Nothing compares to that first camping trip, and the secret to complete enjoyment is preparation. It is all but guaranteed that you will experience the unexpected. While that’s mostly good, if you’re caught unprepared those unforeseen events can make or break the experience. What’s more, they contain risks, some potentially life-threatening. Your experience will probably be the event of a lifetime. If you plan properly and take the right safety gear, your first expedition will be something you will want to remember for years to come… for all the right reasons.
Prepare for Changes in the Weather
One of the greatest risks to any camper is a sudden and unexpected shift in weather. Even in the most up-to-date campgrounds, bad weather can muddle your plans. Strong winds, torrential downpours, and fire risks keep campers on their toes. Your best defense… a strong offence. Plan ahead and check the weather reports. In addition, you will want to avoid critter bites, sunburns and a variety of minor to major injuries. Therefore, here are a few suggestions that you will want to keep in mind.
The Right Gear
Having the right camping gear is a necessity. Take the time to learn about recommended tents, sleeping bags, mattresses, backpacks, cook-stoves, and clothing. If you plan to make camping trips a regular event, it’s often worth investing in quality equipment. Most importantly, investing in gear can be a lifesaver. Top quality safety boots can be found online at reputable sellers such as RSEA and it is recommended to break into them ahead of time. Also be sure to pack some moleskin in your emergency kit.
An Emergency Kit
Aside from quality camping equipment, one of the most important items to take along is a well-equipped emergency kit. You will need an accurate map of the area, an all-weather radio, a solar-light (or a traditional flashlight with extra batteries), a first-aid box, extra non-perishable foods and propane. Cell phones are a great safety item. If phone use is an option, carry along a printout of contact information (including emergency contacts), as a backup. Take any prescription medication, inhalers, and allergy medications that you require. It is better to be prepared then left empty handed in an emergency.
A Few Extras
When you’re camping, some of the ‘niceties’ can save the day. Fresh water, toilet paper, towels, extra clothes, a sun hat, a decent book, rain gear (poncho, pants, etc.), a small shovel and waterproof matches are items that can be worth their weight in gold, especially when you’re in the outback. If you plan to camp with pets or small children, carry extra food, water, and supplies for their unexpected needs.
Prepare and Enjoy!
Although camping for the first time doesn’t have to break the bank, you will want to be prepared. Keep a camping checklist with your equipment. (Large plastic bins with snap-on lids make great storage containers.) Learn what you can about where you are camping and plan accordingly. With proper preparation, your first camping trip may very well be just the beginning of many exciting adventures.