8 Tips to Prepare for Your Next Camping Trip

Enjoying the fall season? So am I! I'm trying to take advantage of the weather before it gets too cold to comfortably enjoy outdoor activities. In light of these perfect temperatures, I encourage everyone to get out there and engage in any outdoor activity that you enjoy. If that activity happens to be camping, then you're in the right place because this post is here to prepare you for your next camping trip! Make sure you take a peek at this checklist before your next trip out to the woods! 

1. Prepare yourself for cold nights

Depending on where you're setting up camp, we won't all face freezing temperatures, rain, sleet, or snow on our next adventure. But it's always great to be prepared for it! Here are some tips for keeping warm and sleeping right on those chilly nights:

  • Invest in fleece and wool sweatshirts, blankets, socks, and hats; these fabrics are sure to keep that body heat in
  • Make sure your sleeping bag has a thick inner liner; consider wrapping yourself in the fleece blanket before entering the sleeping bag
  • Hand and feet warmers are excellent sources of heat when you need a quick burst of warmth
  • Sleep with a hat on, and keep that hat on as much as possible in cool weather because most of the body's heat is lost via the head
  • Make a fire near your tent and enjoy its warmth for as long as possible before bedtime

2. Pack the right equipment ahead of time

It's essential to pack all camping equipment well ahead of time to ensure you are not forgetting anything! To help you out with the necessary materials you'll want to have on hand, look at this  full checklist from REI Co-op that gives you the low down of what you should have on hand from clothing to kitchen items to fun games and toys. 

We'd like to make some additions of our own to the list that will surely come in handy on your next camping trip!

3. Know what you want to eat and bring the ingredients with you

Either you plan on roughing it out there and spearing your own fish, or you'd rather bring food from home that's easy to cook and will last you the entire trip. If you ask me, I'd be bringing food rather than fending for myself out there! If you're like me, check out these  10 yummy recipes to make over a campfire. Looking for a sweet treat after your meal? Consider making some of these 10 unique s'more creations at the fire or before the trip to bring along!

4. Have the right tent for the right temp

Again, this depends on where you're camping and what the climate is there. It's important you have a tent that prepares you for the weather conditions you're entering! Surface level, it seems simple. If rain is in the forecast, you'll need a waterproof tent. If you'll be in the mountains facing fierce wind and freezing temperatures, you'll need a wind-resistant tent with extra protection from the cold. But choosing the right tent can be more complicated than that. 

Luckily,  Thrillist has put together a list of 8 tents that can face 8 different emergency situations and extreme weather conditions from flooding to inconsistent temperatures to extreme winds. 

5. Plan where you want to go!

There are plenty of beautiful places to explore and set up camp in the U.S. Whether it be as close as your backyard or as far away as a national forest in Texas, it's still important to plan and prepare for the exciting trip! Trying to find a campground? Search the city or state you'd like to explore at  Reserve America and find a camping destination. Or you should check out the U.S. Forest Service for more camping locations and details.

6. Get all the details hashed out beforehand & ask important questions

Before you leave, you'll want to double check you have absolutely everything you'll need and could potentially need. Plus, you'll have to arrange all the details in regards to traveling to your destination! Ask yourself these questions:

  • If traveling far, how will you get there? By car, bike, train, plane, etc.? 
  • How much will it cost to get to your campsite or destination in the wilderness?
  • How long will it take to get there?
  • Once you have arrived, what's the plan? Set up camp right away or make a fire and eat?
  • How long will you be there?
  • How much food do you need to last you that amount of time?
  • What will the weather be like the entire time I'm there?
  • Are you all packed? 
  • Who's coming with me?

7. Yeah, it's going to get dark, so be ready

Will you be ready for the dark of night when it comes? At home, we rely on electricity and our phones for light when it's nighttime and we're crawling into bed. But out in the woods and mountains, we can only rely on the light from the stars and the flashlight we bring along. I recommend that you make lanterns a high priority on your packing list! Then you'll be ready for a pitch dark evening under the simple glow of the stars. 

8. Don't forget to mentally prepare yourself too

It's easy to get caught up in all the physical planning and packing for a camping trip, but what about the mental preparation? You're about to enter an electricity-free forest full of beauty and the unknown. Surrounded by nature, you're not at home anymore or typing away at your office computer. You're out in nature and play by nature's rules. Are you ready to let go of technology and the security of your warm bed sheets in a heated home? Practicing meditation before the exciting trip could be very helpful! It's also something you can enjoy during your trip. Consider these  7 tips to help you relax, and learn about these 3 meditation techniques that will help reduce stress and anxiety.

Now that you have these tips to get you ready for your next trip into the wild, you can feel at ease that you're prepared! Have any additional tips that you'd like to share? Let us know via any of our social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! 

Check back here next week Wednesday for my next blog where I'll give you some fun and DIY alternative uses for log hoops!