Camping Lesson Number One
Preparation is key
Camping is your chance to get away
from your daily duties and spend a little time relaxing and enjoying
the outdoors. For most, it takes a little preparation to get there,
but the rewards outweigh the work. The following tips from camping experts
KOA will ensure that you'll be spending more time unwinding than hunting
down forgotten items.
you hit the road remember to do a full check on your vehicle. Take a
minute to walk around and look for leaks, flat tires, or anything that
may cause a problem down the road. It's not a bad idea to check the
oil or test your battery ahead of time. Doing a routine check now can
save you from being stranded later.
Sit down and make a list of the things that you will
need during your stay. If you are planning on cooking from your campsite
make sure to bring either coals or a gas stove, cookware, plates, silverware,
cups, napkins and extra garbage sacks to store trash. If you are taking
perishable items with you, keep them in airtight containers that are
out of reach from nature's critters. Something to hold water in may
come in handy if you need to clean or wipe off dirty items. Make sure
to bring a can opener, waterproof matches and duct tape for repairs.
Stock up on plastic zipper-lock bags which can be used to repackage
food from bulky containers, store dirty silverware, transport wet swimsuits
or loose items. You can also use the bags to store pre-measured portions
of laundry detergent, or to separate toiletries from clothing items
in your luggage. If you are transporting fragile items, consider rolling
them up in a sleeping bag.
Lay out everything that you are taking with you before
you begin packing up your vehicle. It's much easier to see all that
you're up against, rather than just throwing things in and running out
of room later. For those that do not already own their own camping equipment,
you might want to try renting before purchasing. That way you know what
you need the next time you go and can make room for it.
shower curtains or a tarp can come in handy in case it rains or the
ground is wet. Both can be used as ground covers under a tent and carpet
remnants make great sleeping pads. You can also bring along extra sheets
to line sleeping bags to help keep the bags clean. And for those sticky
zippers, remember that silicone or wax can help get them unstuck.
If you are planning on staying at a campground, make
reservations ahead of time. KOA, Inc. offers a web site and toll-free
numbers that allow you to make reservations in advance. These campgrounds
are great for new campers, or for those who enjoy extra amenities such
as hot showers. They supply bathroom facilities, so you may want to
bring along a backpack or something to carry toiletries to and from
Arrive at your campground as early in the day as possible
to allow enough daylight time for settling in, exploring and greeting
your neighbors. Keep campfires small, and trade fireside tales. And
remember to extinguish all fires before turning in. Finally after your
stay is over, take a few minutes to double check that your area is free
from garbage and that you have not left anything behind.
More great travel tips can be found in the KOA Directory
Road Atlas and Kampground Guide, available at any KOA Kampground, or
on-line at KOA.com.
Courtesy of ARA
Photos courtesy Laurie March