Archive for camping tips

Camping Tips for Keeping Your Campsite Organized and Clean

If you are a car camper, you probably bring a lot of stuff along for your camping trip. Organization and cleanliness are essential for happy camping and keeping the animals at bay.

Here are some tips:
  • Personal belongings can be brought in a suitcase, backpack, or duffel bag and left in the tent or back of your car or truck.
  • When you remove something, always be sure to put it back where you found it after using it.
  • Trash accumulates quickly over time. Be sure to bring plenty of large, heavy-duty trash bags. Bringing a collapsible garbage can helps provide a secure location for your trash if the wind picks up or little critters come searching. Having a separate recycling bin is also advised, as often drinks in glass or aluminum are enjoyed in large quantities.
  • Each morning after waking, straighten your sleeping bags and other personal sleeping items so everything is where you want it when you go to sleep. Remember by then it will be dark, and you will want to just crawl into bed.
  • The kitchen tends to be the hangout on a campout. Keeping it clean and organized with a portable camp kitchen is essential. With a quality camp kitchen, you can store all your kitchen gear and dried goods in one place. There is a place not only to cook but to clean. Clean up soon after enjoying each meal, putting everything back in its storage space.
  • When fires are not banned, campers tend to collect wood for the campfire. Be sure to set aside a space not too far from the fire where the various-sized pieces of wood can be kept. Under a tree is good so people aren’t tripping over the wood in the dark. The tree will also protect the firewood from the rain.
  • Camping is a time to relax and enjoy the natural environment. When either sitting and reading or hiking and fishing, be sure to put all your wrappers from sandwiches or snacks either in your pocket or backpack and dispose of them in the trash bin when you return. Never drop trash on the ground for someone else to find.
  • Before you leave your campsite, pack out or dispose of trash and recycling in proper bins. Be sure to check your campsite for any forgotten belongings or stray trash.

Having a clean and organized site while camping also makes packing up to leave a breeze.

Camping Safety Checklist: Stay Safe on Your Next Trip with These Tips

Whether you’re camping with young children or with old friends from college, safety is a top priority. Spending a weekend outdoors can lead to injury if proper safety precautions are not taken, so use our camping safety checklist to keep everyone safe and having fun on your next trip.

Camping Safety Checklist

  • Pack a first-aid kit with essentials such as personal medications, aspirin, sunscreen, bug repellent, tweezers, bandages, tape, sterile gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic cream, cotton balls, poison ivy cream, and aloe vera lotion.
  • Bring flashlights or lanterns. Make sure you have extra batteries.
  • Always hike with a buddy.
  • Keep children within eyesight at all times.
  • Be on the lookout for snakes, tics, poison ivy, bees, and leeches.
  • Never eat berries you find in the wilderness; they might be poisonous.
  • Wear protective clothing, sunscreen, and sunglasses to prevent sun damage.
  • Leave wild animals alone and never feed them.
  • Keep knives and other sharp kitchen supplies stored in your portable kitchen and out of the kids’ reach.
  • Practice good fire safety and never leave your fire unattended.
  • Store food after meals so you don’t attract bears and other wild animals.
  • Check the weather forecast before leaving to prevent being caught in a bad storm.

In general, practice your best judgment on the campsite. If there’s ever a situation that seems questionable and potentially dangerous, it’s best to avoid it.

How to Camp Safely in Bear Country

Keeping food away from bears and acting calmly in an encounter with one are important strategies for staying safe while camping.

Here are five tips for camping safely in bear country:
  1. When you’re not eating, keep food safely stored in bear-resistant containers. This will prevent the smell from attracting animals. You should also pack containers to store your leftovers and garbage.
  2. Never bring food inside your tent. If you can, set up your tent about 100 yards from where you store and prepare food.
  3. Before sleeping, change your clothes to get rid any food odors.
  4. If you come across a bear while hiking, do not run away. Instead, distinguish yourself as human by putting your arms out and slowly moving them up and down while speaking in a calm voice. Slowly back away, but make sure you’re facing the bear.
  5. If the bear attacks you, lie face down and play dead, protecting your head and neck with your hands. You can also use bear spray, but be sure to read the directions before camping.

Visit the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center to learn more ways you can reduce the risk of a bear attack and keep out of harm’s way on your trip.

10 Tips for a Successful Camp-Out

  1. Personal gear. Pack your gear in a soft duffel bag or backpack. Take what you need—and no more! Stow gear in your tent and keep it tidy. Check the weather before leaving, and be sure to bring the proper clothing.
  2. Stay level and safe. Choose a level spot for pitching your tent. Make sure there are no signs of little streams running through your tent site from previous rainstorms. Check overhead to confirm there are no dead trees or large branches that can fall on your site.
  3. Cooking gear. The biggest mistake some campers make is bringing the kitchen sink. All you need is a portable camp kitchen that holds enough gear for a family of two to six. Like the personal gear, take what you need and no more!
  4. Plan your meals. If you have a camp kitchen or a makeshift set-up on a table, plan your meals around the cooking gear you are going to use. Only refrigerate items that require it. Try to use as many fresh foods that don’t require refrigeration as you can in your menu.
  5. Keep dry or in the shade. A dining fly or “Easy-up” is quite handy. If it rains, your area is protected; if there is a lot of direct sun, you can enjoy shade. It’s also a great place to put your kitchen.
  6. Kitchen hang-out. Just like at home, the kitchen is a hangout for socializing. Keep it neat with the coffee pot on.
  7. Manage your trash. It accumulates quickly. Bring heavy-duty trash bags. A collapsible trash container with the trash bag works great. If you are in a place with campfires, burn all of the paper goods (not plastics).
  8. Clean your room. Remember what your mother said, “You can’t go out until you clean your room.” Keep your tent tidy and organized so when it’s time to “hit the sack,” you can jump right in.
  9. Fires and firewood. Know the campfire regulations for your campsite. In heavily used areas, gathering wood is not permitted, so you may need to bring your own.
  10. Camping is a time to relax. Enjoy the natural environment—and keep it enjoyable for the next camper to follow. Be courteous and don’t trash your campsite.