Camping trips are one of the most favorite ways of spending summertime worldwide. And we guess you’ve met lots and lots of people full of amazing campground stories and memories that look like tales to you. If you’ve decided to give it a try and go out on a camping trip, one of the most important things you’ll have to learn is simply – how to set up the camp.
If you ask some of the above-mentioned friends what they dislike the most when it comes to camping, most of them will say – setting up the camp. This article will help with the camping setup basics and other things you’ll have to know when setting up the camp.
1. Arrive As Early As Possible
This may not always be possible, but do your best to arrive as soon as possible, or else you could end up having a short window of time to get your camp all ready before the sunsets. Setting up the camp is not so fun during the sunlight, so you could imagine what it feels like once you add the night to the equation.
To lose as little time as possible on the sight, prepare all you need and place it somewhere within the hand reach while you’re still at home. Now that you’ve arrived at the campsite, it is time to pick the spot. It is basically the first important choice in front of you. Remember, the rule that most of the time applies here is “first come, first served”, so try to “dibs” it before the others. That’s why you’ll need to do research and find out the best possible place before you even get there. Arriving early will give you a good starting position.
2. Choose The Higher Ground
You already know that nature can be tricky and most of the time you can’t strictly predict what will it bring, so to avoid and unnecessary risk, it is recommended to get a place that is located on high ground. This will be helpful if the rain strikes, especially if it is one of those heavy rains that could cause flash floods. And this is also safer and easier to access in case of an emergency.
The second thing you should look after is dry ground. This means that, even if the rain strikes, you’ll probably just get a bit wet, but without any big problems. So, observe the grass and the rocks. If you see flattened grass or water stains on rocks, it is probably the best idea to pass that place and to go get somewhere else. If not possible, have extra tarps near you, there is a chance you’ll need them.
The third thing to look for and chose, if you have an option, is the flat ground. Remember, most of the campsites are located somewhere in the uneven terrain and it is not so easy to find this kind of place in the camp, but if you do, you’ve hit the jackpot, because this will make your sleeping area really comfortable. If you decide to try and elevate the ground, make sure that it is permitted. Most of the campsites don’t allow it, because they tend to keep it the way it was before.
3. The Four Pillars Of Camping Trip
Let’s say it all went smoothly – we don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t – and you’ve found the perfect place. Now when the search is over, it is time to unpack your stuff and start setting the camp up. So, what do you need? There are four things you’ll have to think about – food, water, shelter, and a sleeping place.
There are two types of campers – the first one is those who love to prepare their food in advance and just take it out of their storage place before lunchtime. The second one is those who love to make their food on the campsite, using the campfire, a grill, or a stove.
It doesn’t matter if you’re the first or the second type, you’ll have to store your food properly either way. Being in nature means you could run into a bear or some other wild animal. To prevent your food – the same rules apply for everything, from meat or dairy products to potato chips or anything else – from becoming an attraction for wild animals like bears.
Use coolers for food that can spoil. If you sense that something is wrong with your steaks before you put them on your grill, it is better to throw them away, than to take a risk and end up being ill. If you don’t have one, look for the nearest running stream. It should be cold enough to keep it safe.
This should be on the top of all your lists. The water is necessary to survive, so pay extra attention when choosing the right place for your campsite. If you plan on going on a trip with the small kids, don’t place your tents near the water, but make sure you’re not too far away from it. On the other hand, if you go on a trip with grown-ups, and all of the party members know how to swim, it is an easy call – going somewhere near the water can be really great.
One thing you should purchase before you go on a road is some kind of water filtration system that could clean it enough to make it drinkable, no matter if comes from a shallow running brook, snow melting, or some lake. This can mean a difference between life and death in an emergency.
Bring a few basins that will serve as cleaning and washing stuff. Fill it in the nearest body of water, and this means you’ll have an endless water source. But don’t wash anything in it, and make sure you’ve at least 200 feet from the water source before you use any chemicals, or you could destroy it for all.
The shelter is probably the first thing you’ll set up when you start your camping setup. When you choose your tent, make sure it is sturdy and strong. Remember, it will provide you not only a place you can sleep in, but also will serve as a storage for your spare gear while protecting you from possible wildlife intruders and keeping you safe from extreme weather conditions.
Before you decide to try it out in the wilderness, make sure you’ve tested it at your home, or somewhere near your home for its endurance, but also its size, just to be sure that everything you place in it could fit, along with your chairs, cot, etc.
Another thing you should test before you go on a trip is sleeping bags. Make sure you’ve got the one that suits you the best and makes your sleeping time as comfortable as possible. Remember, you’ll be sleeping on the ground, and if you don’t want to wake up feeling hurt, get the best one available. You’ll be thanking us later.
4. Organizing Your Campsite
To avoid any stress, make sure your camp is well organized clean. The most important rule is – do not leave any trash behind! The things you’ve brought with you are the things you’ll take away with you. Don’t bring too many things you’ll have to throw out, but also make sure you have enough trash bags within the hand reach, just in case.
The cooking area should be placed somewhere high, where the dirt wouldn’t be able to reach. You could use some table, makeshift, or something similar. You’ll be needing a stove or a grill, boards you’ll use to cut ingredients, utensils, cooking pans, a foil to store your food. If you think you’ll need anything else, feel free to bring it, as long as it will help you make those delicious meals.
The handwashing and dishwashing area should also be near your cooking place, so it would ease the washing part up after you’re done with your lunch.
The cleaning area represents that place where you’ll go to take a shower, wash your face, hands, or your clothes. Don’t place it too close to your toilet area, but make sure they are not too far from each other.
Toilet area may differ from place to place. Somewhere you’ll already have it established so you won’t need to have your own. But on the other hand, if there is no outhouse nearby, getting one is necessary. Also, besides the toilet, you’ll need a bucket or something similar to clean your hands and face before you eat.
5. Garbage Disposal
Same as food, you’ll have to keep the garbage away from the campsite. Don’t forget, wild animals are attracted to smell, and one of the main characteristics of garbage disposals worldwide is a smell. Having trash bags will help to remove it to some degree, but just to be sure, keep it at least 50 yards away from the campsite.
When the time comes for you to get back home, think about those that will come after you and don’t leave them your garbage, but take it with you instead. Help with nature preservation and keep it as clean as you possibly can.
6. Organization, Organization, And More Organization
Make sure all the essential things, like a headlamp or a flashlight, or raincoat are somewhere near all the time. Every person in a camp should have their own headlamp, and it is recommended to have a different color for every member of your group. The same goes for insulation layers and insect repellents.
Have the map of your campsite printed and make sure everyone in your group has it. Use the landmarks for easier orientation if someone loses their map. To avoid getting your car keys lost, make sure you’ve made a dealer who will keep them while you’re out on a trip. Also, it may not be a bad idea to make a duplicate, just in case.
Whatever your plan is, make sure to delegate, spread the tasks between the group. Once you make some deal, it is good to write it down, just in case if you can’t remember something.
7. Don’t Leave Your Food Unsupervised
We’ve already said that you shouldn’t keep your food somewhere where animals could easily reach it, but you shouldn’t also leave your cooler open on a picnic table, or sandwiches laying down without anyone paying attention. Sooner or later the animals will pick up the smell and follow it straight to your table, so you’ll have to make sure there is nothing that could make them want to come and join you.
8. Be Creative
If you’ve forgotten something in a hurry, or you’ve found out you’ll need something you don’t have, don’t be afraid to improvise. It will give a whole new tone to the adventure and it will make you feel proud, without a doubt. But also, don’t overdo. Stay practical! If there is no need to do something, don’t do it.
Have flip flops and an extra flashlight somewhere near the entrance to your tent, if someone from your party has to pay a late-night visit to a toilet. Use the tent hammocks to create a night orientation place. Add a glowing stick in it and let it be your guide to the tent when the night falls.
9. Bring The Right Tools With You
You’ll most likely need some tools with you, and make sure you have all of them packed before you go. If you own the air mattresses, you’ll need the pump for them. A camping knife is also a good idea, same as a hammer.
Because there could be rain, it is a good idea to get one of those stormproof match kits, so you don’t have to worry if your matches will become wet.
10. Keep The Positive Spirit Up
Don’t forget, the main goal is to have fun. If you lose more time and energy thinking about the organization than on having fun and enjoy the trip, you’re doing it wrong. If something goes wrong, stay calm, don’t lose your temper or nerves, and try to get the best possible solution for all involved.
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The organization is the key when it comes to the difference between the bad and the good camping trip. This article should help you learn some most important things, but in the end, it all depends on you and your will to do it properly. This should serve you simply as a guide on a way to have hours and hours of fun with your loved ones while getting the most out of the situation.