Whether you’re a first-time or avid camper everyone makes mistakes. But some of those mistakes are made more often than others. Not all mistakes will ruin your camping trip, but some can lead to uncomfortable, frustrating or even dangerous outcomes. So to help you stay away from a bad situation, here are 5 common mistakes to avoid when camping.
Remember these common mistakes so the next to you go camping, you can be sure to have a fun, safe, comfortable, and organized camping trip.
5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Camping
- Bad Food Preparation and Storage
A lot of campers end up bringing food that easily spoils, trusting their simple cooler to keep burger, steak and other raw meats cool for a long period of time. This is an obvious but very common mistake.
In order to stave off hunger, you’ll need to remember to take a lot of non-perishable foods… especially if you’ve planned any rigorous activities like biking or hiking. There’s nothing wrong with bringing some meat, but be sure to also pack a lot of trail mix, bread, peanut butter, and other easy to prepare foods.
It’s also important to think about nutrition when you’re planning what you’ll eat on your trip. You’ll want to stay well fed and hydrated for hikes and other physical activities.
Most importantly, you need to store and dispose of food safely to avoid attracting bears or other wild animals.
This article on wikiHow has great tips for keeping your food bear safe when you’re camping.
- Packing Too Much
When you’re going camping it’s tempting to want to bring EVERYTHING with you but space is an important to think about, you don’t have a ton of it. So focus on packing the most important things first and leave behind unnecessary gear, gadgets, and clothing.
Try and make this a rule… everyone that’s going on the camping trip is only allowed take one bag and it will have to fit comfortably in their corner of the tent.
- Wearing the Wrong Clothing
When you go on a camping trip, it is VERY important to understand there’s an appropriate clothing range. Keep those fancy shoes at home and bring sneakers (maybe sandals also). Pay attention to the weather forecast and pack for it, but also keep in mind that weather can change quickly so layers are important. Also you’ll want to pack the type of clothing that will stay dry and keep you warm.
Another thing to remember is that you’re going to get dirty, so leave behind any clothes you’re afraid to ruin.
- Ignoring Plants
If you can’t identify things like poison sumac, poison oak or other common poisonous plants you could run into serious problems during your camping trip. An accidental brush against poison oak could leave you with a terrible and uncomfortable rash.
Get a plant identification guide (you can find them online or in many stores) and use it to search around your campsite for any dangers. Many campsites will also tell you and or send you a slip on all the poisonous plants in their area.
- Not Making a List
Believe it or not, camping requires preparation and a lot of it. Camping is more than just a tent, campfire, and a good knife if you try and pack for your trip without a list you’re more than likely going to leave something important behind.
Make your list and organize it into sections, separate the unnecessary items from the important ones and keep all the emergency/safety items in a safe but easily accessible area. Be sure to check items off as you’re packing and don’t forget to make a second checklist for when you’re leaving.
Remember these 5 common mistakes to avoid when camping when you go on your next camping trip.
As I said before it doesn’t matter whether you’re an experienced or beginner camper, mistakes can always be made and often are. This list is here to help you from making them in the future.
Have you made any of these mistakes on a camping trip? Do you have any others that you’d like to add?
Please share your stories and tips in the comments.
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Written by the team at 5 Minutes for Mom
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