Top 10 Camping Tips
Summer may be winding down but that doesn't mean camping has to stop! If you live in the Southwestern United States, you know that in many areas, winter is an amazing time to go camping. Take to the wilderness with our Top 10 Camping Tips for your next camping adventure.
1. Use or Buy Firewood In the Area
While it may be tempting to take firewood with you for your trip, the best thing you can do is to buy it where you’ll burn it. This will help reduce the spread of wood hungry insects where you’re camping, keeping the trees safe and healthy. If you're concerned about where to buy firewood in the area that you're camping in, be sure to do some research before hand and call the Forest Service supervising the area for recommendations on where to find firewood. If allowed in the area, you may consider bringing an axe with you to gather some of your own wood when you arrive at your campsite.
2. Make Your Own Grill
Before your trip, head to the Dollar Store and grab a cooling rack. You can place the cooling rack above your fire, securing it on a few large rocks surrounding your fire for a sturdy surface to grill steaks, hotdogs, or even vegetables on. If you're camping in an area where campfires are restricted, you can also pick up a lasagna pan while grabbing your cooling rack to put your coals in for a more controlled fire (you can find instructions on Instructables.com).
3. Plan for Fido
There’s no better place to have your best friend with you than on a camping trip. Along with water, treats, and food, remember to plan for them in the great outdoors with some dog-friendly sunscreen, tick repellent, a pet first aid kit, and extra dog waste bags. Additionally, it may be worth it for you to invest in a tie-out stake to make sure your dog doesn’t wander too far. Be sure to check the area’s leash length regulations to ensure you’re respecting the park’s rules and avoid a fine. You can also check out this Doggie Zip Line from Gopetfriendly.com to give your pet some extra freedom while on their leash.
4. Cotton Ball Fire Starter
If you are an experienced camper than you’re probably better off without this hack, but if you only head outdoors on occasion, this hack may be perfect for you. Grab a bag of cotton balls, petroleum jelly, and some ziplock bags. Rub some of the cotton balls in the jelly, leaving a small portion of the cotton untouched, and toss it in your bag for transport. Once you’re at camp, take out a few of the cotton balls and place them in your fire for lighting. Be sure to keep some paper towels on hand for quick clean up afterward.
5. Trash Bag Holder
When you’re at the dollar store grabbing your DIY camping grill equipment, be sure to grab a collapsible laundry hamper. These are easy to transport and don’t take up that much space but are sturdy enough to act as a temporary trash bin during your trip. Line the hamper with a trash bag and once you’re ready to go, you’ll be able to break down the hamper with ease.
6. Bring Games
The best thing about camping is the ability to escape all of the technology that surrounds us in our everyday lives and take in nature. Preserve the battery on your phone and power it off until you need it and break out some other games instead. Bring out a deck of cards like Uno for some family fun or even Cards Against Humanity if you’re enjoying the trip with some friends. Other games that are great for the trip are Apples to Apples, pre-made Scavenger Hunts, Flashlight Tag, and more.
7. Inflatable Pool Play Pin or Bed
Who says inflatable pools are only for swimming? Take one along with you, especially if you have a baby, for an easy to pack and setup play pin. Line the pool with a sheet, blankets, pillows, etc. to keep your little one nice and comfy during the trip. You can also use this method for an outdoor relaxation area as well. The barriers of the pool will keep out dirt and rock so you can relax with a good book and enjoy your day.
8. Keep Cooking Items in Clear Totes
Clear, plastic tote boxes are an essential go-to for home organization and a great addition to help you keep your camping kitchen away from bugs and outside exposure. Separate those items (such as pans, cleaner, and plates and utensils) even further with the help of Ziploc bags that you can reuse when you’ve finished on your trip.
9. Pack It In and Pack It Out
Help keep our forests and national parks clean and always pack it in and pack it out. Always be sure to bring extra trash bags to properly dispose of all trash and leftovers. Leftovers do attract unnecessary animals to the area but more over, they can also make those animals sick. Just like the animals, trash is harmful to the environment if left behind, so be sure to plan ahead. You can check with the rangers in the area beforehand or upon arrival to find out if there is a trash disposal program onsite.
10. Unplug, Relax, and Enjoy
More than anything else, have fun while you are enjoying your camping adventure. Turn off your cellphones and take in your camping vacation while you’re there. Venture around the area and explore all that there is to see.
We hope you'll be able to use all of these great tips on your next camping trip and be sure to explore some of the different camp grounds available around Forever Resorts from Bryce Canyon to the Grand Canyon and even at our desert marina locations.