With spending money shrinking due to a poor economy, it is no surprise that there is an increase in the inexpensive vacation tent camping. Compared to a theme park or exotic vacations, tent camping is very affordable. The initial costs may add up but remember you will get many uses out of most items like tents, sleeping bags, grills, pots, and dishes (don’t use paper or plastic). Because of this, throughout the United States, campgrounds have seen a 10% increase in rentals. Many rentals being new first time campers, excited about their camping adventure, and many inexperienced campers arrive unprepared.
Not being prepared for tent camping does not mean forgetting a dc operated TV/VCR, but rather forgetting tent stakes, sleeping bags and other appropriate gear, which could lead tent campers to sleeping in the car and bumming food of neighbor tent campers. The key to making tent camping fun is simple, allow nature and the surroundings to provide the entertainment while being prepared for the environment. Regional campgrounds all have their own unique climate and surrounding weather features. Prepared camping means having the proper shelter, attire and food preparation. Consider the following before choosing tent camping as your low-budget eco-friendly vacation option:
Tent – Buying a tent does not have to cost a lot. Consider buying camping tents built for the worst weather conditions. Fireproof, easy assembly, storage areas, head room, and comfortable space are all factors to look for when buying a new tent. There is always compromises when deciding on a new purchase. Match your camping comfort levels with the camping areas you plan to visit.
Sleeping Bag – Top notch sleeping bags are not always the nessesary purchase. As nice as it seems most of the time you over do it. Most people need a medium size sleeping bag. The thickness is very important. Heavy sleeping bags cause nights of tossing, turning, and sweating like a pig in hot nights. Light sleeping bags cause you to seek additional warmth. How do you sleep at home? Is your bedroom hot, warm, or cool? What do you use for blankets? Take those answers and determine the thickness and size of your new sleeping bag. I personally need a sleeping bag that was light. My body tends to adjust well to my surrounding temperatures, and I sleep better in cooler areas. I’d rather put on an extra blanket or snuggle close, than sweat all night.
Emergency First-Aid Kit – The bigger the better. You want it to be full. When putting together your initial first-aid kit it is a good idea to purchase a complete kit. Make sure you have a complete list of the contents in the first-aid kit. Every time you get home from your camping trips do a complete inventory. Remember any allergy medications, sun tan lotions, citronella or insect deterrent and snake bite kits. (Of course we recommend all natural products. They should be either homemade or purchased from a natural substance store. We also like to recommend a citronella plant. These plants work very very well.)
Outdoor Clothing – My number one recommendation for outdoor clothing would be a pair of cargo pant with a detachable lower leg. Very Nice! Cargo pants and cargo shorts is always great, but with cargos you get extra weight and bulk. Not everyone is comfortable in bulky shorts. Comfort level is again important. It is a very nice convenience to have extra pockets when you are hiking or around the campsite. Shoes are another important consideration. If you plan on doing any hiking, please do yourself a favor and buy hiking boots. Then consider your sneakers, shower sandals, flip-flops, or moccasins.
Food and Drink – #1 fresh water. Make sure you have plenty of drinkable water. Use boiled water for dishes. (hint: bring a pot to put on a fire). Bring plenty of food. Plan every meal. Remember the mountain pie makers, bread, pizza and pie fillings. Nuts (maybe in a trail mix) are a very good idea also. Remember you also don’t want to over do it. Storage has to be considered. You don’t want bears and coons!
Maps – You want to know where you are at right. GPS is great but maps are cheaper. Plus, add a compass and still save hundreds of dollars. If you don’t want to be wandering around in circles find maps of camping area grounds including trails and features. Make sure you can read it and understand it before buying maps. You should be able to find one that you can follow.
Being prepared not only means having the proper materials, but also having a proper knowledge of the campground’s environment and its features. Beware that there are wild animals you don’t want to attract.
If you have any suggestions of “camping must haves”, please share with us by leaving a comment below.