Be the Champ of the Camp with These Essential Tips

Lost Coast backpacking

A lot of people really underestimate the complexity of camping. They see it as this simple activity that pretty much anyone can do. But if you want to do this safely, then there are a lot of things you need to give some serious consideration – things that may pose more danger than you think if you were to make a mistake.

The point of traveling, backpacking, and camping is to have a good time, no? And if you ignore any of these tips, then you may find yourself having a very disappointing time indeed. So pay attention!

Think of the elements

Camp Tarp

Think of all the elements and how they may affect your comfort, your location, your belongings, your food – heck, consider everything! Fire is one of the first elements you should consider, and we’ll look at that a bit later. You also need to consider wind and water. If it starts raining, for example, how will your camp be affected? A lot of people make the mistake of setting up camp near dips and in trenches in order to protect themselves from the wind. But this, of course, leaves them vulnerable to flooding if sudden heavy rain shows up! So think carefully and plan way ahead.

Bring the right gear

Gear for lightweight snow camping

Is forgetting particular pieces of kit the most common mistake when it comes to camping? Maybe. But I think the most common mistake isn’t forgetting – it’s actually neglecting to consider bringing important items in the first place! A lot of people head out into the wilderness without the right equipment to protect themselves, even if they do bring everything on their own list. So check out this survival gear guide and ensure that you really do have all the things you need to make sure the trip doesn’t go dangerously awry.

Ensure comfort

A lot of people just take uncomfortable sleep as a granted, unavoidable fact of camping. In fact, many people would even swear that part of the point is that you sleep a little less comfortably than usual! I guess this is to “toughen you up”, or something to that effect. But hey, who needs low quality sleep? The fact is that the majority of us are are fatigued throughout a lot of our lives because we don’t sleep right, either amount-wise or quality-wise. And you want to be well-rested if you want to be ready to take on whatever the trip will throw at you.

Know how to put out a fire

Campfire” by Sam Howzit is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

Can the importance of this one be overestimated? (Protip: the answer is a resounding “No”.) A lot of people seem to think that’s it’s just a case of throwing a bunch of water on top of the campfire. But trying to extinguish it can actually introduce more danger. It’s usually best to just let it burn out. If you do need to extinguish it immediately, you need to make sure that you really soak all that wood. Poke around and make sure there’s no hissing when you pour water on any part of the campfire.

Bring coffee

Don’t be a chump. You’re just going to regret it if you forget it.

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