I met someone the other day who had never been camping. Never, in eighteen years. I cannot even fathom that. I go camping at least once a year; with friends, with family, even on school trips.
The great thing about camping is that it is incredibly fun and incredibly miserable at the same time. You don’t have wifi (gasp!), so you end up exploring, hiking, playing cards, playing truth or dare, and doing anything else you can think of to avoid the deafening boredom of doing nothing. Then at night, you pile into a tent to stay warm because it’s the middle of night in September in Kentucky. Or maybe that’s just me.
The point is that camping is completely what you make it. If you are going to complain the entire time (cough my sister cough), you ruin the trip for everyone. But if you get over your discomfort, you will actually have more fun that you ever imagined.
So here are my tips for making the most of your camping trip:
- Get a large tent. It’s easier and more fun to fit everyone in one tent. But don’t go overboard. If you don’t have 10-12 people, you don’t need a 10 person tent.
- Cook over the fire. Hobo dinners are surprisingly delicious. If you don’t know what they are, hobo dinners are meals made by wrapping any type of food you want in aluminum foil and cooked by setting them in the campfire. Keep a close eye on them, though, or you’ll burn your dinner. You can also use a campfire grill and a divided pan. I do not at al suggest you use a gas stove. They’re more trouble than they’re worth and less fun.
- This one is absolutely not a joke. If you are camping for more than a day or two and have access to showers or a body of water, bathe. If you’re washing up in a lake or stream, make sure to use biodegradable soap. Otherwise, you may kill the plants and animals around you.
- Speaking of bodies of water, swimming in random streams is extremely fun. Also, sliding down banks of mud into the water is not as gross as it sounds. But afterwards, make sure to repeat tip #4.
- At least one person must bring a guitar. The more the merrier. Singing around the campfire make up some of my favorite camping memories.
- Finally, the most important part of camping. S’mores. Designate at least half the group to bring the ingredients, just in case someone forgets. For more information on s’mores, check out my bonfire post.