We are planning on going camping this weekend and because I haven’t been camping for a while I thought I should speak to an expert camper to find out what tips he could give me before I went on my adventure in the woods. The person I spoke to has been camping and backpacking his entire life and doesn’t go a year without doing both. He has camped in many different types of terrains and has experienced almost every kind of weather while camping, so I thought he would be a great person to ask. A list of his 6 mountain camping tips are below and I hope they help you on your next camping trip.
What camping tips do you have?
Water– Most campgrounds offer potable water, but a 5 gallon jug sitting on a camp stool saves a lot of steps and you can place it anywhere you want. DO NOT drink from lakes or streams!!!
Wood– Most campgrounds do not offer firewood and it can be hard to find downfall nearby. Bring your own or unload the vehicle and drive a little to a wooded area to pick up all the downfall you want. A tarp can minimize mess if you choose to do this. Get branches small enough to break and leave the axe at home. “White man build big fire, stand far away. Indian build small fire, stand close”.
Shelter– Whether you prefer a tent or hard sided unit prepare for rain and varying temperatures. The weather specialists are not always right and the mountains make their own localized weather. Remember, the more you are prepared for bad weather the less likely you will have it. Look for trees before pitching your tent and place a tarp underneath.
Shelter Yourself– Bug spray (I like 30% DEET), sunscreen and a first aid kit including Benadryl can save an otherwise miserable trip. A rain coat is great for hanging around camp, but a poncho is better for hiking, especially with a pack.
Bedding– When looking for a sleeping bag remember too much can be as bad as too little. Go light and take a fleece blanket for a liner if needed. It’s always great to have a couple blankets on had just in case you get cold at night. Air mattresses rule! There are so many to choose from and there are other things you can use instead of purchasing the fancy backpacking pads. Pool floats/loungers work just as well or you can find an air mattress that can be pumped up by a car adapter air mattress pump. Take an extra if you are planning on using it in a lake as well.
Clothes– You will get dirty and wet, so make sure the clothes you pack are washable and you won’t be upset if they are ruined. It will get cold, so layer up and have backups just in case.