You’re planning a camping trip, and since it’s been a while since you’ve been in a tent (or if it’s the first time you’re going), you thought you’d check online for some reminders on what to bring and how to set up the tent. There’s plenty out there to read, whether it’s what to pack for a camping trip, best places to go to camp, activities to do while camping…no shortage of suggestions and advice.
This little piece of advice that you’re currently reading isn’t about what to do; rather, it’s about what not to do while on a camping trip. There are some more obvious things on the list, but we all know that there’s that one person out there who just doesn’t get it all the time… so here goes.
Don’t leave food out. You’re in the outdoors. There are enough bugs around. Why attract more? And, y’know, there really are animals out there. Depending on where you’re camping, you really could have bears, large felines, large canines… you name it. Why risk it? Keep your food in airtight storage bins.
A natural follow up to not leaving your food out is don’t leave trash out around your campsite. You are sharing your spot with nature, with animals, and with other campers. You wouldn’t want to arrive at a dirty campsite. And you wouldn’t want to have a run-in with any of the above-mentioned animals either. Plus, it’s just common courtesy to clean up after yourself.
Everyone looks forward to a campfire, and while the experience of building a fire and enjoying the warmth and beauty of one can be glorious, doing the wrong thing can turn be disastrous. Something about fire is so enticing, but when it comes to campfires, use your head and don’t play with fire. Refrain from throwing all sorts of garbage into the fire (y’know cups, soda bottles, your friend’s hat) and respect the flames. Fire can move quickly and within seconds your little campfire could turn into a blazing inferno. No joke here. Also, bring your own firewood. Don’t break off branches from the area’s trees. If everyone did that, there’d be no trees to enjoy.
Don’t disturb your neighbors. This one encompasses many things, including the aforementioned items. Again, it’s really a matter of common courtesy. Don’t speed around the site. Don’t make noise during quiet hours. Don’t bring your dog if it likes to bark all day and all night (you’re the only one who either can’t hear it or thinks it’s cute). Don’t walk through other people’s campsites. Don’t use the trip as an opportunity to get drunk.
Don’t mistake your confidence for invincibility. This one also means a lot of things. Don’t go into the woods alone. You could get lost, hurt or come face to face with a not-so-friendly creature. Don’t touch, eat or drink things out of curiosity. You could end up with a nice rash for the next few weeks or find yourself bent over hurling if you’re not careful.
Don’t let your sense of fashion (or laziness) overpower your common sense. Fashion sense and laziness in one sentence? Yes. Don’t leave the important things at home because you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing them or because you’re too lazy to pack them. It can be pretty buggy out there and it can get pretty cold, too, and if you’re hiking, it can get pretty rough. Bring the sweatshirts and sweatpants. Bring the comforters, the flannel, the thick socks, the thick-soled shoes, and the hats.