduce your chance of food borne illness by staying cold longer.
Planning – do some scouting on where you would like to camp.  Many popular campgrounds are booked months in advance, especially on holiday weekends.  Make sure you pick a location with activities that your group will enjoy.  Besides the obvious things like hiking or fishing, camping can be a fun way to closer to popular attractions or save money on a long road trip.
Most campgrounds have maps online, look and see how close the campsites are together.  If a campground is packed in tight and very crowded, you may end up wishing you’d have stayed home if you are looking for a little solitude.  Look at the services available at a particular site.  If a site has large spots for RVs or campers, but no electric hookups, you may end up next to someone who is running a generator, which will spoil your ambiance. 
Prevention – campgrounds attract animals and they are much cleverer than you think about getting into your stuff.  If you are backpacking, if you keep your site clean and if you aren’t in a spot that is camped at a lot, a simple food cache will usually be enough.  Keep your food in a separate bag, tie a long length of rope to it and hang it from a tree branch large enough to support it and keep a bear from pushing it over, but small enough that it can’t be climbed.  
If you are in a campground and near your vehicle, simply put your food back into your vehicle and roll up the window.  Keeping strong smelling food in a Ziploc bag can also help avoid having your meals destroyed.  DO NOT put your food in your tent, not only will you have your food eaten, you will also very likely have your tents and sleeping bags destroyed as well.
Camping is one of our family’s favorite activities and properly planned it is extremely enjoyable.  If you don’t plan, however, it can be a miserable experience that can spoil it for a lifetime.  The time spent away from the rush of everyday life is the perfect way to bring friends and family close together and be an ongoing tradition.

25 Comments on Camping 101 ~ Tips to prepare for a Great Camping Trip

  1. Chrystal Mahan
    September 4, 2014 at 7:28 pm (4 years ago)

    I love camping. I haven't been able to do it in such a long time. Maybe if there was a super fabulous awesome air mattress out there. Otherwise camping is just to painful for me with the degenerative disc disease and arthritis. Boo.

  2. Carly
    September 4, 2014 at 8:09 pm (4 years ago)

    Thanks so much for these camping tips! I hope that next year we will be able to go camping for the first time as a family.

  3. Shop with Me Mama
    September 4, 2014 at 8:30 pm (4 years ago)

    Great camping tips! I like to stay in a cabin and have bathroom amenities around me, LOL!

  4. Pam
    September 4, 2014 at 9:41 pm (4 years ago)

    I haven't been camping in forever. I remember how important it was to keep your food out of reach of animals!

  5. Amber
    September 5, 2014 at 12:13 am (4 years ago)

    These are great tips! We used to go camping all the time when I was a kid! I'm hoping to take my son camping for the first time this fall!

  6. Masshole Mommy
    September 5, 2014 at 12:13 am (4 years ago)

    We are not a camping family at all, but these sound like great tips for people who do!

  7. Janel (A Mom's Take)
    September 5, 2014 at 12:27 am (4 years ago)

    Great tips. We love to go camping. Where we camp we used to not be able to get cell service, so it made it feel more like camping. When we do go now I still try and unplug.

  8. jaime
    September 5, 2014 at 12:39 am (4 years ago)

    We took our first camping trip as a family earlier this summer. We definitely learned a few tricks for next time (if there is a next time.)

  9. Stacie @ The Divine Miss Mommy
    September 5, 2014 at 5:40 am (4 years ago)

    These are great tips! Camping can be a blast, unless you aren't prepared. Then it's a total nightmare.

  10. Ben @ Cheap is the new Classy
    September 5, 2014 at 5:43 am (4 years ago)

    Camping is great fun. You just have to make sure you remember everything. It's surprisingly easy to forget things when you're gearing up to go camping.

  11. Dawn
    September 5, 2014 at 5:44 am (4 years ago)

    These are great tips. If I ever go camping, I'll be sure to use them! =D

  12. Christie C
    September 5, 2014 at 1:40 pm (4 years ago)

    My husband keeps trying to get me to go. Thanks for the tips! I might have to rough it 🙂

  13. Lori Gunn
    September 5, 2014 at 2:13 pm (4 years ago)

    New Scout moms and leaders will love this list! What wonderful ways to prepare for an excellent camping experience.

  14. Jeanine
    September 5, 2014 at 4:59 pm (4 years ago)

    Camping is so fun! I haven't done it
    Since becoming a parent though! I'd love to take my kids!

  15. Ann B
    September 5, 2014 at 5:00 pm (4 years ago)

    We don't camp anymore. I cant take sleeping in a tent . I do like to camp in a RV or at a cottage. These are great tips thanks for sharing.

  16. Lindsey Paris
    September 5, 2014 at 5:46 pm (4 years ago)

    I used to be an ACE camper. I haven't gone in so long that these tips are a perfect refresher.

  17. Krystal Butherus
    September 5, 2014 at 7:45 pm (4 years ago)

    I have seriously never gone camping! I need to try it out once.

  18. Maddi'sMommy
    September 5, 2014 at 9:18 pm (4 years ago)

    We had our first successful camping trip this year and loved it! We can't wait to do it more frequently next year.

  19. The Mommy-Files
    September 5, 2014 at 9:53 pm (4 years ago)

    We love camping too! Thanks for sharing this great post. 🙂

  20. mail4rosey
    September 5, 2014 at 11:38 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh my gosh, camping is a great way to reconnect. ESPECIALLY if you're at a place with no WIFI (love those places, hahaha, really!).

  21. A Helicopter Mom
    September 6, 2014 at 1:07 am (4 years ago)

    I grew up with a best friend who went camping all the time with her family. I loved going along with them and look forward to camping more often when the kids are older.

  22. BrettBMartin
    September 6, 2014 at 1:22 am (4 years ago)

    These are great tips. I love camping.

  23. Amy Desrosiers
    September 6, 2014 at 11:05 pm (4 years ago)

    Would you believe that I have never been camping? Yep, I'd be a newbie to the sport so thanks for these tips!

  24. Carly from The Puzzled Palate
    September 8, 2014 at 2:23 am (4 years ago)

    Thanks for all of these tips! I am super excited to take my kiddos camping for the first time this year! The "prep your food" tip is a great idea!

  25. Tracey
    September 8, 2014 at 10:51 am (4 years ago)

    These are awesome tips! I haven't been camping in a long time.