Family camping trips tend to be a lot of fun, but they can also be fraught with problems without proper planning. After all, the great outdoors can be an unforgiving place, and not everyone is prepared to deal with its rigors. In order to help you become a little more prepared, we present three ways to make the family camping experience a breeze.
Go Over Some Basic Emergency Procedures
Obviously, you don’t want to get too serious and spoil a fun camping trip. At the same time, you need to make sure that you and your family have worked out a set of emergency procedures for a variety of common situations. By doing this, you ensure that everyone knows what to do in the event of a crisis.
For instance, you should make sure to do some research on poisonous animals and plants in the area. Snakes are the most common threat, but some species of venomous spiders can also be dangerous, and there are a few others. In any case, you will need to make sure that everyone is equipped with a suction kit (sometimes called a “snakebite kit”) and the knowledge to use it correctly. Common plants such as poison oak can also become an issue if someone, especially children and pets, come into contact. Packing some ointment along can make all the difference in this sort of situation.
Getting lost is probably the most common hazard in this case, because of the fact that we are talking about a family camping trip. That usually means children are involved, and they can easily wander off and get hurt. You might want to use GPS trackers for particularly rowdy children, but you should make sure they know to stay put if they get lost. Giving them an inexpensive road flare for signaling wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.
Rent Camping Gear
Unless your family goes on very frequent camping trips, it won’t be necessary for you to buy all the gear that you might want. Plus, kids will outgrow almost anything you buy them with time. While you should own the basics like canteens, a tent, etc., there are many other items of camping equipment that are better to rent than to buy. For instance, many items of camping gear are activity-specific, such as a duck call or a pontoon boat. In many cases, they will deliver the camping gear right to your doorstep, which is pretty convenient. They often offer special packages that are designed to suit certain environments or activities.
One good thing about renting your gear (as opposed to buying) is the fact that you will have access to higher-quality items and you will have time to test and find what best suits your needs before buying. Companies that rent camping gear generally won’t bother with cheap equipment, mostly because no one wants to rent something that is of low quality. Thus, you can get access to high-end gear without paying high-end prices.
Learn The Area Beforehand
For the head of the household, it can be very embarrassing to get lost in the woods. Depending on how remote your location might actually be, this could even be a life-threatening issue. Although it helps the whole group to stay together, you still need at least one person who knows where to go.
You can study online maps of various kinds to get an idea of the geography, but that alone will not give you the familiarity you need. Take a pencil and paper and make your own map based on the information you have found. By doing this, you will help yourself to memorize the layout of the place.
A little bit of local knowledge should also help to supplement what you find. Take a preliminary scouting trip to the area beforehand (if possible). Look for people on the trails who seem to know the area very well, and show them your map. Ask them if there is anything you forgot, and they will probably be happy to help.
We hope that you will do enough research to make your camping trip both safe and enjoyable. This short article should not be your stopping point, but we hope it has given you some interesting things to consider. As a final note, we would tell you to remember the motto of the Boy Scouts, which is “be prepared.” The more extensive your preparations, the smoother your family camping trip will go in the end.