Before you grab the boat, fishing poles, tent, and all other manners of camping gear, it’s important to take a few critical steps first.
With these suggestions as your guide, you’ll have far less to worry about once you actually get out into nature.
Unpack and clean. If it’s been months since you’ve last used your tent, tarps, shade structures and hammocks, take everything out of storage and unpack it. Even if you took great care to store everything correctly you may find that mold has started growing. Bugs or rodents may have cozied up in your storage areas during the cold months. On the other hand, you may find that everything is in great shape and ready to go. Whatever the case, it’s better to check prior to leaving so if you need to clean or replace anything you can while at home.
Go through checklists. Checklists are critical to any kind of travel success, but especially with camping. You don’t want to end up around the campfire and realize that you forgot something basic like lighter fluid or matches. You also don’t want to find yourself setting up your tent, only to realize you forgot the rain tarp and a storm is on the horizon. Mistakes like these can be easily avoided by making a good checklist. Think of everything, put it down on paper, and then check, double check, and on and on.
Plan ahead. Just because campsites are open to the public again doesn’t mean Mother Nature is necessarily going to cooperate with you. Do you have gear to wear in case of a rain or snow storm? Are the clothes you packed warm enough? Do you have a first aid kit in case of an accident? What about a tire jack? The more you can think ahead and prepare for any potential misfortune, the more likely you are to have a great trip.
These are just a few simple suggestions to help you get ready for your first outdoor excursion of the season. What kind of rituals do you go through? We hope you have a wonderful time getting out and about, just make sure you’re doing it safely.