Experiencing a safe, fun-filled camping trip is the thrill of a lifetime! Through careful planning, purchasing “easy to use’, reliable camping gear and educating your group about safe camping rules, this experience can easily be accomplished. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? If you have never been on a camping trip, now is the time to do so! You do not have to be a related to Daniel Boone or any other outdoors person, just rely on a good leader and follow his/her game plan. Find a camping group and pack your gear!
If you are the leader of the group, your first step toward having an easy camping trip should begin with creating a master plan. Determining the length of time you and your group will spend on your trip is crucial. This will depend largely on the activities of the individuals going on the trip; such as work schedules, school sports, and other obligations. If this trip is a new adventure, you will probably want to limit it to a short week-end. If you forget some of the items, you can always manage without them for two days and two nights. Since this will be your trial run, the items left off your check list the first time will help you to plan better for longer trips such as Memorial Day or Labor Day weekends.
Secondly, make a check list of items that will be needed for your comfort. Your master list of items should include such things as the type of shelter, cooking methods, food supplies and personal hygiene. Tents and grills may be easily remembered; however, there is nothing worse than arriving at your campsite out in “the middle of nowhere” without toilet tissue! This is a must if you want to have an easy camping trip!
Planning for your meals can be quite simple if you utilize a large cooler as storage for all perishables. Ice will last long enough to make it through the first day of food. The cooling time can be extended if you take along several packs of frozen food. Non-perishable food such as snacks, bread, crackers, peanut butter and jelly can be stored in an additional large cooler. Coolers help to protect all food items from ants and other uninvited creatures. Leaving large cooking grills behind on your short trips, will contribute to an easy camping trip. You will soon discover how efficient some of the small 1 & 2 burners can be.
Always plan for entertainment, whether it be group or individual activities. Frisbees, footballs or other types of balls can keep all ages busy for quite some time. Plan as many group activities as possible. Busy campers are happy campers. If you are able to keep the majority of your campers happy, your easy camping trip will materialize. Roasting wieners or making smores over an open camp fire will be a rewarding experience. One of my favorite activities was sitting around an open camp fire singing familiar songs and telling “tall tales”. These activities provide pleasant memories for all ages.
The most important part of your plan is to be certain to provide a safe camping environment for your entire group. Before leaving the security of your home, make everyone aware of the dangers that could be lurking around camp sites. Some of these dangers are as simple as tent stakes or holes in the surface of the camping grounds as well as poison ivy or other poisonous plants. Always survey the entire camp site before permitting individuals to strike out on their own. If there is a near-by stream of water, set rules for use of such. An open camp fire or improper use of cooking appliances pose a tremendous threat to all campers, especially first timers. The majority of these dangers can be avoided by simply discussing these potential threats and educating all campers in your group how to hand each situation.
To insure that all minor injuries receive the proper treatment, always carry a well-stocked first aid kit. You don’t have to be a doctor or a nurse to treat minor injuries such as cuts, bruises or sprains. As mentioned previously, just be sure to discuss how to handle various emergencies before you leave the comfort of your home. It is also a good idea to review these procedures when you first arrive at your campsite and call attention to other visible dangers surrounding the campsite. Before leaving for your camping trip, always advise a friend, neighbor, or family member where you are going, the route you are taking to your camp site and how to get in touch with you in case of an emergency. These simple rules can help you to have an easy camping trip.