Camping Tips from a Non-Expert

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Are you planning on going camping before the summer is through? It’s on my list and I’ll be quite miffed if I don’t get to cross it off this summer. I may not seem like the camping sort, and truthfully there was a time not too long ago when that was true, but I’ve had a decent amount of experience over the past four years to give what I think are some decent tips and pieces of advice. A coworker of mine is heading up north this weekend for some good ol’ fashioned camping fun, and after hearing stories of my past life as a camp councilor she asked for some advice. I’d never spent a night in a tent before my first night as a councilor (why the hell they hired me, I’ll never know), but after two years working at a camp and two more years loving to camp on my own I’ve come up with some great camping strategies. So whether you’re heading out for one night or a full week, you may find these tips helpful.

Bug Repelling – Muskol is your best bet, if not than make sure your bug spray has a high deet percentage. For larger areas try vinegar in a spray bottle to spray around your camp site or even on the outside of your tent.

Hygiene – Don’t forget your hand sanitizer. When it comes to toothpaste, be sure to spray spit rather than just spit in a pile, it’ll attract bugs and animals. Swish with water than spray like someone just said something funny. Hopefully there are bathrooms near you too. Bring extra toilet paper.

Clothing – LAYERS!!! And extra socks.

Camp Fire – Best ways to light fire – Most important thing is to let fire breathe and allow oxygen in from the bottom. Always start the fire from as low down as possible and if blowing on it do so as low to the ground as possible, directing to the blue parts of the flames or under the smoking embers. Look up ‘teepee’ and ‘log cabin’ fires – those are the easiest to build. Dryer lint is also great for starting the flames.

Food – Less is more when it comes to travelling with food. Try to come up with several meals that can use the same ingredients so that you don’t need to travel with a lot of food. Always bring nuts, granola bars, and sources of protein that’ll keep you full. S’mores, banana boats, and oatmeal cookie apple pies are the best campfire snacks, and anything that can be cooked with a stick is just more fun! Don’t forget utensils and something to wash dishes with, and be sure to hid your food at night. Either in your car, up a tree, or in your tent. Or else say hello to bears and raccoons and goodbye to your food.

I have a ton of tricks to the camping game, so if you’re looking for any specific advice let me know! Tweet me or email me, I’d love to be your own personal camping planner!

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