Camping is truly one of the most amazing and unique types of vacations there are, and you will find yours so much more enjoyable if you make sure you are well prepared for it! Check out the following article for some very valuable advice on making your camping trip a total success! For a cheap and disposable tarp to place under your tent, save an old shower curtain! It could also be used as a base for a cooking or washing area, where you can easily control all the run off. Rather than throwing out your next shower curtain, throw it in the laundry and save it for camping.Practice tying different kinds of knots, building fires and sharpening knives before you head out for your camping adventure. Knowing how to do these essential things ahead of time will save you from having to learn them on-site. Plus, you’ll have more time to enjoy yourself during your camping trip. Although it is not an essential part of your back country camping gear, a machete is something that you may consider packing depending on where you are going. It is a very versatile tool in the wilderness. You can cut a trail, hack bamboo and vines for shelter, cut coconuts for water, chop firewood, and even use it as protection against wild animals.It’s a good idea to maintain hygiene when camping. Items like wash cloths, sponges, bowls, biodegradable soaps, toothbrushes, toothpaste, baking soda, floss, and clean water can help you stay clean during your trip. You can also use hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, and cotton balls on non-sensitive areas. Don’t use anything with fragrances since they can attract bugs. There are so many different types of tents available it can be confusing when you are trying to select one. It is a good idea to choose one that has a vestibule. This is where you can keep any of your wet items to avoid placing them directly inside the tent.Bring a first aid kit. Camping is fun. It can also be a bit dangerous. Always be prepared. Small scrapes and rashes can be especially common out in nature. Bring along an emergency first aid kit full of anything you might need. You’ll be happy you did if something goes wrong. When camping, periodically do a tick check. Look for any brown or black spots that have just appeared on your skin. Ticks attach themselves to the skin without causing too much of a disturbance, so be sure to check yourself and your companions for ticks after spending time camping outdoors.A polite thing you can do for the campers who follow you is leaving wood for them. Think about how difficult it can be to find some wood if there is none on the campsite, especially when it is dark. So, be courteous to others and leave as much wood as you can. Plastic storage bins is best place to keep and properly organize your camping accessories. At home put camping gears inside a closet and make sure the area is dry and airtight.Just because your tent is labeled waterproof, do not count on it to keep you dry when it rains. Pack a couple extra large tarps to take along with you. Use one to set on the ground under your tent and keep one dry to use to cover your tent if it looks like it is going to rain hard. Do plenty of research on your camping site and ensure that it offers everything that your group will need. Consider the individual needs of each camper to ensure that everyone is taken care of. This alleviates the need to make supply runs, or worst case, have to end the trip too soon.If your canteen is beginning to smell musty, you can give it a good cleaning with baking soda. Place a little bit of water in your canteen, and then add three tablespoons of baking soda. Shake gently, let it sit for sixty minutes, and then rinse with water. Your canteen will be refreshingly clean! Purchase a multi-use tool to store with your camping gear. This tool should include an axe, hammer and saw. The multi-use tool will come in handy when you are searching for firewood, clearing a trail and setting up your tent. When purchasing a multi-use tool, get one of good quality one for year’s of enjoyment.Before you leave on your trip, use your backyard to help you work out the kinks in your camping equipment. Put up your tent to make sure you know (or remember!) how to put it up. This will also allow you to see if anything needs to be patched up. It will make it that much easier for you when you get to the campsite. If you are going back country camping, you should probably carry a snake bite kit in your gear. The best snake bite kits are the ones that use suction. Some kits have scalpels and blood flow constrictors in them. Scalpels can actually cut the poison into the blood stream faster, and constrictors can be deadly if not used properly.Always take a fully stocked first aid kit when you venture out on a camping trip. You can put together your own kit with bandages, gauze pads, tweezers, scissors, anti bacteria cream and antiseptic wipes in a sturdy container. You can also buy one of the many excellent ready-made kits to save time. Take a first aid kit with you so you know that you can take care of any wounds that you get on the trip. You want to take every precaution necessary when you decide to go camping. So make sure that you bring a first aid kit with some band aids just in case anyone gets scratched or hurt on your trip.Few things offer as much serenity and value than enjoying some one-on-one time with mother nature; hopefully this article has given you all the helpful advice you need to make your camping trip go smoothly and without incident. Keep these tips in mind as you pack for the outing and enjoy every minute of it!
You’ve heard it before: Summer camps have limited space availability which fills up fast, so you better sign up soon or you might not get in. Sometimes this sounds like a sales pitch more than anything else.Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. But the truth is, popular camps fill up much faster than others, and your chances of getting in is indeed limited by the camp’s enrollment capacity.It’s kind of like getting reservations on an airplane: When the last seat is gone, it’s gone for good. They can’t just add another seat to accommodate you, and likewise, the camp can’t make room for “just one more kid.”Here’s a point about camp enrollment more relevant now than ever: Camps generally fill up faster than usual in a poor economy.Maybe it sounds like an oxymoron, but summer camps often thrive in weak economic conditions. Here’s why.In a bad economy, parents will generally cut back on everything they view as non-essential. But history shows us that the very last items they’ll cut from the family budget are products and services for their kids.So while mom and dad might decide against spending $10,000 for a family vacation, they’ll shell out $2,500 to send their kid to camp instead.During the recession of the early 1990’s, camp enrollment was impacted across the board. This phenomenon — higher enrollment in a weaker economy — can largely be attributed to the many families who would have otherwise taken a family vacation, but with less discretionary income stayed home, thereby increasing their childcare and summer camp needs and filling camps to the brim.Sending their kids to camp in any economy is often viewed by parents as an American pastime. What does this mean for consumers? Simply this: you might want to start looking for summer camps sooner rather than later if you want to get in to the camp of your choice.Otherwise, somebody else might beat you to the punch next summer and take your child’s spot.So when is the best time to start looking, and where should your camp search begin?Most popular camps fill up by April or May. But if you wait that long to sign up for camp next summer, it could be too late. Start your search in the beginning of the year and you should be on the safe side.One of the best places to find a camp is at http://www.findacamp.com, the American Camp Association’s camp search web site. You can search for camps by various criteria such as type of camp, location, price and more.Just start looking for summer camps as soon as possible to make sure your child gets his or her first choice!Happy Camping!Copyright Eric D. Naftulin. All rights reserved.
Summer camp has been one of the highlights of my daughter’s year each and every year. She began going to overnight summer camp when she was just ten years old. This past summer she was a counselor for other ten year olds for the entire summer.My older daughter did not attend overnight camps, but instead loved the day camps. She went to day camps until she outgrew them, enjoying each and every summer.There are many camp options available. Here is my list of what to look for:1. If you are sending your kids to day camp, do the hours and days of the camp work for your schedule? If they don’t, does the camp offer before care and/or after care?2. Whether a day camp or an overnight camp, does the camp have a reputation you are happy with? A few camps my daughters were interested in had received very poor recommendations.3. What does an average day at camp look like? If you have a very active child and the activities are singing and art, this is not a good fit. On the flip side if you have a child that really dislikes sports and sports are offered three times per day, this again is not a good fit.4. If the camp is an overnight camp, what are the rules about allowing kids to call home? My daughter has been at camps that do allow cell phones and camps that don’t allow cell phones.5. For day camps, are snacks provided? How are lunches stored? It can get to over 100 degrees outdoors and that’s not ideal for a lunch to sit out.6. For younger kids, is sun screen applied on a regular basis and are liquids offered throughout the day? These are important to your child’s health and well being.7. What is the cost of the camp and if you need financial help do they offer scholarships? Camps have varying costs depending on activities.8. Are field trips offered? We’ve had field trips offered at both day camps and at overnight camps. What type of transportation is offered on these trips and are the kids left alone at all? Depending on age, this could make or break having your child attend the camp. At age ten , I would not allow my child to be alone, but at age 16, it’s a very different situation.9. If your child has any allergies or food restrictions, how will the camp handle those?10. For an overnight camp, make sure to choose a length of stay that your child feels comfortable with. At the younger ages, sometimes six to ten days is plenty. When my daughter attended a camp in Washington D.C., four weeks was not long enough. Make sure your child is happy with the length he or she will be away.Summer camps are a wonderful social experience for your child. By asking the above questions, you’ll pick a camp early on and not face already filled rosters.