We know you know that we love camping so I won't even begin gushing over it again. Instead, I'm going to share with you the Do's and Don'ts when planning a camping trip to assure that it's the best it can possibly be.
Try your best not to arrive at the campsite after nightfall, espcially if you're not staying in a camper. Pitching a tent can be puzzling enough if it's your first couple of times, so adding in the obstacle of doing it in the dark will only make it more challenging. However, it might also make for a great laugh.
Don't forget to pack plenty of food - snacks and meals - to get you through the day. Constantly being out in nature can require a lot of physical activity, making your more hungry than usual. And very importantly, bring water. While most campgrounds have a location to refill water, play it safe and have some back-up gallon jugs. Nobody wants to dehydrate.
Make sure that you do not ever leave food unattended. Don't forget where you are. The campground is full of animals searching around for their next meal and if you leave your goods on the picnic table outside, you just might be sharing your dinner with a new friend.
Don't do anything before checking the campground's policies. Know what you can and can't have on-site that way you don't pack extra unnecessary baggage and/or weight. If you have a pet, make sure that they are allowed on the premise before getting them excited for a vacation of their own. DogFriendly.com offers a lite of pet-friendly locations if you do wish to bring your furry friend.
And, The Do's
Bring all camping essentials: a first-aid kit, compass, maps, and emergency equipment. Depending on the type of camping trip your taking (hiking with tents or an RV park) the essentials may vary in amount however, a first-aid kid is always a must.
Leave behind a copy of your itinerary. This may sound tedious but it's important for others to know your whereabouts on the off chance that something happens.
Nature is not your garbage pail.
If you're going camping, it's most likely to enjoy the beautiful greenery of the outdoors. So, why damage it? Minimize your eco-footprint by being ecologically mindful. For example, leave with everything you came with. Any trash you have make sure to dispose of it in the proper area. In fact, bring extra trash bags to ensure that you'll have enough.
Pack accordingly. Some campgrounds have a pool, others have lakes. Try your best not to over pack for a trip like this. Bring clothing that you're not afraid to get dirty or will be comfortable wearing for long periods of time and/or during physical activities such as hiking.
Most importantly, enjoy yourself. Camping is meant to bring you closer to nature and separate you from the hecticness of everyday life. Hang up a hammock, grab a book, eat some BBQ and just breathe.