Camping remains one of the quintessential American pastimes, despite all the advances we’ve made in electronic entertainment. It offers a break from reality that most movies and video games out there don’t even approach.
Camping has a lot of benefits for your health (and your wallet, if you’re doing it as an alternative to hotel stays!). They add an element of thrill and nature to your travels. But a lot of people make some pretty damning mistakes when they go camping. Yes, it’s a classic activity, but don’t assume that it’s all that simple! You still need to be properly prepared for it. Here are the most common mistakes people make.
A lot of people associate camping with sleeping uncomfortably. It’s ridiculous to hope for a luxurious, warm bed, right? But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put effort into making your sleep as comfortable as you can. Sleeping uncomfortably can cause a lot of aches and pains, affecting your ability to move around properly – which is probably the last thing you need in the wilderness.
It also affects your ability to sleep properly, which will affect you throughout the day. You won’t be as alert – again, not something you want in the wilderness – and you’re also likely to be more irritable. This can throttle your desire to get out there and explore – which is the entire point, right?
Low-quality camping supplies
Because camping is seen as a sort of “return to nature”, people often want to ensure their equipment is as basic as possible; there seems to be a certain level of pride that comes with taking on the wilderness with such basic equipment. Sure, sometimes people stick to basic equipment to save money. But in any case, you could be making a mistake.
If your equipment isn’t up to a certain standard of quality, you could be putting yourself, along with your fellow campers, in danger. Let’s take flashlights, for example. A lot of people take very basic, weak flashlights along with them. But for strength, brightness, and battery life, you may be best using a tactical flashlight. If you’re afraid these would be too big, you could look into the smallest tactical flashlights available. Cheap portable stoves are also a common problem, as they may get a cooking fire going quick enough.
You should find out if the camping site you’re visiting already has areas that are designated and designed for fires. They generally have fire pits or rings. Most national parks have them. If you prefer to go a little bit farther from the beaten track, then you need to be a bit more vigilant about the fires you set.
Ensure the fire is always attended to – it needs a watchful eye on it at all time. Don’t let it get too big – yes, it can be a rush to get a massive fire going, and it can really help on cold nights, but you need to keep it manageable. If you don’t have an extinguishing plan, along with the items required for this, then you’re making a very dangerous mistake. Extinguishing a fire isn’t as easy as most people assume it is!