New Season Coming Up
With the festivities in the rear-view mirror and the winter slowly creeping farther along, spring gradually begins to come into focus—and with that comes the growing desire to get back out and into the campground. There are some useful hacks to should keep in mind during the seasonal flow while camping. Sure, the scenery can be unique, and l and the trails seem to be much less busy than summer and fall, but the weather can be unpredictable (to put it mildly), and thorough planning is imperative.
Your New Camping Gear
More often than any other time, spring is when people tend to buy or exchange camping gear. Before you dive headfirst into an introductory camping trip, though, it’s a good idea to make sure that everything works, that it suits your needs, and that you know how to set it up so that you don’t end up fumbling around with a broken tent while it’s pouring rain.
Take some time ahead of time to use your gear in a yard or state park near your home for a night, and get acquainted with it before you go on a ride. Even if it’s not a new gear, it’s probably the equipment that’s been in storage for at least a few months and might benefit from a test run to make sure it’s all up to snuff.
Tents and sleeping bags come with the territory when camping, but what about the other accessories that might come in handy? These useful items are suited for a great time deep in the wilderness on your camping trip. The following are ten such accessories.
Stay Hydrated with Water Bottle
Water is essential, whether you are kicking back at home or hiking out amidst the great outdoors. The further from the beaten path you travel, the more quickly the water seems to be used. It would be best to have a good water bottle or hydration pack such as a CamelBak to keep you readily hydrated. You also need some source of refills. If you know you will be traveling near water, bringing a water purifier or tablets is a reasonable choice. Otherwise, pack a water reservoir.
Stay Warm with a Fire Starter
An integral part of camping is the crackling campfire. It provides heat in the chill, light in the darkness, and a means of preparing food. Your options are varied for starting that fire. Waterproof matches are one means of fire starting, but be confident they’re waterproof. You can also try to use a flint and steel, a striker that does the work for you, a magnesium fire starter, or a cigarette lighter. Bring some kindling as well in a sealed plastic bag.
Stay Prepared with a First Aid Kit
While adequate preparation prevents many emergencies from happening, and it is unlikely that you will experience an injury while camping that is life-threatening, even a short day of hiking can leave you in blisters that need bandages.
You also want to keep dirt out of any small scrapes and cuts you incur while picking your way through twigs or brambles. Your kit should include bandages, antiseptic, scissors, gauze, adhesive, soap, an emergency whistle, and a CPR mouth barrier. While you are at it, have sunscreen, aloe lotion for easing burns, and insect repellent.
Stay Sharp with a Pocket Knife
For utility, a multi-tool pocket knife is a camper’s right-hand friend. It is the ultimate multipurpose tool for your outdoor excursions. A knife can trim a rope, dice bait, cut fishing line, open packages that are tightly sealed, slice sausage or cheese, deal with a tangle of vines, sharpen a stick or stake, or tighten a screw.
Stay On Track with a Map and Compass
When your camping itinerary includes hiking in remote spots, do not go without a GPS or a map and a good compass. Know how to read either or both before setting out. Disorientation as to location is easy in forests and mountains.
Stay Relaxed with a Hammock and Mosquito Net
After a long day of hiking, nothing beats hanging a hammock and relaxing, especially if your lofty bed has a bug net to protect you from the bites of blood-sucking insects. You can even get a hammock with a cover and rain fly that doubles as a hanging tent.
Stay Afloat with an Inflatable Kayak
Maybe your bucket list includes a camping trip complete with kayaking, but you lack the room to bring a vessel along. Try a rugged, durable inflatable kayak that can be used on calm rivers or in lakes.
Stay Fed with a Nesting Kit
While many things at a camping supply store are easy temptations, you should give in to and purchase a nesting set with plates, cups, and cookware. Look for one with Teflon-coated cookware and enough eating ware to feed your camping group.
Stay Clean with Garbage Bags
You do not want to be that camper, the one who ruins the site for future visitors. Be sure to remember sufficient garbage bags to hike out with everything you carried into the wilderness. Whether you are in Louisiana state park campsites or the nature of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, clean up after yourself.
Stay Hygienic with Biodegradable Toilet Paper
It is no one’s favorite topic, but when you have to go, you have to go. Keep yourself and the wilderness clean with toilet paper that will break down quickly when you bury it. Do not take your chance with unknown leaves.
These ten camping accessories can all feel like life-savers in the appropriate conditions. Consider any or all of them when shopping for spring camping gear to improve your experience.