June 4th, 2014
Camping can be as easy or adventurous as you like. You could camp in a motorhome, or you could take a backpack and hike for four days to see some spectacular falls.
Number one tip is camp to your abilities and health and that of the people around you. If you’re camping alone, a lot of the same safety rules for hiking apply. Make sure people know where you’re going, when you’ll be back, and when to panic.
When you go camping with kids, you’ll need to do more planning for activities. But don’t overplan. Let them enjoy just being in nature and the joy of climbing trees or rocks for the fun of it. But before you go, spend time explaining the ground rules and your expectations like the buddy system, and what to do if you get lost (see below)
When you’re researching your camping spot, read up on the area. Keep an eye on the weather. If you’re hiking into a campground, leave enough time for your trek so you can set up the campground before dark. Also, give yourself two hours to set up camp. Something always goes wrong, and you want to be able to have that extra time.
During the day, you’ll probably go for hikes. Make sure you:
Before you leave, pack these few important things to make your trip more comfortable and safe:
Pack food as you would for a picnic if you won’t have a cooler or refrigerator at your disposal.
The following list is only a suggestion of some of the supplies you should consider for your first aid kit. You should personalize yours based upon where you’re going, who will be with you, how close you’ll be to civilization, and how long you’ll be gone.
Although animals are cute to look at and photograph, wild animals are best enjoyed from far away. Don’t go near or try to feed a strange animal. It’s better to enjoy these animals at the zoo, in books, or on the Internet. To keep animals such as bears or wolves away from your campsite, keep it clean. Store food in the car or a “Bear Bag” and hang it from a tree branch away from the campsite. If they can smell it, the animals will be led away from where the campers are.
Try to use a buddy system. Stick with your group when you’re in the woods. Carry a whistle and blow it if you get separated from the group. If you have a cell phone and it’s working, use it to make contact with your group.
If you do get lost, wait in a safe, sheltered place for someone to find you. Make certain all children in your group know these rules so they can be found faster.
Finally, try to leave the electronics at home and just enjoy being together and the natural beauty.