The hardest step is the beginning. You don’t know where to start with camping: whether buy all advertised gear for thousand dollars or take a trip barehanded to examine the field. Another way is to look at the pros and try to imitate them. However, without basic knowledge about camping, you’ll get lost in the terms and brands’ names. Experienced campers like to discuss advanced matters like the best winter tent with a stove or the lightest traveling kit that confuses beginners.
That’s why we’ve decided to create a list of essentials and tricks to improve your experience in the wilderness and eliminate any chance of failing drastically by not knowing the basics.
Plan the route
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It may sound dull and obvious, but beginners tend to neglect the essential – planning of the trip. It seems like too much concern to write down every stop on the route and measure the amount of time it’d take to get to the mountain’s top and then down again. It will help you visualize the trip and notice hidden challenges like not having enough time to catch the last train or wearing the wrong shoes for the snowy mountain range.
Moreover, in nature, the weather is unpredictable. With the rise in altitude, the temperature is falling, and the conditions change with a high speed, especially in autumn or spring. Thus, keep in mind these dangers and try to predict every possible problem to secure your trip’s enjoyment.
Choose a well-known campsite
It’s appealing to turn from a known route to find real adventures. But in the real situation, it brings only problems like a spent night in cold and damp. If you’ve never tried before to set your own campsite, better stick to the existing one. Moreover, even pros prefer the safety and comfort of such zones to accomplish the demanding routes.
Campgrounds also range in the level of accommodation. Some offer only the flat ground for tents, drinking water and toilets. Others remind more the five-star hotels that a place for a trip to the forest. Also, keep in mind that there may be a lack of space in the popular campsites during the hot seasons.
If you don’t know where to travel, check the best campgrounds in the national parks. You will get both the magnificent view and the comfort.
If you dare to try primitive camping, choose the campground wisely
If you travel with a company to back you up or already have some experience, you may try to set a tent on new ground. There are some rules to prevent misfortunes, like waking up in the pool of rainwater.
Don’t choose the top or the bottom. Go for the middle
The higher you get – the stronger the wind and the lower the temperature. So you’d like to descent a little for making camp. However, during the night, residue water and freezing air gather in the valleys and create the dampest and coldest environment in the whole area. That’s why you need to choose a flat place somewhere on the hill to keep warm.
Find a shelter from the wind
If you travel in mid-season, like late spring, when the temperature is durable and the sun finely gives warms, the winds will create a challenge for you. It penetrates your body to bones and makes it difficult to set the tent and keep it upright. But you can always find a convenient place sheltered from the wind by trees or another barrier.
The sun can be a great helper in drying your stuff and in waking you up. If you set your tent that its front is facing the east, you’ll get the first light and may enjoy the beautiful sunrise. However, when traveling in summer, placing a tent in the open will heat it to extreme temperatures and cause only distress. In the warmer seasons, find a shade to cover the tent from the light.
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Your body and mind will need the energy to keep going. And for that the good sleep is essential. Of course, it’s impossible to create all conveniences in the woods, but travelers have their tricks to spend the best nights in nature.
- Your sleeping bag should keep you warm and not make you boiling or freezing from the cold. Look at the temperatures written on the sleeping bag and choose accordingly to the weather you’re going to camp in.
- Don’t sleep on the ground. Take a foam pad. Of course, you can buy an inflatable mattress, but if it’s your first time camping in summer, try sleeping on a foam pad. It’s cheaper and does a great job in the warm weather.
- Prepare a separate kit of clothes, especially for sleep. During the hike, your clothes may become wet, and you wouldn’t like to sleep in the damp. So, take a spare pair of socks and thermal underwear.
If you want to camp during the winter, find the appropriate heat source to keep you alive. Learn more about the hot tenting with RBM.
Don’t set off without a decent light source
Imagine being in the dark with only a phone shining through the darkness. The phone may work for a night, but be ready to go on without it because the battery won’t last for a long time. Take with you a headlamp that will serve you during the hike and became a lantern in the tent. Just place it in the top pocket and use it as a lamp.
Pros don’t take careless risks. If you’re not sure about your camping skills or want to know better ways, stick to the professional hiking team and learn from their experience. Good luck!