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Camping Tips For Just About Everything Camping

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A great collection of smart tips for camping which includes tips for taking the kids, beginners, hot or cold weather camping, what to take and much more.

The tips, tricks and ideas are provided from smart camping guide and visitors to this site that have made a contribution. You can make yours too!

While your here it's easy to make a contribution below using the submission form or just enjoy picking up tips that will help make camping easier for you.

Safety Tips

picture of first aid kit

Understanding various safety aspects for the outdoors is advisable to prevent what can be avoided or deal with problems when they arise.

First aid: Take a first aid kit which can be bought with everything included inside the box or you can make a put together kit that includes what you need.

Fire Safety: Gain an awareness of fire safety outdoors if making a camp fire. There are a few aspects to keep in mind like keeping cannisters, the tent, and other equipment away from the fire. Checking if fires are prohibited. Taking care of the area and extinguishing the fire completely before sleeping.

Drinking water: Make sure the water is safe to drink. If it's not, you can purify and filter the water in various ways to get rid of protozoa, bacteria, cysts, parasites and other unwanted foreign matter.

Hot and cold weather: Take necessary precaution's when hot weather camping such as staying hydrated, using sun screen etc. Take the essentials for hot weather or winter camping (i.e. correct clothing, sunscreen (if it's hot), foot protection etc.

Beginners Camping Tips

questioning advice

When your a beginner to camping it does help to pick up as many ideas and tips to make camping life easier the first time out, making the experience something you look forward to doing again and again in the future.

Here's some useful points to consider:

Choose your place well: You might want to consider a campground with all the facilities you need on site or locally and only camp for a couple of nights to get a feel for camping. Next time you might want to extend your trip, get out in the backcountry, or both.

Choosing the right gear: Try and get as much knowledge as possible that's needed to choose gear that's right for you and well within your budget. Cheaper gear won't function as well as the more expensive stuff will, and won't last as long, but if your just starting out, budgeting is smart to begin with then consider buying the better gear in the future.

Prepare a Camping List: Have a check list of all items that could be needed when planning a camp trip. Consider if you need an item or not then make your own list, but do take note of essential items that will keep you safe, warm and comfortable.

Family Camping Tips

kids doing outdoor activities

Camping with the kids is likely to require more preparation for you parents to take care of. The little ones needs will include food to take, activities, safety, and equipment needed to keep them smiling.

Where to go? You have the choice of well equipped campgrounds to the remote backcountry areas where civilisation is scarce. Your choice depends on your needs for comfort, facilities, activities and anything else that makes your camp vacation what you want it to be. Your's and the childrens level of outdoors skill and comfort needs will also determine where you should go.

Food: Camp food can be simple and taste great. I don't know about you but when I'm camping I don't like to do to much cooking, washing and other chores so keeping it simple works well and gives me time for other stuff.

What to bring: You can take as little or as much as you like as long the essentials are taken that will keep you safe, dry, prevent hunger and happy. One of the main thing's to do is make a list of what you need to take for the length of stay.

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Selection Of Camping Tips Sent To Us From You!


How To Take Down the Camping Bullies: Rain and Cold


By Josh (Cedar Hill, TN, USA)


When camping, there are two things that people believe that will absolutely ruin their camping experience. If it rains, even some of repeat campers will pack it up and head home. If it gets cold, many people choose the comfort of the indoors compared to the great outdoors.

I’m here to tell you, I’ve weathered the bitter cold and pouring rain, and those have been some enjoyable camping experiences. You may be asking, “How could you enjoy yourself when you are wet and freezing?” The answer is simple, prepare for the worst and enjoy yourself when the worst comes.

Nature is a nasty thing sometimes, but as the Boy Scouts of America say, “Be Prepared!”.
Preparation before going out into the wilderness is the best way to guarantee that not even rain and temperature will get you down. There are some specific things you can do to prepare though, before you even leave the house.

First, if you have the available funds, purchase a low-grade temperature sleeping bag. Yes, there are different degree qualifications that individual sleeping bags have. Sometimes the right sleeping bag can make all the difference on a cold night in the forest. Secondly, check the weather before you leave to go to your campsite and pack accordingly. I don’t mean check the weather three days before and just assume the weather forecaster is telling the truth. I always check the weather about fifteen minutes before I depart, that way I can tell if anything unexpected three days earlier has come about.

This last minute check can be a major tool for you and your camping experience. Finally, make sure all your equipment is up to par quality wise. The worst experience I ever had camping was an outing when my propane heater had a leaking hose and went out a couple of hours into the night. This could have been avoided if I had only checked all of my equipment before I loaded up the truck to go out.

Although preparation before one reaches the campsite is vital, the time of proof is when you are actually in the camping environment. There are some things that I have become supportive of during my camping experiences that can help you stay warm and dry in the outdoors.

First, a few tips for staying dry. My favorite tent-leakage prevention is to tarp over and under your tent. Before setting your tent up, lay down a thick, preferably waterproof plastic sheet on the ground to set your tent upon. It serves as a barrier between your tent and the ground which helps prevent water coming up through the bottom of your tent.

The tarp over the top of the tent serves as a raincoat for your tent. Although your tent is waterproof, this extra layer is double protection and can make the difference in a wild weather experience.

For keeping your person dry in the outdoors, my favorite tool is duct tape. Yes, duct tape, the most versatile and useful tool for the camper. Create seals around the openings of your outer clothing so that you don’t have any surprise wetness. Tape up the openings to your shoes by duct taping the bottom of your pants to the tops of your shoes. Although this is hard to get out of, it is hard for water to get in. Make the decision for yourself: would you rather be dry or be able to get your shoes off easily? I have been camping in a three day steady rain before and if it wasn’t for my tent rain coat and my duct tape, I would have been miserable.

Moving on to the cold aspect of a camping experience, there are a few proven methods to keep warm that I would like to share with you. The first, layers are your friend, but too many layers are just annoying. Try to use the fewest layers possible while still staying warm, you will enjoy your experience much more if you are comfortable in the clothes that you have on. Being cold usually takes its biggest toll during the night time, as most people succumb to the cold during the night hours. After getting the best sleeping bag as I mentioned above, there are a few practical ways to actually keep you warmer.

A camping trick I learned from the homeless people that I have been around, newspaper is an excellent insulator. Try stuffing some crumpled up newspapers in your sleeping bag at night and I guarantee it will help, at least a little.


Another tip that I have acquired over my years of camping is to change your clothes right before you get into your sleeping bag. This is a scientific tip because it is proven that the oil from your skin on the inside of your clothes that you have been wearing all day makes you feel colder. So by changing your clothes right before you get nestled in for the night will help your body keep itself warmer as it does not have the excess oil to hinder it.

Camping in a foot of snow is a fun experience, I loved it, but it must be done correctly or you will suffer from the cold.

The best way to avoid being bullied by the elements is to prepare and use common sense. My tips are easily implemented and probably have been thought of by many of you before. From an experienced camper and a previous Boy Scout, I recommend that you use these tips to help you enjoy the great outdoors. The most enjoyable experiences are those you meet head on and control, not the other way around. Never let nature control you, always stay one step ahead.


Mini Handheld Vacuum Cleaner For Cleaning Camping Tents


By Jason (USA)


A friend of mine a couple of years ago suggested buying a mini handheld vacuum cleaner for cleaning out the family tent whilst we were camping and for when we was ready to pack away. It sounded like a good idea and we give it a go.

Since buying a mini vacuum cleaner and using it to keep the tent clean and tidy I have found it much easier that using the dustpan we used to use..Its so convenient and never feels like a chore.

We have a very good Eureka family tent and like to take proper care of it, which means taking good care of the floor. because the kids are in and out of the tent they bring all sorts of grit and dirt inside that needs to be cleaned up to protect the tent flooring as well as keeping it clean.

Before we take down the tent to head back home we clean out the inside which has been a bit of a pain before because of all the bits that get caught in the corners and seams, which our handheld vacuum cleaner does nicely.

Advice if your considering to buy a vacuum:

I would advise you if your thinking about trying a mini vacuum out for cleaning camping tents to be careful which one you buy because many have such a small battery charge you could be disappointed.

My vacuum cleaner is made by hoover, it cost about $25 and has a rechargeable battery that lasts about 10 minutes which is plenty enough for cleaning a tent out. It helps to buy the best vacuum cleaner that has a long battery life.

I use mine at home to clean around the PC and the seats of my car when out camping so I get many uses out of it. Using a mini handheld vacuum cleaner for cleaning our tent out has been one of the best camping tips we have picked up over the years.

Happy camping

Josh


The Joy Of A Sponge When Camping


By Rach (USA)


Lousy spongers, no one ever mentions the simple joy of a sponge when camping. Even the best tents get condensation inside them.

A simple sponge can be used to wipe the inside of your tent and prevent drops from falling on you during the night, carefully. Also spills of water you drag in with you can be soaked up. You always drag in some water with you no matter how careful you are. So next time your camping try bring a small sponge with you. It is simple and can really make your trip less damp and a lot more enjoyable.

Another really useful piece of kit is a large plastic basket. Ideally one with flexible plastic. You can use this to carry your washing to where you will wash it. A washing basin does not have handles so they are not ideal for camping:)

Also, you can put cool water from the sea or a river in the basket and use this to cool your drinks.

Another great piece of kit is a simple piece of flint. It is not needed to start a fire. A cigarette lighter is always adequate for that. However there is an enormous amount of fun to be gained from starting your own fire the old fashioned way.

Get the kids to gather dry moss and twigs. Make sure you have a good safe spot. And watch how much excitement sparking the moss and twigs into fire brings everyone.




Pitching A Tent


Shelia (UK - Portsmouth)

camping and pitching a tent

I wanted to share a few tips for pitching a tent. We go camping two or three times a year and have done so for about 5 years now. We camp in the UK, mainly Devon, Cornwall and the Lake District.

We have planed our next camping trip for April. Were not really cold weather campers but spring is on its way. We love it in the summer...

Arrive early: Try and set up camp and tent in daylight , to avoid missing the best pegs (pitching spot) available. It also makes it a much easier and less of a rushed job arriving early.


Avoiding wind: We try to choose a spot protected from the wind by pitching close to a trees, or a hill that acts likes a windbreak, if available..


The ground: Finding an area where the ground is level is wise and helps with comfort when sleeping. Looking out for patches of dry mud and making sure we don’t camp there has helped us avoid getting swamped when it decides to rain. This happened once and we had to move during the night to protect the tent from getting completely soaked. Lowest ground is not always the best because water travels downwards.

Position: Position your tent so you sleep with your head higher than your feet. I have made this mistake and woke up with my face in the wall of the tent , not nice:(

Ground sheet: A Ground Cloth helps protect the tent floor from getting damaged by sticks and stones, and it adds an extra layer of waterproofing below the tent. When you use a ground cloth, you won't have to clean off the bottom of the tent when you pack up to go, that helps.

Sun shelter - Tarp: Set up a sun and rain area by using a tarp set up at the side of your tent. This is a good rain shelter, provides space for camp cooking and a place to leave gear if you don’t have one of these big posh roomy tent's.


Heavy rain: My uncle taught me this one. If you know your going to have a lot of rain you can make a kind of small trench by the main area that water will run. We do this by using a small shovel, although we only do this when were pitching a tent in an area where we are allowed, not campgrounds.


These are some of the camping tips we use when pitching a tent. Hope they help :)


Sheila


9 Tips For Camping


By Trevor S (Maine USA)


These are a few camping tips I have picked up over the years. Not an exhaustive list but may help some campers out there.

1) To keep Hiking boots dry and insect free, push sticks into ground and place boot over top of stick.

2) For safety, when using a portable camping gas stove, drill holes in the four feet to enable you to put tent pegs through into the ground to fix securely.

3) If you are new to camping try out a site somewhere near home first for a trial run. The more you enjoy it the further you will go with more experience

4) Pitching a tent under trees can give you good shade from the sun, but can be a pain when it rains, after the rain has stopped the trees will continue to drip.

5) Many biting insects are particularly active between dusk & dawn, so remember to especially cover up between these hours. Use Insect repellant when needed, especially below the knees.

6) Set up your new tent in a garden before your camping trip, it’s better to find out how to erect it in calm conditions and to discover if pegs or poles are missing.

7) Try to arrive at your campsite during the daytime; putting up a tent is easier in daylight.

8) Use large plastic storage boxes with lids, like those you’d store kid’s toys in, to keep your camping essentials organized. It makes it easier to pack and harder to forget camping gear.

9) My three Camping Gear Essentials

Swiss army Knife
Camping Mattress
Water container


Camping Fun as an Eagle Scout


By Charlie (USA)


Camping Fun, for EVERYONE! As an Eagle Scout, I have many years of experience camping in the wilderness. The number one rule of camping is to stay safe.

At no point in time should anyone be in any immediate danger. As long as you Keep Safety in mind, most camping trips can be very successful.

I personally enjoyed the ones that were losing planned, which had more activities to choose from the what we had time for. This gave me a selection as well as a choice in what I would do for the day. Camping has many fun activities linked to it. Fishing, hiking, swimming, walking, building, learning, and more.

All of these things could fill a month’s worth of activities! Some helpful tips when camping are to make sure you know your surroundings of your "base camp." Before you settle in, check to make sure the their aren't dead tree's that could fall on tents, or that there are any large animals that might come poking around at night.

Another tip is to set up early! Pitching a tent is next to impossible at night, so be sure that is the first thing that gets done! If the weather is cold, starting a fire would most definitely be a good idea. This could also provide entertainment, or perhaps a means to cook food.

One of my favorite camping trips was the trip I took out to Philmont, New Mexico where there is a High Adventure camp for Boy Scouts. I enjoyed the many aspects of camping as well as learning new ideas and activities to do while camping.

Overall, the experience was great! Hopefully with the tips and ideas I have shared will give you a better understanding of camping and until then, happy camping!



Sleeping Bag Tips


By Anonymous


A few Sleeping bag tips! The best tip that I have when it comes to sleeping bags is that you should always check them for bugs before getting into them.

Make sure that you shake it out and turn the whole thing inside out!

In the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night you want to make sure that you are the only one in the sleeping bag.In the morning, when it comes to packing your sleeping bag away, make sure that you check it again. There is nothing worse than going on a camping trip once a year and finding dead things in your gear.

If you are going to use your sleeping bag for cold weather camping, it may be essential to have a quality sleeping bag with a draft collar. These are for around your neck ensuring that the cold air stays out and the warm air stays in. There should be a good amount of draft tube down the full length of the zipper.


Regarding the zipper, in warmer weather it is important to have a full size zip so that you can have air to your feet. Also you will want to have good ventilation for the use in warm weather. There should always be a Velcro closure over the top of the zipper preventing it from opening during the night.

When cleaning your sleeping bag the best advice is to keep the bag clean so that you don’t have to clean it. If in the event you do need to have it cleaned then follow the instructions or ask someone who knows. Many a sleeping bag has been destroyed by incorrect cleaning methods. The materials "clump", and we waste our money...


A Fan Of Fire


By Jarod McClure (Fairmont, WV)

setting up camp


Every year I go with some friends into a remote area known as The Cranberry Wilderness Area in southern West Virginia. We hike into the middle of a no-motor-vehicle area and set up camp. Each year our camp seems to get better and in turn we have a better time. Last year I brought a mini fan made by Coleman. It runs on one AA battery and has two fan blades. It may seem as a non-essential item for the pack, but I will never go camping without one ever again.

No matter how well I bank a campfire, I am sure to find it barely smoldering the next morning. We all know how time consuming and filthy digging out ashes can be. And starting a fire sometimes is easier said than done. So over the years I have found a way to keep one fire all week without using an unnecessary amount of wood.

Step one takes place before I turn in for the night. I find a dry log and split it until there is nothing to split. I'm talking splintered pieces of wood as small as you can get it with a hand axe and hammer. Lay your bundle on a rock near the fire so that it is dry the next morning. Throw an unchopped and/or knotted-up log on the fire and crawl in your sleeping bag. The next morning you should have some embers underneath all that ash.

Step two: pull out the mini fan that your buddies called you a sissy for packing and begin to blow it directly on the fire. Nothing can compare to reviving a fire than a mini camp fan. You should see at least one spot where there are hot embers glowing. After a few seconds of coaxing the embers slowly add the dry kinlen you have set aside and before you know it your campfire will be ready for a pot of coffee. Use this simple yet effective method and become a master of controlling your camp fire. Happy outings to all!

Top Car Camping Tips

How's the Car?: Making sure the car has it's service ( oil change, check tyres, water etc) and roadside insurance payed is smart, but easy to overlook when there's so much to do!

Storage: The car offers lots of storage space which useful to keep food overnight when sleeping to keep it away from animals and rodents. Some equipment is only needed once a day or so which could stay in the car. Note: This only applies when your able to keep the car close to camp within walking distance.

Good source of heat: Ever got so cold camping you've needing to heat yourself up inside the car for a while? I have many times! Is that cheating?

Driving to camp: Take a few things to keep the kids busy ( coloring books, small games etc) and pack some goodies to munch on which will make the journey enjoyable and saves money from stopping off at the expensive service stations to.

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