Then, there’s footwear. When you’re camping, you need to protect your feet. Wear closed-toe shoes that have some sort of moisture-absorbing lining. Hiking boots are ideal, and one way to prevent blisters when you’re exploring trails is by rubbing a bar of soap on your heels and underneath your toes before you head out. Keep the soap with you, and if your feet become tender, apply more soap to any potential hot spots.
Always pack a waterproof poncho to protect you from the rain; the last thing you want is to get your clothing drenched. Wearing wet clothing could cause hypothermia.
5. Avoid Bugs, Bears, and Poisonous Plants: This set of camping tips concerns bugs, bears and poisonous plants. When pitching your tent or setting up another type of shelter, be on the lookout for wasp nests and other insects and bugs. If you’re hanging out near vegetation, it’s a good idea to wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. It won’t hurt to apply insect repellent either. Check yourself frequently for ticks as well.
You probably know to avoid poison ivy and how to spot its three-leafed clusters. Poison oak and poison sumac — which tend to have more than the three telltale leaves per bunch — are also ones to watch out for. Wearing clothing that covers you from head to toe when you’re near plants, bushes and trees will help reduce your chances of getting a rash. It’s a good idea to have calamine lotion and an antihistamine or allergy medicine on hand in case you come across an irritant.
4. Don’t Get Lost: Experienced camping enthusiasts know this camping tip, so plant it in your brain: Don’t get lost. It’s a major mistake campers make, but you can avoid wandering too far away from your campsite by carrying a few simple tools at all times. A compass, map and GPS device can keep you from disappearing into the land of the lost. Of course, none of these tools will do you any good if you don’t know how to use them. So, take some time well in advance of your camping trip to learn how to read a map and use your compass and GPS. (Plus, by the time you get to the end of this article, you’ll have even more camping tips under your belt to keep you on track.)
3. Tote a Survival Kit: When it comes to camping, nothing could be truer than the Boy Scout motto “Be prepared.” Carrying a survival kit when you venture away from your campsite is an indispensable camping tip. So, what do you pack in this kit? For starters, you’ll want to have water-purifying tablets, a water filter and a metal bowl. Then, add a survival knife, which can be used to hunt, to protect yourself and to signal for help. Not just any blade will do; it’s worth investing in one from a camping or outdoor goods store.
Another must-have in your survival kit is waterproof matches stored in an airtight container. You can make waterproof matches by dipping regular ones in either nail polish or paraffin. A plastic medicine bottle or 35 millimeter film container makes a handy caddy for your waterproof matches. Keep a flashlight in your survival kit, and store extra batteries in an airtight container similar to the ones you store your matches in. Having a flare gun and a mini LED torch aren’t a bad idea, either.
In addition to toting a survival kit, you should also have a small first aid kit with you. Stock bandages, wound cleanser, latex gloves and cold packs in it.
2. Practice Good Hygiene: We mentioned earlier in the camping tips section on clothing that cleanliness is important. The same goes for your body, no doubt. But you may be wondering how to maintain hygiene in less than ideal conditions. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in your pocket, and always cleanse your hands before eating, drinking or putting your hands near your face. Use rubbing alcohol and cotton balls to freshen up nonsensitive areas of the body. Use a sponge, a bowl of water and biodegradable soap to take bird baths once or twice a day. Brush your teeth using purified water with toothpaste or baking soda, and follow with dental floss. Your feet will get pretty grimy while camping, so take advantage of moments near a stream to take off your shoes and soak your feet in the water for a few minutes. Steer clear of colognes, perfumes and fragrant lotions because they attract bugs.
Wrap various personal hygiene items like your washcloth, toothbrush and soap individually in aluminum foil when you’re packing up to ensure that the rest of the stuff in your backpack stays dry.
1. Take Extra Precautions When Camping with Kids or Pets: Camping with kids or pets takes a lot of work, but it can be a pleasant experience. As we’ve learned, planning is the secret to successful camping. This carries through to camping with your children and furry friends. Be sure to have the appropriate clothing to protect your child, whether that means sun hats in the summer or warm, long-sleeved clothing he or she can wear if the outside temperature suddenly drops. Next, just like you practice a fire drill, work with your children to help them learn how to prevent getting lost and what to do if this should happen. Provide a flashlight or glowstick to each child, and review the rules several times a day to remind children what to do to stay safe.
Bringing your dog on your camping trip can make even a modest shelter feel like a home away from home. A few things you’ll need to ask yourself is whether you’re equipped and willing to restrain your pet should a wild or domestic animal wander by. Also, you want to be sure that your pet’s vaccinations and licenses are current. Of course, you need to bring your dog’s leash, and keep the pet contained at all times. You’ll need to provide your dog’s food in a clean bowl, as well as fresh clean water, in addition to properly cleaning up and disposing of its waste.