It’s finally May! The weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer and camping season is right around the corner. As humans, we have an innate desire to connect with nature (there’s even a word for it: biophilia). There’s no better way to get close to nature than camping, and it has been shown to be beneficial to your health and happiness (levels of serotonin naturally rise when you’re outdoors). If you’re as excited about getting outdoors as we are, take a look at the 8 tips below to make this the best camping season you’ve ever had!
1. 1. Make an awesome shelter:
There are a lot of ways to spice up your space without breaking the bank. Try using an old area rug to manage dirt and add comfort, or use rope lights around the pole structures of your tent. This will give you some ambient light and make the place feel like home. Alternatively, you could strap a headlamp to a gallon jug of water. This will also fill the space with soft light. Finding creative ways to spruce up your tent site is a great way to have fun with your camping partners.
2. 2. Bring a bored box:
This is especially good for kids, but you don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do if the heavens decide to open up. Be sure to have books, games, cards etc. on hand. Since you’re trying to enjoy the outdoors, it’s best to leave technology to a minimum (plus things tend to break in the wilderness).
3. 3. Eat well:
S’mores and hot dogs are great, but we’ve all had them before. Try something new, like stuffing crescent rolls with marshmallows and Nutella and roasting them over the fire. Popcorn kernels are small, lightweight, portable and make for a great snack. You can even make pancakes with pre-made pancake mix using dry milk and shortening. Just remember the cardinal rule: never cook in the tent.
4. 4. Go somewhere new:
This may be obvious, but camping is all about exploring and enjoying time with friends and/or family. Try camping in the desert if you’ve never been, or try the Midwest if you’re from the East Coast. Every region brings new challenges and beauty. Expand your horizons and you won’t be disappointed. If you are a Midwest Outdoor Resorts Member make a plan to visit every one of our locations this summer! Make a MOR passport and collect things from each location to add to the fun of your journey.
5. 5. Know your fire:
One essential of every campsite is a fire. First of all, make sure the campground allows said fire. Second, know how many logs you’ll need. Colder climates obviously require the fire to be burning for longer, while in the summer you may only have a fire at night. You don’t want to get caught on a cold night with no wood to burn. Teach kids fire safety practices and make sure you have a poker and enough firestarters (Here’s an underused tip: Doritos make for great kindling). You can purchase firewood at all of our Midwest Outdoor Resorts Locations for your convenience.
6. 6. Stay Hydrated:
Water has a countless number of uses when camping, but most importantly, it keeps everyone alive. If you’re planning on hiking or biking, you’ll obviously need plenty of water storage. Gallon jugs are great, as well as igloo-style water coolers. Just in case, it’s a good idea to have a filtration system as well. They range from hand-held pumps to ultraviolet sterilizers. Much like fire, don’t get caught without water.
7. 7. Keep the bugs away:
If you’re in an area heavy with mosquitoes, throw some sage on the fire. This will repel them immediately. Wear high socks or pants while camping to avoid ticks and other ground-dwelling creatures. Bug spray is always a must.
8. 8. Keep the kids happy:
If you have kids that are used to being inside, camping with them can be a chore. There are various ways to keep them occupied, but here are some ideas: bug houses, cards, board games and glowsticks. Think of fun ways to pass the time together, rather than just an iPad or cell phone. You and your kids will cherish the memories you make together. Plus, Midwest Outdoor Resorts has planned activities throughout the summer which provide countless hours of family fun!
Follow these tips, and you’ll make 2017 the greatest camping year ever! Please let us know in the comments if you have any useful tricks you’ve implemented before. Have fun, stay safe and enjoy the outdoors. Happy exploring!