Camping trips are some of the most rewarding experiences and times spent in the great outdoors with family and friends. It is hard to pin point what the best part of camping really is. Is it the roaring campfire you find yourself gathered around to toast that perfect golden marshmallow for your s’more? Maybe, it is the serenity felt beneath the starry night sky? Or, maybe, it is the accomplishments you prove to yourself as you set up a home away from home in the wilderness.
I find myself wanting to savor every moment of camping and hoping to let a second to go to waste. Here are some tips I have tried and found useful for making camping that much more enjoyable.
Have Fun With Camping Games: Games like ladder golf, soccer, and UNO are my go to camping games. I love that most ladder golf games are easy to tear apart and store easily. Kicking around a soccer ball is a great way to invite over neighboring campers. The card game, UNO is a classic that is fun for all ages. Any games you can bring with will help entertain and bring your group together.
Strategize Your Campsite Lighting: My aunt and uncle taught me a helpful tip a few years ago. They place solar yard lights around their campsite. I realized this is genius so I have since purchased some lights I found on clearance at a hardware store and I now put these lights out around my campsite to prevent tripping accidents and decrease the need for so many flashlights. However, flashlights and lanterns are also a necessity when it comes to tent camping. Test out your lights and batteries before you hit the road.
Re-purpose Your “Trash”: Look around your house and collect disposables that could come in handy while camping. For example, save your dryer lint and toilet paper rings to use as fire starters. Empty plastic containers are great for almost anything. I am sure you can think of many more ways to reuse.
Save Space Where You Can: Saving space is very important when it comes to camping. You don’t want to pack too much but at the same time, you don’t want to forget any vital items. The key is to be space efficient. One example I do to save space in my cooler is to substitute ice for frozen, drinkable water in bottles or jugs. By doing this, you may also save time by avoiding a pit stop for bagged ice. Your food will stay cold and you will have drinking water once the ice thaws. For a handwashing/dish station, I prefer using a collapsible water carrier that I can fill when I arrive at my site. For the trip home, you can utilize any newly freed cooler space as an additional packing space.
Food Prep Before: Prep as much as possible before you leave home. This includes any cutting, measuring, marinating you can do ahead of time. This should eliminate the need to take as many kitchen accessories with you. Another thing to try would be to pre-crack any eggs you plan on cooking on your trip into a sealable container or Ziploc bag.
I hope these camping tips serve you well. Camping should not be an intimidating activity. The more times you venture out, the easier it will become as you find your go-to camping routine. I’ll see you out there!
Allie Claypool, Outdoor Education Assistant