Camping can be an exciting and enjoyable experience, but it takes a certain level of forethought and pre-planning. In order to make the most out of your trip, here are a few things you should know before you attempt to venture outdoors.
1. Choosing your campsite
When deciding on a campsite, it’s important to scout the land when there is still a good amount of visibility in the daytime. Keep an eye out for any potential hazards, such as dangling branches or sharp rocks. It also helps to anticipate how extreme weather conditions might affect the future of your campsite. Strong winds, for example, can cause branches to break off, even if there are none dangling at the moment. In general, choose a site that has previously been impacted. It’s a good idea to pitch your tent on a durable, flat service (rock or gravel) that is slightly raised up (to avoid puddles if it rains). Also choose a nice, shaded site, nearby a water source and away from grassy meadows or marshy places that mosquitoes and other insects like to reside in.
2. Setting up your campsite
Once you’ve decided on a campsite, start setting it up properly for the duration of your trip. Establish a cooking area, at least 200 feet away from your tent, specifically in a spot where the wind cannot blow cooking embers toward your tent. Also locate a strong tree to suspend your food from. This is an important step in order to prevent uninvited guests from wandering onto your site. After these two steps, establish your latrine – again at 200 feet away from both your cooking site and tent.
3. Leave no trace
After you’ve enjoyed a week or two of camping, it’s important to leave your campsite in the best condition as possible. Get rid of any waste and make sure to pack up anything you brought with you. By setting up your tent on a durable surface instead of grass, you are also protecting the vegetation that grows in the area. Besides latrine holes, do not dig trenches or build structures that might change the topography of the site. Most people camp in order to enjoy nature, so it’s best to respect it and leave the environment virtually undisturbed.