If you love nature and the great outdoors, camping is a fantastic summer vacation option. From your local RV park to a huge National Park, camping is a wonderful way to spend time outside and really experience everything that the natural world has to offer. Before you head out on your next camping trip, there are some important mistakes you should avoid that could potentially turn a wonderful experience into a disaster. Here are some tips that’ll ensure you avoid making these common camping mistakes.
Common Camping Mistake 1: Arriving Too Late
This is one of the most common camping mistakes. Arriving really late at a campsite causes all sorts of small problems. First, the campsite owners need to get out of bed to check you in. (It’s not going to win you any brownie points with them, that’s for sure.) Since it’s dark, finding you’re campsite can be a problem too, especially if they don’t have many lights. Then there’s the fact that anyone already there is going to hear you arrive.
Depending on how late that happens to be, your campsite neighbors may not be thrilled with you. (At least do your best not to make too much of a ruckus!) Last but not least, if you arrive late you and the family will be tired. That can lead to accidents, especially in the dark. Our recommendation; arrive at least 2 hours before dark. That way, you’ll be able to set up everything while it’s still light out. (And nobody will have gone to bed.)
Common Camping Mistake 2: Bringing the Wrong Gear
Depending on where and when you camp, bringing the wrong gear might be disastrous. Or it might be just fine; it depends on several factors. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- If it’s winter and you bring your summer tent and gear, things are going to get chilly. That’s especially true if you bring the wrong sleeping bags.
- Camping with 6 people and the family dog? Bringing a tent for 4 people could be a big problem.
- If it rains and you don’t bring a tarp and other rain gear, your camping trip will be very wet. (And uncomfortable.)
- Cooking gear is essential on a camping trip. For example, if you forget a frying pan, cooking food is going to be difficult at best.
- Forgetting bug repellant and other defensive gear against insects can be problematic. That’s especially true if you’re camping in the woods where insect populations are higher.
Mistake 3: Forgetting Your Bear-Safe Food Containers
Forgetting bear-safe food containers is not only problematic, but it’s also dangerous. Wild animals like bears are huge, strong, and can be deadly under the right circumstances. You want to keep them as far away as possible. The problem is, without the proper containers, bears (and other animals) can smell your food from miles away. That. of course, will bring them in for a closer look and a free snack, which can lead to disaster. You might lose all your food, and someone could get seriously injured too. Plus, it makes the bears and animals less afraid of humans, That’s not good since their fear keeps them away naturally.
Mistake 4: Bullying, Taunting, or Bothering Local Wildlife
This is a huge no-no. Bullying, taunting, bothering, or interfering in any way with wild animals is dangerous. Many of them could easily harm, or even kill, an adult or child. Plus, you could hurt the animal or its babies. Also, frankly, messing around with any wild animal just for fun is really cruel. They aren’t there for entertainment; you’re in their home. Unless an animal is physically attacking you or a loved one, don’t approach them or bother them in any way. It’s better for the animals and better for you too.
Common Camping Mistake 5: Bringing Too Much Stuff
We mentioned that bringing the wrong gear can cause problems, but too much gear can be problematic also. Yes, you want all the things that make camping fun, of course. Frisbees, horseshoes, a lot of adult beverages, etc. The thing is, though, camping means getting away from it all. Do you really want to watch TV while you’re camping? Do you need an espresso maker during your camping trip? Are nine fishing poles really necessary if you’re the only one who’s going to be fishing?
The answer to most of the questions should, in all fairness, be ‘no.’ Too much gear overloads your car, gets in the way, and eats up extra time and energy. It’s one of the most common camping mistakes, though, so don’t feel too bad about it. Our recommendation; take the bare minimum along with you on your next camping trip. You’ll be surprised just how less stressful camping can be without all that stuff.
From forgetting to make reservations to ignoring the weather, these common camping mistakes are easy to avoid. Follow these simple tips so you’re better prepared and you’ll be sure to enjoy your outdoor adventures. When the camping trip is said and done, store all your gear with your local Storage Solutions. Happy camping!
This post was published on 05/31/2019.
It was updated on 02/10/2021.