There are plenty of great reasons to go camping. Enjoying a nice change of pace, breathing in fresh air, bonding with family or friends.
One of the best reasons for camping, however, is preparing for a time when you might have to bug out.
There may not be a sense of urgency with a camping experience. But hiking on uneven terrain, setting up a tent and starting a fire are great preparation activities for a time when you might have to survive a crisis.
Not to mention cooking outdoors, dealing with hygiene issues and sleeping comfortably.
Plan before you leave
Many of us have experienced a very cold and snowy winter. We’ve been chomping at the bit to get outside and enjoy some better weather.
The temperatures are finally starting to warm up in most areas of the country. It may still be a little chilly where you’re located. But at least there’s no polar vortex or bomb cyclones in the forecast.
Before you pack up your gear and push the family into the car, it’s a good idea to keep a few things in mind.
It also makes sense to spend some time figuring out exactly what you want to take with you on your first spring camping trip of the season. Here are three suggestions, followed by plenty more.
Check your equipment. It’s probably been at least six months since your last camping trip. So check all your equipment to make sure it’s in camping shape. That includes your cooking items, fire starters, tent and cold-weather sleeping bags.
Pack tarps. Even if the forecast does not include rain, it could still happen. And even if it doesn’t, the ground will be damp and it’s likely to be cold overnight. Have one tarp for under your tent and another one to place over it.
Pack extra clothing. Assume it’s going to be colder than expected. You’ll be better off having too much clothing that you don’t use than having too little and end up shivering at night.
More items to remember
Here’s a checklist of additional items you should make sure to pack for your spring camping trip:
- Survival knife
- Axe or hatchet
- Flashlights and batteries
- First-aid kit and medications
- Folding chairs
- Backpacks, extra socks, running shoes
- Waterproof hiking boots (trails could be wet and muddy)
- Compass, charging device, whistle, multi-tool
- Food and beverages in coolers, including plenty of water
- Portable water purifier
- Solar cooker or camp stove (See my top recommendation, right here.)
- Pots, pans, plates, utensils
- Insect repellant
- Paper towels, dish soap and a dish washing pan
- Umbrellas, towels and swimsuits
- Garbage bags, aluminum foil
- Duct tape
- Grass mat (for in front of your tent)
Now for a few more tips to consider before you depart.
Practice setting up your tent. Even if you’ve done it many times before, you and your camping companions could probably use a refresher session. Plus, you might be reminded of a missing tent stake before it’s too late.
Make sure the car is fully gassed up and that your tires are properly inflated. If your vehicle is due for an oil change, get that done before you leave.
Spend some time exercising. For your first camping trip of the season, you’ll want to be in good shape. You’ll probably be doing a lot more walking and lifting than you’ve been doing the past few months, so get your body ready for it.
A spring camping trip can be a great way to shake off the cobwebs from a long winter. Just make sure you’re ready to tackle the challenge.