Camping can be an amazing experience that allows you to unplug, connect with nature and escape from the stress of daily life. Even if you're miles from civilization, it doesn't mean you need to skimp on comfort. Camping “essentials" have definitely evolved for the better over the years. Here are some tips to take your camping set-up to the next level.
1. Upgrade your gear. Invest in high-quality camping gear, such as a comfortable and spacious tent, a warm sleeping bag, a durable (reliable) camping stove, and camping chairs. Quality, versatile clothing is also essential - Merino wool
is an excellent choice due to its breathable, non-stink qualities - meaning it can go for days without a wash and can also be used as sleepwear.
Good gear will make your camping experience more comfortable and enjoyable.
2. Plan ahead. Research the area you'll be camping in, including the weather forecast, nearby attractions, and the availability of amenities such as water and firewood. Educate yourself on local wildlife and terrain. Make a checklist of everything you'll need and plan everything in advance, so you minimize surprises.
3. Create a cozy campsite. Set up your campsite with care. Clear any rocks or debris, and lay down a soft cover for your tent. Add a rug or outdoor mat, as this keeps your camper/tent a bit more tidy as you can leave your shoes outside. String some solar lights, play some soft music (if allowed) and create a cozy seating area to enjoy meals and chill time.
Create the perfect home base in the wilderness.
4. Prepare healthy, hearty meals. Sure, if you're packing light, pouch meals
will work just fine; but if space and weight are not a concern, consider upping the ante with more involved meals and snacks. Nothing feels more indulgent than noshing on a homemade meal while sipping a nice glass of wine in a beautiful, remote setting. As for dessert, include some artisan chocolate in your pack, make some apple pie on a stick
or whip up some dutch oven brownies
for the crew.
A group effort: each camper brings something to add to a delicious taco dinner night.
5. Bring entertainment. If wi-fi is non-existent or spotty, be sure to pack some analog-style entertainment like a deck of cards, a book, or a board game. If you're camping with friends, bring along some outdoor games like frisbee, cornhole or wiffle ball. If there's a flat surface, consider laying down your yoga mat and treat yourself to some gentle stretching and meditation.
Early morning yoga is a great way to start the day.
6. Comfort is key. Bring along some comfortable bedding, such as a camping mattress or foam pad, comforter and pillows. Don't forget to pack extra blankets or layers for colder nights. (Again, we love Merino wool base layers
for an added dose of warmth and natural temperature regulation for chilly nights.)
7. Go explore. Take advantage of the outdoors by going on hikes, mountain biking, swimming or strolling around the area. Get creative with outdoor activities and games that you can do with friends or family. Again, make sure you research the terrain ahead of time and be realistic about your fitness level and ability - and the time needed to get back to camp - before hitting the trail.
Break away from camp to explore your surroundings.
8. Hygiene. Hygiene. Hygiene. Nothing brings a stop to the fun like sickness that spreads throughout the campsite. Remember to wash your hands, dishes and separate trash and soiled items from food prep areas to prevent the spread of illness.
Yes, it involves a little extra thought and planning, but by adding just a few creature comforts, you can elevate your camping experience and make it even more memorable. With the right gear, planning, and mindset, you can make the most of your time in the great outdoors.
Check out our blog regarding the Three Fs of Camping for a refresher on how to be a considerate camper and also check out our top picks for the best travel/camping gear this summer.