If you’re going camping this summer, make sure to plan ahead. It’s all too easy to forget a key detail and then suffer the consequences. To ensure you have a terrific time, here are some common mistakes to avoid.
1. Choosing the wrong campground
Do your research to find a campground that checks all your boxes. In particular, consider the amenities you want. This may include laundry facilities, a pool, a tennis court or lake access. You should also consider what type of camping spot you’d like, whether it’s a secluded area in the forest or a shared campsite with a community feel.
2. Bringing gear that doesn’t work
Inspect all your equipment to make sure it’s in good condition. If you have any new gear, familiarize yourself with it in advance. For example, run through setting up a new tent in your backyard.
3. Being ill-prepared for the weather
Check the weather forecast and prepare for all eventualities. Even if there’s only a small chance of rain, play it safe and bring rain gear such as a poncho, rainboots and a tarp. Keep in mind that the temperature can dip at night.
4. Leaving your first aid kit at home
You should always take along a first aid kit. It should have all the items you need to handle cuts, abrasions, injuries and aches. Additionally, it’s a good idea to bring things you can use to repair your tent if need be such as tape, rope and a needle and thread.
5. Taking local wildlife for granted
Determine what types of animals inhabit the area where your campground is located and learn how to react if you encounter them (bears, coyotes, moose and others). Also, you should find out how to avoid attracting local wildlife to your campsite.
Additionally, be sure to arrive while the sun’s still up. It can be difficult to find your campsite, put up your tent and locate the bathroom in the dark.