When it comes to outdoor camping many people do not realize what is involved. Although it is one of the best and most economical family vacation, without proper preparation it can be a miserable experience! We have become so used to all our household conveniences that going without them for a week can be overwhelming. There is a big difference in preparing a meal at home and preparing a meal out in the woods!
The first outdoor camping tips deal with learning how little you really need to be comfortable in the woods. Since most people camp in the summer this is what we will discuss. If you are using a tent you must first decide how many people will be sleeping in it. If you will have four using the tent you should get a tent that holds at least six people. This will allow extra room for your gear and allow room for moving around in the tent without walking on bedding.
To go with your tent you will want either a tarp to place under it or a thing called a footprint- this will protect the bottom of the tent from rocks, sticks and moisture. You will also want to make sure everyone has a place to sleep. You can use camping cots, inflatable air mattresses or just place a sleeping bag on the ground. I personally would suggest the inflatable mattresses which are more comfortable than the ground!
More outdoor camping tips have to do with the preparation of the meals you will be eating while enjoying the wilderness. You will have no refrigerator to keep food cold so you will need at least one large cooler. When choosing the ice it is best to stay away from the crushed or cubed ice which takes up more room and melts faster than a block of ice. An alternative is to get a disposable aluminum pan and freeze water in it- this will set nicely in the bottom of the cooler and last quite some time!
Another tip is to precook as much as you can at home. Sausage links or patties can be cooked and stored in a Ziploc baggy and so can scrambled eggs which will take up less space. It will also use less fuel since you only need to warm them up. When placing things in storage containers for the cooler be sure to use square containers and not round ones- every inch counts and must be utilized! It is best if you have room for two coolers to store your cold drinks in one and food in the other.
It is wise to have a tote just for kitchen items. This should consist of a pan for heating water, two frying pans, lids for pans and cooking utensils. Do not forget the can opener! Plates should be plastic as should any bowls, cups or glasses. You should bring some sharp knives and silverware, a few dish towels and wash clothes. You will need two tubs for washing and rinsing the dishes. All of this should fit nicely in the tote with room left for things like snacks, bread and buns which you don’t want to get smashed.
So, you have a tent, two coolers and a tote to place in your vehicle. This should allow room for the extras such as sleeping bags and clothing. You might even have room for a few camping chairs and of course you will want to bring some camping lanterns for light after dark. The safest ones run on batteries or solar power. Hope this helps make your trip a little easier!