Ah, there’s no greater feeling than being out in the quietude of nature! And nothing says summer more than mosquitoes and a getaway outdoors. It’s the May long weekend and the kickoff to summer activities, and that usually includes camping, hiking, and boating for many. This year experienced and newbie campers across the country will hit the wilderness with enthusiasm to the max. But before you get all bright eyed and bushy tailed about your excursion, there are a few key factors to take into consideration.
What gear do you need for a camping trip? It all depends on how much you want to rough it. You can go with as little as a backpack, or you can stock up on gear that offers enjoyment and comfort. Whichever way you choose, you should always be prepared. If you want to be comfy, you’ll need a tent, waterproof sleeping bag, coolers, cook stove & fuel, cookware, sharp knife, matches/lighter, lanterns, flashlights, compass, day or backpack, pillow, extra clothing, blankets, water, food, and a camera. Your tent is your first line of defense, so get a good one. It should be sturdy, water-resistant, and roomy. Tents will protect you from the environment, bugs, keep you warmer, and offer privacy. Another thing to consider is staying dry. Long weekends are notorious for rain and bad weather, so always take some type of impenetrable plastic liners or a shower curtain to keep the floor of your tent dry. Each province and state will have public and private campgrounds. Our tax dollars fund public campgrounds so they are open to everyone. They can be free or have a nominal charge. Private campgrounds usually require a membership, and they offer more amenities and security than public campsites. National and provincial parks offer some scenic campgrounds with picnic areas, fire pits, restrooms and breathtaking walking paths.
You can also camp out on Government Forestry land, but this is not for the faint of heart. There are no facilities at all, so it’s for serious campers who enjoy roughing it and enjoying the solitude. Check online which area is close to or resonates with you. Critters and bugs go hand in hand with camping. While they are unavoidable many times, there are a few things you can do to reduce their attraction. First and foremost keep your campsite area clean and devoid of garbage, food crumbs and drink spill. Keep your food in airtight containers and off the ground or in the trunk of your vehicle if possible. Wash your dishes and camp stove immediately after each use, and throw your trash away every evening.
Raccoons, squirrels, birds, and skunks will patrol the grounds for leftover morsels. Snakes can also be a problem. To avoid bugs, reduce or steer clear of perfumey products, keep lights dim at night and use repellent candles. Many people will camp near amenities for convenience, but this usually means tolerating ongoing traffic from vehicles, people, and pets. To really enjoy your camping experience, move off the beaten path and distance yourself from civilization. Being away from noise, smells, and lights can be very rewarding. It gives your body a rest or repose from the din of everyday life, and that’s the whole idea of getting out in nature, right? Campfires require caution. It’s wonderful to have the ambience and warmth of a campfire, but it involves responsibility. Never leave your fire unattended, and always heed fire bans. Never cut down trees for firewood; it’s destructive and negligent. There are many places that sell firewood, but it’s your obligation to find locate them. If you’re allowed to create a fire, then you must maintain it and douse efficiently when finished.
Preserve our beautiful landscapes by keeping it pristine and being mindful of animal habitats. Also, be cautious of walking on and destroying plant life and delicate flowers. Do your research, heed all signs and learn the ins and outs of camping; it will make for a serene and pleasurable experience!