When thinking about camping trips, you probably only plan for the fun parts. But poor management and potential safety hazards can cause you great discomfort and frustration on your camping spree. So, along with planning for tremendous enjoyment, be sure you check out what Not To Do while planning for your camping trip.
We’re here to help you arrange for the most joyful experience of your life and appropriately prepare for camping out. We’re sure if you avoid these 15 common camping mistakes, you’d be able to better enjoy nature and create wonderful memories with your loved ones.
1. Choosing The Wrong Tent
You’d think it’s an easy task to choose a tent for your camping trip, but it might not be as easy as it feels. Since tents come in a variety of styles, features, size and quality, it can become quite hard to choose the best tent for your comfort. And you wouldn’t want to make a mistake by choosing the wrong tent, since it can highly affect your trip.
If you’re planning to travel with your family or group of friends, make sure you choose a tent which can accomodate more people. For example, if two people are gonna stay in one tent, look for a tent that’s suitable for 3 people instead. This will give you some extra space and comfort while you set-up your other camping gear and stuff in the tent. And choose a tent according to the time of the year and by anticipating the weather, your tent should be able to hold up pretty well in case of rain or storms.
2. Picking The Inaccurate Sleeping Essentials
As much as it’s necessary to choose the right tent, it’s even more essential to choose the right sleeping essentials. It can get quite tricky to balance the hot and cold temperature inside a tent, so it’s advised to instead manage a moderate body temperature for getting a good night’s sleep. Make sure you get the sleeping bag that’s suitable for at least 3 to 4 seasons, and if it’s cold, ensure to pack extra warmers and blankets.
3. Not Investigating Equipments In Advance
This is another common mistake that people make, to not test the equipment prior to any camping trip. The exasperation resulting from finding broken or torn equipment is not worth it, trust me.
No matter what, don’t forget to check all your camping gear prior to leaving for your destination. These include your tents, tarps, sleeping bags, headlamp, backpacks, hiking boots, gloves, lanterns, air mattresses, etc. Confirm and verify if everything’s working and looking excellent. And also don’t forget to keep a repair kit handy as a precaution.
4. Packing The Wrong Clothes
If you don’t want to suffocate and heat-up your body, avoid wearing woolen and warm clothes in hot temperatures. That might be obvious advice, but if you’re planning to camp outside, there are some other clothing advice you should always follow.
One of them is to always pack extra clothes, don’t just pack 2 pairs of clothing for a 2 day trip. That’s not how it works, pack some extra clothes, you never know when you’ll need them. And if you feel the weather’s gonna change, or there are chances of rain or storm, it’s better to wear and pack clothes accordingly. Even if the weather looks fine, it’s a good choice to get a spare rain jacket just in case. You can find some of the best lightweight and efficient rain jackets on this blog post.
5. Packing Insufficient Lights
Don’t, and we mean it, don’t rely on your phone’s torch for a camping trip. Make sure you’re packing sufficient lights for your tent and also portable lights. You should carry well-illuminated camping lanterns for properly lighting your tent well and avoid any mishap.
You should also carry headlights and torches in case you’re planning to go outside at night. Even if you’re not, it’s always a good idea to pack extra lights, and obviously, take extra batteries.
6. Arriving Late To The Campsite
Another extremely common mistake is to not manage your time properly. Whenever you’re planning any trip, it’s a better choice to be early than to arrive late. To avoid a situation where you’ll have to pitch your tent in complete darkness, try to be on time.
It’s a good choice to leave an hour or two early because you never know if you encounter traffic or there’s another thing that comes up. And if you don’t want to be the group that gets the leftover place near to stinky toilets or down the hills, try to arrive on time.
7. Relying Too Much On Campfire For Food Preparation
Sure thing, you want to enjoy hot campfire food, but needless to say, it’s not always possible. If you’re going to an established campsite, it’s always sensible to ask about their rules regarding campfires. Many of the places don’t allow it, and those who do, have well-established rules and regulations.
So don’t completely rely on putting a campfire for your food, pack some munches and on-the-go food like MREs and other packaged food to avoid starving. And if the campsite has a restaurant or eating joint available, it’s the best choice.
8. Not Packing A First-Aid Kit
This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, and during the hassle of organising and preparing, we all tend to do it. But it’s the most practical advice to always pack a first-aid kit whenever you’re going on any trip. Make sure your kit at least has the basic necessary medications like antiseptics, painkillers, bandages, and other items.
9. Not Examining Your Destination
To abstain from getting disappointed and irritated when you arrive at the campsite, it’s a good idea to research your destination earlier. Look for a destination that’s best suited for your taste, preference, comfort and safety.
This will also help you pack for the right stuff you’re gonna need. And if you’re camping in the wild, it’s a good idea to look for facilities available nearby and if the area is good for camping. You also need to take necessary permission before pitching your tent.
10. Poor Anticipation Of Weather
As mentioned earlier, it’s always a good idea to anticipate the weather when planning to camp outside. To avoid any possible annoyance, it’s advised to be prepared beforehand for any sudden weather change. You need to anticipate slight changes, plan for a 2 to 4 degrees of weather fluctuation, both in cold and hot areas. You should also be updated about the drippings in temperature at night, and plan to take warmers accordingly.
11. Not Attending Properly To Leftover Meals
If you don’t want to attract the wilderness inside your camps, avoid leaving your leftover meals uncovered. You don’t want insects, mosquitos and other bugs to crawl over to your food, so make sure you pack the leftover meals in cool boxes or better yet, plastic bags. And to avoid any possible encounter with other wild animals like deers, raccoons and bears, try to avoid keeping edibles inside your tent. You can keep them sealed inside your car or hang them on a tree away from your tent.
12. Not Taking Care Of The Environment
If you’ve visited multiple campsites, you’d know how people avoid taking care of the environment and litter around. Don’t be those people, try to take care of the environment and attend to your waste properly. If there’s a dumpster available at the campsite, dispose of your waste correctly and don’t just throw stuff around it. And if there’s no such facility, it’s a good practice to carry disposable bags which you can use to put your waste in.
Another advice on the same lines would be to take care of yourself from potentially dangerous plants. Some of the campsites and areas might have poisonous vegetation on the ground, so it’s always a good idea to plan ahead and ask them regarding it.
13. Forgetting To Pack Extra Items
Yes, we know, it’s advised to pack minimally for a camping trip. Since you’d have limited space, you should pack limited items but don’t forget to pack some necessary extra items. It’s a good idea to pack extra edibles, some extra clothes and spare gears which you can put in your car instead of stuffing in your camps.
14. Neglecting Entertainment
You probably won’t get time to sit around and watch Netflix on your camping trip, but we’re sure you’d get some free time alone with your family members. So it’s a good idea to pack stuff which can keep you entertained. Books, magazines, board games and other entertaining things can help you pass the time when you’re taking a break from hiking to just relaxing in your tent. To avoid sitting by yourself and questioning the trip, try to have fun with your group members instead.
15. Failing To Have A Blast And Relax
The pressure of organizing and planning the perfect trip can definitely take a toll on you. And amidst that hassle it’s natural to always be on the alert and anticipate the worst scenarios. But you shouldn’t get bogged down by errands of the trip. Make sure you take the ‘me-time’ and just relax. After all, the most important reason behind taking this camping trip was to enjoy yourself right.
We know some things might not go as planned, and you might get a little irritated. It tends to happen with everyone, nothing can be perfect, but that’s what makes most camping trips exciting. You get to have new experiences and make some of the best memories. Don’t forget to have a blast and just relax!