Planning a Camping Trip
The most important part of camping is preparation. To some extent, this is the same as for any trip, but in camping where the time is spent in the wilderness away from home, it is even more important. For one thing the camping experience depends on not taking advantage of common conveniences. Trips to the local grocery store or pharmacy defeat the purpose of living outdoors. It is important for the serious camper to plan, to bring what is needed and to be ready for life on the campground.
For most people, camping is synonymous with living in a tent. While tents are not the only kind of shelter for camping, there are benefits to using one as your primary camping shelter. Tents are relatively cheap, extremely portable and adaptable to almost any kind outdoor situation. It is also possible to find tents in a variety of sizes and forms. One of the more important things to consider when shopping for a tent is size. It depends on how many people it is going to shelter. When considering how many people the tent will sleep, it is always better to go for too big rather than too little because an overly small tent can be stressful and unpleasant. Another basic consideration should be weather. What time of year is the camping trip? What is the weather like at the campsite? Tents come with a variety of options when it comes to seasons and weather.
When people think "emergency supplies," especially in the context of camping, the first thing that comes to mind is usually the first aid kit. While having emergency medical supplies for a camping trip is definitely essential, there is much more to being prepared for wilderness-related trouble. In addition to a well-stocked first aid kit, the camper will also need to have a few water-proof basics like flashlights and lanterns, a compass and a fire starter.
Where to camp
Choosing a campsite depends on a lot of factors, many of which depend on the camper's own personal situation and what is possible at a particular location. For example, a secluded campsite at night with kids is not a good idea if the kids are fearful of the dark. On the other hand, a campsite among other populated campsites can be be reminiscent of sleeping in a public park. There are other issues to do with campsites that are not quite so subjective. The terrain, the available amenities, convenient proximity to trails or rivers, a nice view, all of these things figure in to where to camp.
If planned properly, camping preparation can be rewarding and fun, if not it can be miserable and depressing. It is up to the prepared camper to make the trip fun for all.