10 Tips To Help You Camp Comfortably

You don't always have to rough it to enjoy the outdoors

By: Tyler Drake
May 7, 2015

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Not everyone has the experience and skill to go camping on a remote, snow-covered peak like some of The Outbound’s Explorers. But that said, everyone can have a great time getting outside and spending a night or two at their favorite campsite. I’m not saying that you necessarily need this advice, but for your ‘friend’ who’s never camped before, here are a few tips to make sure you’re all camping comfortably and having a great time!


Photo:
Juan Moreno

1. Make your tent your home

Your temporary wilderness shelter (read: tent) doesn’t have to be all that rustic. With a few key ingredients, it’s easy to make sure your night’s rest is as good as at home. Start with a good tent that you can stand up in and make sure you have a good sleeping bag and sleeping pad - your back will thank you. Little additions like a front entry matt will help keep the place clean and feeling homey.

2. Pack a few cold ones

Whatever you enjoy drinking, I guarantee it will taste even better outside. And if you’re car camping, you’ve got the room, so why not bring the ingredients for your favorite cocktail? Maybe even the little umbrellas.

3. Upgrade the hotdogs

It doesn’t have to be filet mignon, but you can at least upgrade the hot dogs to brats. Bring a great camp stove, a quick boil kettle, and a camping table for workspace if you’ve got the room. Then show off your inner Gordon Ramsay (minus the attitude) with some delicious camping recipes.

4. Pack your favorite camp chair or hammock

We’ve all sat on the log at the edge of our campsite and embraced the whole “roughing it” thing, but like we tell our single friends, wouldn’t you be more comfortable with something (or someone) more supportive? Kelty's Lowdown Chair will support you and your favorite beverage (which is better than a significant other anyway).

5. Power up in the backcountry

We know, this one is a little bit taboo and against the grain, but if you’re looking for a little modern entertainment to mix with your outdoor utopia, pack a charger to power some chill music, your phone (for emergencies only, right?), and a laptop (for...yeah, movies).

6. Build a fire you’re proud of

For the more old fashioned types, a roaring fire is all the entertainment needed on a camping trip so don’t be the guy or girl who can’t get it started. Bring a lighter or plenty of matches and some old newspaper to make sure you get those bigger logs burning. Here’s a quick overview of how to make it happen. As always, make sure the park permits fires and please build it in the designated area only.

7. Keep your camp well lit

Once the sun goes down, you might be surprised at how dark your camp will get. A good lantern or two will allow you to easily maneuver around camp and find what you're looking for. I'm a big fan of having a headlamp too. They're perfect for everything - from grabbing the s’more fixings you left in the car to smoothing out the groggy (and potentially wobbly) late night trip to the bathroom.

8. Keep it clean

There are a few simple things you can bring and do while camping that will help eliminate that feeling of "yuck" that comes along with running around in the dirt and your own sweat all day, although we know some of you love that feeling. If you don't have a river or lake to rinse off in daily, try bringing a camp sink, some wet wipes, hand towels, and baby powder. A clean camper is a happy camper.

9. Prep at home

A little preparation at home can go a long way on a camping trip. Whether it's pre-mixing the seasoning for your campfire kebabs, or packing your gear in a way that makes it easy to retrieve and return, getting the crew together for an hour or two to prepare your gear and supplies will make everything go smoother at the campsite.

10. Bring earplugs

Bring ‘em just in case...because, I mean, my friends snore.


Photo:
Srikanth Jandy

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.