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Into the Woods: 5 Family Camping Tips for Beginners

Camping is a great way to enjoy natural areas of the country and spend time with family enjoying the outdoors. In order to have a comfortable camping vacation, you will need a significant amount of equipment, but even with this outlay of funds, it is one of the most affordable ways to travel. If you are a camping novice, you will need to do some research to learn about the different types of equipment and what to expect. Here are a few important tips to keep in mind as you prepare for your first camping experience.

Check the Weather Frequently

Do careful research on the weather that is expected in the area where you will be camping. Although weather forecasts are not precise, they can offer a general idea of the conditions you will likely encounter. Smartphones offer a great convenience for campers because you can check weather apps frequently throughout your trip. Bring sufficient clothing that will allow you to be ready for whatever turn of temperature occurs. If sudden violent weather comes up, be ready to pack the tent up quickly and hunt up more substantial lodging for the duration.

Have Equipment That Is Appropriate For the Climate

Purchase sleeping bags that are appropriate for the climate in which you will be camping. A thin bag that is good for warm climates will not offer sufficient insulation for night camping in colder climates. A small battery-powered heater can help to keep tents toasty on cold nights. An extra rain tarp to cover your tent will help to keep you dry inside the tent, in case of heavy rains. Your research will indicate the type of equipment you will need in a particular area of the country. For the extra gear, you will need a vehicle that has the space for both people and equipment, like a Jeep Grand Cherokee, a Subaru Outback or a Nissan Xterra.

Reserve Your Campsite Early

Camping is a popular activity for families, and camping grounds fill up quickly. Make your reservation in a campground as early as possible to ensure that they save a space for you. Some campgrounds at national or state parks operate on a first-come, first-served basis. In this case, you should ensure that you reach your campground early in the day to get a site.

Learn the Rules of Your Campground

Each campground post rules regarding “quiet time” and other matters that help to make camping a pleasant experience for all involved. Some of the rules are important safety considerations, such as storing food properly to avoid encounters with bears or other wildlife. Familiarize yourself with the rules of your campground to ensure the safety and comfort of your group.

Always Bring These Essentials

Make sure you bring extra sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, insect repellent, rain gear, plenty of water, a first aid kit and an extra battery for your cell phone or devices. These items will likely get a great deal of use and can make the difference between an uncomfortable experience and an enjoyable time.

Every region of the United States offers a number of wonderful camping opportunities to enjoy. Once you become accustomed to the camping lifestyle, you will look forward to exploring new areas of the country and planning each camping trip. These tips will help to ensure that each of your experiences is a pleasant and memorable one.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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