Pitch the Best Experience with These 5 Tips for Camping
September 29, 2021
Summer may be coming to an end, but there are still many reasons to pitch tents and eat too many s’mores. Nearly two-thirds of us like to experience the wonders of the great outdoors by going camping. It’s a low-stress activity with minimal preparation required, but these 5 tips for camping can help make those morning hikes and campfire chats even more rewarding.
1. Pack In, Pack Out
If you’re an extended-time-in-nature-newbie, there are a few key acronyms and phrases to familiarize yourself with.
GORP: (good old raisins and peanuts), a must-have snack for camping
Blaze: painted symbols found on trees or rocks, used to mark the trail
Switchback: those seemingly endless, zigzagging trails that leave you breathless
Leave No Trace: seven principles from the National Park Service for minimizing our impact on the environment
Like Leave No Trace, Pack In, Pack Out involves planning for a camping trip and disposing of our waste properly (here’s looking at you, used toilet paper and hygiene products). Essentially, do your part so that what’s brought into nature is also removed.
2. Pack Fresh, Local Ingredients
There’s no better time to eat local, fresh foods than when eating a delicious wilderness meal! Camping is a good excuse to make a stop at a local farmer’s market or co-op. Seasonal food is even better (more nutritious to boot!), as are types of produce that can withstand hotter temperatures and jostling around in a cooler or backpack:
Cut fruits (peaches, melons, strawberries, pineapple) in a reusable container
Whole fruits like apples, oranges, cherries, grapes, and Asian pears
Cut veggies (celery, radishes, cucumbers, carrots, snow peas, and peppers) in a reusable container with hummus
Veggies (potatoes, carrots, peppers, onions, zucchini) on a kebab with tofu
Pro-tip: If you’re bringing a coffee mug or lidded pot, these can double as a lightweight produce storage container. Many types of produce can survive without refrigeration for about three to five days, and crumpled newspaper can make for a good insulator.
3. Bring a Book and Leave Your Stress Back Home
If you’ve “thought” about reading a certain book for months or years, use your camping trip as a perfect time for a little R&R (relaxation and reading)! Slim paperbacks are lightweight or you can download a few reads on your e-reader.
Consider diving into a book designed for the outdoors, like Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, or Upstream by Mary Olliver.
4. Make a Plan
In addition to your Pack In, Pack Out plan, a little bit of planning can go a long way in helping you to avoid closed trails or grumpy kids. Here are a few things to consider:
Think about those zzzs. Your king bed and memory foam pillows probably won’t make it on your camping trip, so make sure you have the equipment, clothes, and weather for a good night’s sleep.
Have a predetermined camping spot. Whether you’re backcountry camping or checking out a local campground, make sure there are spots available and you have what it takes to make it to your camping spot.
Plan some other activities. Consider what you’ll do during the day to stay busy and explore the area. Hiking, climbing, and swimming are common activities, but board games, sports, and art are fun, too!
Warm meals make a world of difference. After a long day outside or grueling hike, a hot meal might be good enough to bring tears of joy. Whether you’re using your local produce in a stir fry or trying a dehydrated meal, a little heat can make for a much tastier dinner.
5. Bring a (Blix) Bike So You Can Explore More!
There are few landscapes a Blix bike can’t traverse, so it’s an essential camping companion! If you want to see and do more while you’re spending time in the great outdoors, keep your Blix bike in tow.