As a kid, I was a Boy Scout (I am now a Scoutmaster). Everyone knows that Boy Scouts like camping. As a Scout, I did a lot of camping, and as a Scoutmaster I seem to do even more. Camping to me is “hitting the reset” button. Whether with my family, or with the troop, being in nature, makes everything better.
Below are some of the things I’ve learned over my camping career (some the hard way).
- Pitch your tent in your garden or yard beforehand your first outing to make sure it’s all there and you know how to set it up.
- On uneven ground, don’t pitch your tent in a valley. That’s the first place water & moisture will pool.
- Always make a list of the things required, and tick it off as it goes in the pack.
- If it is windy, be sure to stake down your tent. Even if the tent can’t be picked up by the wind, the corner can flap like crazy.
- Double check your equipment before heading out. Make sure the gas stove works, you have fuel for it, you have batteries for the flashlight, etc.
- Pre-prepared meals can save a bunch of time. If you make up your dry pancake ingredients beforehand, you will only have to mix in the wet in the morning.
- A hotel bar of soap inside an old pantyhose leg hung by the water faucet is a convenient place to keep it. Not only does your soap not get lost, but the pantyhose act as an abrasive to help clean your hands.
- Take spare tent pegs and invest in good pegs that won’t bend easily.
- Consider a site with good facilities for first timer camping experiences.
- 2 words: extra batteries. Nothing worse than being out camping with a dead flashlight.
- Take extra plastic bags for wet clothes, wet shoes, trash, etc.
- Remember to bring a can opener. I always keep a military style P38 in my bag and mess kit.
- Being close to the camp toilet, while convenient, isn’t always the best spot. Try to camp up wind.
- Duct tape. Always take this. I’ve repaired tent fly, splinted broken poles, mended cooking utensils, repaired canoes, the possibilities are endless. In stead of bringing a whole roll, I wrap a fair amount around an old piece of PVC pipe.
- Enjoy yourself!
What camping tips or lessons do you have? Comment below. Before you do, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.