It’s that time of year again, summer is here. Whether you’re the ultimate backpacker or your everyday car camper, here are several universal tips for summer camping.
Make Your Campsite Reservations in Advance
While the idea of being the spontaneous camper who decides where to go every weekend might sound ideal, that’s not the reality of today’s camp culture. We’re not saying you shouldn’t try to go camping even if it’s last minute, you might even get a site, but if you want to ensure a campsite in a popular destination during a popular summer weekend you’d be silly not to try and book in advance.
Many popular campsites have reservation systems and we aren’t just talking about the one campground in the closest state park to your large metropolis, even remote backpacking sites in the far corners of our National Parks require reservations or permits. Many reservation sites fill up five to six months before, so make sure you do your planning in advance.
The last thing you want is to get to Joshua Tree, on a Thursday night during the peak season, to find out that a motel might be your best option.
Get Your Vehicle Tuned Up
Nothing can put a damper on the excitement of a camping trip like founding out about car trouble. Yes, chances are you’ll be able to make the best of it by getting a rental or using a friends ride, but learning about an unexpected or expensive repair might derail your mood for the entire trip. To avoid this from happening, a week or two before your camping trip, be sure to have your vehicle looked at by your trusty mechanic. The peace of mind you’ll have in exchange is definitely worth it.
Get Your Gear Together
We’ve all been there, maybe you were out late with friends or just plain procrastinating. But the morning to hit the road has finally come and you have yet to even start packing your camping gear. Don’t wait until the last minute to get all your gear together, nobody likes unrolling their tent at the campsite only to remember that you forgot to air it out at the end of last summer and now it smells like the darkest corner of your gym bag.
We recommend getting a designated camping bin, or three. They’re a great way to keep all your camping stuff together. Even if you are touting around a whole apartments worth of stuff for your glamping trip, it still stands. There’s no better way to ensure you won’t forget something than by having it all in the same place. You don’t need to worry about it being fancy, shoot for function instead.
And let’s not forget about the wonderful memories and flashbacks we have when we’re preparing for another camping trip. Pulling all your gear out of the closet and running through a checklist will not only help you to make sure you have everything you need, but it’ll also remind you of all the great memories you’ve already made with that handy gear.
Brush Up on The “Leave No Trace” Principles
We all know the drill, leave no trace. This rule doesn’t just mean that you clean up your trash after you’ve camped somewhere. In order to follow this really know what “Leave No Trace” means you should familiarize yourself with the seven principles of the rule:
- Plan ahead and prepare.
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
- Dispose of waste properly.
- Leave what you find
- Minimize campfire impacts.
- Respect wildlife.
- Be considerate of other visitors.
These principles might as well be the commandments of camping, so familiarize yourself with them. The biggest way to ensure that our natural wonders will be around for generations to come is if we all take part in maintaining them.