Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Planning Your Next Camping Adventure #WGTravel #camping #greatoutdoors

Today, I'm sharing a guest travel column from The Weekend Gourmet's new contributor. They're sharing some great tips for planning a perfect camping trip...so get ready to hit the great outdoors this Summer! This column may feature affiliate links.

There's nothing more exciting than planning a camping trip. Sure, you can go on a flight to some far-flung destinations anywhere in the world -- but it's just not the same as getting piling everyone into the car and heading into nature. Once you have the itch for camping, it never really goes away. Simply choose when you plan to travel, how many campsites you want to hit, and get your gear ready. It all sounds simple, but it's not as simple as you'd imagine if you're a first-timer and have zero ideas about proper equipment and how to get your camping gear ready. Once you get started, however, you're going to be on your way to one of the most exciting vacations you can ever take!

The chance to explore nature isn't one that comes around every day -- especially with the weather getting wackier and harder to deal with. When it comes to planning your next adventure, it takes planning to get it right. You have the entire world at your feet...and a multitude of campsites to choose from...which can give you insight into how the world works from a different perspective. So, with all of that in mind, let's take a look at how you can plan the best camping adventure ever!
Group of People Sitting on Ground While Cooking Egg

Choosing the Location

Did you know there are two types of camping grounds? You have private ones, which are owned by individuals and rented out to those who want to camp. There are also free camping grounds that are open for anyone to camp in. Both options have their advantages, but it can be hard to find a good camping location -- especially if this is your first time camping. There are plenty of websites you can use to read ratings for local campgrounds, and you can also read reviews from those who have gone to private campgrounds that may not be local. You should consider whether you are using an RV to drive to a camping ground, or whether you plan to use a regular car and pitch a tent. Some sites will expect you to have a tent, while others prefer an RV or caravan to be parked and lived in. 

Some campgrounds have all amenities you'll need -- such as showers and toilets necessary for campers who are on the road. Deciding where to camp also depends on which amenities you need. Do you want flushing toilets...or do you mind roughing it in the woods for a night or two? Either way, you need to choose whether you prefer to camp rustically or prefer modern comforts. You should decide this before you get on the road. There are also campgrounds that expect you to reserve a space before arriving -- so don't be surprised if you show up somewhere and are turned away. For this reason, it's so important for you to plan your camping trip ahead!

The Best Destinations

Camping isn't just a case of heading into the nearest woods or campsite and pitching your tent. You want pristine natural environments and adventures in the wild. You also need to consider where you want to travel. Every state has national and state parks to enjoy, and some of these sites have the best camping options available! This list of campgrounds can help you to decide where you want to stay for a weekend -- or even longer if you're road-tripping. One of the top national parks to visit in the U.S. is Glacier National Park in Montana. The breathtaking scenery alone is perfect for campers, hikers, and photographers!

Your Gear

Every new camper needs a checklist to ensure they've packed appropriate gear. Everyone has their idea of things to bring with them so that they can be as comfortable as possible while camping, but there are some absolute essentials to pack. For example: food and water? Pretty essential. Clean water is especially hard to come by outdoors, so the Berkey water filter systems in a travel container can be the best thing you bring with you on your camping adventure. Food in a cooler and canned foods can last longer if you plan to be on the road for a while. Not only do you need to bring water and food with you, you need something to cook with! 

Plenty of people bring camp stoves, a knife, and rain gear...and even something to start a fire with without needing branches and logs. You must also not forget to bring a first aid kit! You're going to be in the wild, so there's a chance you'll need to put a bandage over a cut or clean a wound. Bee and bug stings are also something to consider, so carrying bug sprays and antidotes, sunscreen, and aloe for sunburn are essential too. Finally, your gear should include shower toiletries. You may not be headed to a waterfall to enjoy a cold natural shower, but dry shampoo and baby wipes are excellent for keeping clean while you're away from the comforts of a hotel room.
Silhouette of Person Standing Near Camping Tent

Setting Up
When you arrive at your chosen private campground, you may need to speak to a host so you can set up camp. Arriving early for check-in is essential, because people will be vying for space under the shade of the trees -- and you want to be the first in line to ensure you're in the most comfortable camping site! Get your tent pitched, your supplies out and ready, and get settled for the night. Remember to bring marshmallows and graham crackers...s'mores are a camping must, you know! One thing you'll quickly find out about being at a campground is that there are campers who will annoy you...but you don't want to be that annoying camper either. Respecting others at the camping site, keeping your space clean, and understanding any nearby wildlife is important to being a respectful member of your camping site. You should always leave your camping site as clean as you found it too, because you don't want to be known as the camper who can't clean up after themselves. Take your trash, dowse your fire properly with these instructions, and pack your gear without disturbing others.

Experience Backpacking

The combination of hiking and camping in the wilderness is commonly known as backcountry camping. The landscape is unfamiliar, and there are always worries about being in the wild, but the outdoor adventure that awaits you is something you cannot anticipate. If you haven't ever backpacked before, you're going to have a much different experience than someone who's experienced, but you shouldn't be nervous! The range of GPS and tracking equipment available today should help keep you safe! 

Backpacking camping is not the same as pitching a tent at a campsite, because you're going to be in the wild and hiking, choosing a different camping spot each night to see the stars and embrace nature. Remote areas mean you can't always bring a car with you, so you have to rely on your hiking boots to keep you going. Before you head out hiking, you can practice and get fit with a backpack in the gym. Walking on a treadmill on an incline while wearing all your gear can prepare you for what the conditions may be like for you. It's essential to know how to call for help or what to do in an emergency, however. Check with local park rangers ahead of time to inquire about the location's hiking trails, as well as what to do if you get into trouble.

Camping In an RV

While you can camp freestyle on your feet with a tent on your back, you can also camp in an RV as a mobile home away from home! It's convenient, because an RV has everything you need to sleep, eat, and camp. It's definitely way more comfortable to camp in an RV than on the ground. You can hook the RV up to a truck...or you can drive it yourself. Then? You're on your way! This kind of camping is more comfortable, but it doesn't come with the same freedom that camping with a tent does. You'll have to reserve campsites and ensure you have the proper electrical hookups. You also need to have a dump station close by so that you can clear up after yourself. Before you get on the road, get your RV ready and complete any necessary maintenance to help avoid problems while you're on the road.

Camping can be a huge adventure...as long as you're as prepared as possible. final note: be sure to plan in time to hit towns near your campsite for delicious restaurants...and enjoy all of the beautiful scenery along your route!



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