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It is estimated that more than 30 million Americans go camping every year. For many, it is a time to bond with family and friends, get away from the everyday rush, and explore and enjoy nature. The best camping tips are very helpful to make sure you are fully equipped and prepared for your camping trip. They also help you reduce the cost of your camping trip, and experience a comfortable, safe, and exciting time.
1. Have a Checklist
Make a checklist for your camping trip and check off everything on it before you leave.
2. Choose Your Campsite Ahead of Time
Do some research and choose your campsite and camp spot before you set off camping. It is not a good idea to arrive at your campsite and start looking for a camp spot. Choose a flat surface as your camp spot.
3. Tent & Dry Run
Choose the right tent for you and the group as well as all of your gear. A tent with double doors is a good feature to have. Before going on your camping trip, set up your camping tent a couple of times to become very comfortable doing it. If your tent has a footprint, a covering, or cloth, don’t forget to take it along.
4. Waterproof Your Tent
A can of silicone sealant is great for waterproofing. Spray the tent from the bottom to the top and from left to right. Also spry the zippers to completely waterproof the tent.
5. Stack Up On Things To Light Fire
You can bring a butane lighter, cardboard toilet paper rolls & lint, birthday candles, hand sanitizer, cotton balls & vaseline, waterproof matches, etc. Just make sure you have enough alternatives to light fires. You can waterproof matches by dipping them in nail polish or melted paraffin.
6. GPS, Compass, Whistles, Or Maps
It is easy to get lost in the woods. Whistles are very useful for everyone. Similarly, it is a good practice to have a compass, GPS, and/or maps.
7. Multi-tool, Utility Knife, & Rope
Bring a multi-tool or at least one utility knife. If you can take more than one along, the better. Additionally, a length of rope is always good to take on a camping trip. It comes in handy and can be used for many purposes.
8. Footprint or Tarp
Take along your tent footprint if it has one or carries a tarp to keep your tent dry.
9. Rain Fly
If your tent has a rain fly, don’t forget to carry it. Despite waterproofing your tent, the rainfly will be extra protection especially when there is a downpour of rain.
10. Lantern, Solar Garden Light, Flashlight, & Batteries
You can make your own lantern with a translucent jug and your headlamp or you can bring a lantern. Flashlights are also good for camping and more than one is a wise decision. Don’t forget to carry enough batteries for the trip. Even better are solar garden lights you can get for a reasonable price.
11. Bread Tags
Use bread tags as clothes pins to hang clothes.
12. Prep Meals
Prep your meals ahead of time before going on a camping trip. This will make it easier and have them ready in a matter of minutes. Consider meals that have the same ingredients to reduce the ingredients you have to carry.
13. Sleeping Bag & Pad
Get a good sleeping bag. A three-season sleeping bag is a good option. Winter is the only season it doesn’t accommodate. Taking a sleeping pad is a great idea. It will keep you warm and be good support for your body.
14. Warm Sleeping Bag
Just before going to bed, fill your Nalgene bottle or similar water bottle with hot water and put it in the bottom of your sleeping bag. This will keep your feet warm. Or pack your sleeping bag with dry clothes and they will soak up the moisture and your feet will be warm.
15. Protective Gloves
Carry protective gloves to move pots and pans around. Fire-resistant gloves are the best bet.
16. Camping Stove
Get a camping stove built with safety features. It should also give you control over the flame and heat as well.
Bring card and board games for some fun time with family and friends. Don’t forget toys and games for kids.
18. Mosquito Bites
Mosquitoes are irritating and their bites carry toxins. Toothpaste or baking soda will soothe the bites and take out the toxins. You can also carry insect repellant and sunscreen. Burning sage on the campfire will keep them away; it is a natural mosquito repellant.
19. First Aid Kit
Take along a first aid kit. Hopefully, you won’t need it, but it is one of those things it’s best to have and don’t need than need and don’t have. It should include things like headache tablets, antiseptic cream, bandages, tweezers, band-aids, pain killers, and fever medicine for kids.
20. Gaffer or Duct Tape
Carry a gaffer or duct tape. It comes in handy and gaffer tape can be used to repair ground sheets, fly sheets, and splint tent poles.
21. Garbage & Plastic Bags
Take a lot of plastic and garbage bags. They are useful for storing many things.
22. Extra Padding
While camping, you want to be very comfortable, especially sleeping at night. Carry extra padding to ensure everyone has comfortable and enjoyable rest.
23. Clothes Line
Use a length of rope to make a clothesline between two trees.
24. Carry Coffee
Someone will thank you for taking along someone good coffee.
25. Layer Up
Layer up with clothing to keep you warm. Weather-appropriate clothing is even better. Thermal clothing is best.
26. Plenty of Water
Don’t underestimate how much water your will need. Bring as much as you can. A gallon of water per person is still the measurement. Freezing bottles of water is a good tip. Frozen water can be used to cool and preserve things in the cooler. And when defrosted, you will have cold water for drinking.
27. Aluminum Foil
Aluminum foil has many uses when camping. You can warm and prepare and store food in it.28. Cooking utensils, pans, pots, etc. Don’t forget to carry these. Enamel cookware is the best. They are better than aluminum with respect to retaining heat. Melamine cookware is an alternative to the enamel.
Don’t forget to take them along.
29. Hiking Boots
Get some good hiking boots to be safe as the terrain will not be the smoothest.
30. Camp Furniture
No one likes to sit permanently on the floor at camp. You need camp chairs or stools which can be folded nicely.
31. Biodegradable Soap
A bottle or two of biodegradable dish soap will serve well on camp.
32. Plastic Bins
Plastic bins which snap and close securely are good to store your food and other items. Plastic bins and empty coffee cans can also be used to keep toilet paper dry and safe.
33. Be Mindful
Always be mindful of others on the campsite.
34. Camp Rules
Always follow camp rules.
Take ice and lots of it.
36. Hammer or Mallet
A hammer or mallet will come in handy for getting some jobs done which require a little bit of force like putting tent stakes in the ground.
37. Bivy Sack
If you can afford it, get a bivy sack and use it around your sleeping bag to keep it warm.
You will need sunglasses; don’t forget them.
39. Dustpan & Brush
You will need these to keep the camp dirt and sand-free.
40. Water Purification or Iodine Tablets
These are good to carry if you have them. They should be part of your first aid kit.
41. Belt & Hooks
Table space is always very valuable when camping. Using a belt and hooks to store not only kitchen utensils, but other items is a great camping hack.
42. Arrive Early
Arrive at the campground early.
Besides your pre-plan meals, bring many snacks for your camping trip.
44. Study The Weather
Study the weather for the whole week including the days you will be on your camping trip to plan well.
45. Fire Safety
Go through fire safety drills with kids.
46. Spade or Small Shovel
Take a spade or small shovel with you. It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
47. Load The Car
Pack the things in your car in a way so that the things you will need first at the campsite will be put in last. Last in first out.
These little items come in very useful. Loud neighbors, dogs barking in the distance, and animals hooting in the bushes are all possible.
49. Extra Socks
Never underestimate the value of extra pairs of socks. Take a few pairs with you.
Take into consideration wind direction when you set up your campfire. You don’t want to set up camp downhill where you will receive all the smoke from other campers. Enclose your campfire with a ring of medium size rocks.
51. Protect Your Electronic Gadgets
Electronic devices have to be protected from the cold weather as they can drain batteries and damage electronics. Safely store your electronics in the foot of your sleeping bag.
52. Emergency Contact
Give detailed information about your camping trip to a family member or friend who is not going with you as an emergency contact.
Names of all who are going, license plates of cars you are using, name and address of the place you are going, phone numbers, the date you will arrive and leave, etc. are some of the information.
53. Hand Gel
Hand gel comes in handy. It not only cleans but refreshes and sanitizes your hands.
If you don’t want to carry your valuables on hiking trips, you can secure them in bars of soap.
A few packs of wipes will come in handy on your camping trip.
56. Keep Camp Clean
The clean camp will keep unwanted animals like bears away from your tent.
57. Poisonous Plants & Insects
Get everyone to become familiar with poisonous plants and insects.
58. Flip Flops
Take along a pair of flip-flops and an extra pair just in case someone needs a pair.
59. Silica Gel Packs
Putting silica gel packs in your cookware prevents rust. Save them and use them in your cookware when camping.
60. Campsite Amenities
Take advantage of all of the amenities at the campsite.
61. Old Rug
An old rug is a good idea for your cam floor if you have one. Put it on top of the tarp or footprint to have a comfortable camp.
62. Figure Out Your Burn Rate
Learn the burn rate for logs so you know how long a stack lasts. Usually, 12- 14 logs will cook a meal and you will use more if it is lighter wood.
63. Cast Iron Skillet
Cast iron is great for camp cooking.
64. Camping Coolers
Take coolers that can be closed tightly.
65. An Axe
An ax will come in very handy to chop wood. A medium-sized ax will do just fine.
For readers, a good book or two will help in quiet times.
It is worth it to learn how to tie a knot. This skill will come in handy many times while camping.
Take an umbrella with you if you don’t have a canopy covering your cooking area. Many find themselves cooking in the rain.
69. Chapstick or Another Lip Balm
You will need this on the camping trip.
Snacks are great for camping. You can never have enough of them. Carry a variety of snacks like protein bars, granola bars, chips, beef jerky, trail mix, etc.
71. Leave Campsite Clean
Clean up after yourself. Throw away the trash, put out any fires, and leave the campsite clean as you found it.
Take along a couple of tablecloths; you just might need them.
73. Enough Fuel
Don’t run out of fuel for your camp stove and lanterns. Take more than enough with you.
74. Solar-Heated Camp Shower
A solar-heated camp shower is great for hand washing and rinsing dishes. It can double as a faucet.
Take along a good backpack with a rain cover.
76. Solar Charger
If you have one, take it along to charge phones, GPS, batteries, and other electronic devices. It is wise to invest in one if you don’t have one.
Take with you a good pair of scissors.
78. Urination at Night
Men should keep a bottle in their tent for night urination and women use urination devices (FUD).
79. Breathing or Burrowing
Don’t breathe or burrow deep into your sleeping bag because the moisture from your breathing will get trapped in the bag.
80. Reusable Straws
These are great for camping to keep your gear and other things dry.
81. Morning Frost
Getting rid of morning frost from your tent will keep it and your gear dry.
82. Rope Lights
Light up your tent area and its surroundings with rope lights.
83. Candle Wax
Lubricate your zippers with candle wax.
84. Tent Guidelines
Put aluminum foil or other reflective material on your tent lines so when you go out at night, it will guide you back safely.
85. Drowned Phone
If your phone got dropped in water. Put in a bowl of dry rice. The rice will absorb the water and hopefully, it will be ok.
86. Express Gratitude
On your way home, stop at the campsite office to say thanks.
87. Sealed Straws
Use sealed straws for spices and other dry food condiments.
88. Freeze Milk
If you take milk on your camping trip, freeze it.
89. Lint Roller
If you hike in the woods, roll your clothes with a lint roller to get hiding ticks.
90. Life Straw
Drink water from any place if you have a Life straw.
Shielding your face is easier with a hat. Take one with you.
92. Microfiber Towels
Microfiber towels are reusable, more absorbent, and dry quicker than regular towels.
93. Down-Filled Booties
These can keep your feet warm and can be worn in your sleeping bag.
Do a few exercises before bed, but not many to result in perspiration. This keeps you warm and helps warm your sleeping bag.
95. Mesh Laundry Bag
Turn your mesh laundry bag into an automatic dish dryer. Hang it on a tree limb and put in your washed dishes. They will drip dry.
96. Camp Close To Home
If you are a beginner camper, it is wise to camp close to home.
97. Zone Out Your Camp
Have zones for cooking, eating, trash, sleeping, relieving yourself, etc. This makes it organized.
Take along a pillow or get a camping one. You will sleep better with it.
Don’t forget to take a good amount of quarters with you.
This is a tip for the ladies. Don’t forget to take along some talc. It comes in very useful in getting the kid’s feet to smell and dry quickly.
101. Foam Floor Tiles
If you want very comfortable tent floors, invest in foam floor tiles.
102. DIY Lantern
To be creative and reduce cost, you can create your own lantern by painting it inside of a jar with non-toxic glow-in-the-dark paint for a DIY lantern.
Camping is the time you want to switch off and spend quality time with your family and friends. The best camping tips help make your camping adventures exciting and memorable. We hope you will find some golden nuggets among these camping tips to make your camping trips successful.