You’ve been looking forward to this for a while. A long weekend of camping with your family, who get to learn about nature by being a part of it for a couple of nights. The lack of bathroom and shower facilities will certainly come as a shock to them, especially if you have younger kids, but the experience will be well worth it.
The idea of “roughing it” has always had a certain pull to it, but even when you’re blending yourself in with the elements for two nights, there are still a lot of necessities to bring along. This doesn’t even include knowing how to pitch a tent or make a fire, which will be explained here as well. By the time you’re done reading this, you’ll feel like an expert.
Setting Up Camp
Whether an expert or beginner, we’ve all struggled with those tent poles before. But we have some advice that will hopefully make it a little easier this time out.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Select flat ground void of rocks and other debris.
- Your campsite should be at least 100 feet away from any rivers or streams.
- Should there be windy conditions, have the people you’re with act as weights.
- Pay attention to the ground surface; extra weight on the stakes may be necessary if the ground is soft.
- Set up your tent so that the doors/vents are along the prevailing wind direction. This will help with ventilation.
Few things compare to nestling up next to a campfire in the wilderness armed with only graham crackers and chocolate. However, it’s important to maintain safety when building one and putting it out. Here’s how to put together a campfire as well as some helpful safety tips.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Many campsites require a permit to build a fire. If this is the case, be sure you have one.
- Use an existing fire ring, rather than creating a new one. Add rocks around it if necessary.
- Select an open, level ground away from overhanging branches, dry grass and any other forest litter.
- When putting the fire out, drown it with water, then mix the ashes and embers with soil. Scrape any hot embers off sticks.
- Feel the ground where the fire was. If it is still too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave. Continue with pouring water over it and mixing it with soil until the site is cool to the touch.
How to Fish
Hey, you’re not just going to be lying around all day on a camping trip right? You likely have activities planned, and there’s a decent chance fishing is one of them, especially if a full stomach come dinnertime is dependent on a good catch.
Casting can be the most tricky part of fishing. That release button trips a lot of beginners up, especially if you are fishing off the banks of a river or lake and need a good long cast. Basically, it’s all about timing, which can take a few tries to get correct. Let go of the release button as you bring the rod in front of you on the motion. Here are some other helpful fishing tips:
- Always check to be sure your casting space is clear.
- Should you be doing catch and release, consider using barbless hooks.
- When reeling in a fish, take your time. Lift the rod in an effort to point it 90 degrees skyward. Bend is normal. This creates slack in the line, which is a good thing. When tilting the rod back to a 45 degree angle, that’s when you reel in the extra slack. This puts less stress on the line, and prevents breaking.
- Fish oftentimes feed in areas of high vegetation. Paddle your boat or wade over to these types of areas.
- If using a net to assist in catching fish, be sure that it enters head first.
List of Necessary Items
Now that you have some basic camping knowledge, you can get out in the wilderness. Always be prepared, bring plenty of dry socks and leave only your footprints. And don’t forget your personalized outdoor gear. Happy camping!
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