Things You Wish You Knew Before Going Camping

Whether it’s your first or 50th time heading out, there’s a few key things you should know and do before starting your trip:

• Bring cash (more than you think you need). If you don’t reserve a site online, you likely pay cash for an available site. Firewood at campgrounds also requires cash.
• Firewood may be cheaper in town, but it’s healthier to buy bundles at your campground because of the possibility of spreading foreign parasites and tree-killing bugs.
• Clip your nails before your trip. Your toes will thank you when you’re hiking down a mountain!
• Bring foods that are easy to take on hikes (dried fruits, nuts, jerky, granola bars, etc.)
• Bring pre-prepared or easy to make meals. If you want to spend the day hiking, biking, or fishing, you don’t want to cook time-consuming meals.
• Check to see if there are any showers near your campsite. If not (and your tent camping), you’ll want to bring a shower bag and possibly a tarp to create a showering area.
• Make sure your gas tank is full before heading out.
• Always pack more water than you think you’ll need.
• Check the weather for the area you’re going to, especially if you’re planning on hiking in the dessert or a slot canyon. Conditions can change quickly!
• If it’s cold, don’t forget under layers, especially for sleeping.
• Altitude affects your breathing, which can affect your ability to hike. If you’re planning a long trek, start resistance training and research breathing techniques.
• Research the wildlife activity in the area you’re going, particularly if you plan on hiking, and pack accordingly. Items like bear spray, bear bins and bells are vital.
• Pack according to the trip duration, climate, and activities planned.
• Enjoy the great outdoors!