Camping is one of the great American pastimes, and fortunately for those who love the outdoors, it can be done just about year-round depending on where your destination is. Traveling in an RV is a great way to take a camping trip, because it affords you a measure of safety and comfort while still allowing you to enjoy nature and the novelty of “roughing it”.
However, there are still many considerations to make when taking a camping trip, even if you have the luxury of riding in a camper. There are several things you’ll need to plan for and research to ensure you and your family stay safe and happy during your travels, such as how to prepare your vehicle and what to pack, as well as how to pack it. Camping–especially in an RV–usually doesn’t allow for much room, so it’s important to know some tips and tricks for getting everything in that you’ll need.
Here are a few of the best tips on how to get ready for a camping trip.
Prepare your RV
You’ll want to make sure your vehicle is clean and up-to-date on an oil change before you leave for your trip. Have it looked over to ensure the fluids are topped off, the tires have the right amount of pressure in them, and the windshield wipers are in good working order. There are few things worse than being stuck in a storm while driving an unfamiliar vehicle and not having decent wipers!
You might also want to go through the interior and make sure everything is in good shape. Drawers and cabinets might need child-safety latches to keep them closed during a drive over rough terrain; closets may need a little help to keep your clothing on hangers. This can be achieved by slicing a pool noodle in half and wedging it over the hangers so they’ll stay in place.
For more tips on how to get your RV ready for the road, read on here.
Every family packs differently for a camping trip, so talk to your family members about what everyone should bring…and what they shouldn’t bring. Overpacking is okay on some trips, but when you have limited space, it’s a good idea to pare things down a bit. Clothing should be weather-appropriate and should reflect the activities you’ll be participating in, such as hiking or swimming. Dressing in layers of cotton clothing is usually the best way to go.
Don’t forget to pack garbage bags and resealable plastic bags, which have several uses on a camping trip, including holding leftover food and wet clothing. You’ll also need matches, a first aid kit, bug spray, sunblock, aspirin, and aloe gel for sunburns. Each person should have a hat to keep the sun off their face (and their heads warm, depending on the time of year), extra pairs of clean socks, and a personal canteen to stay hydrated. Staying healthy and taking care of yourself is extra important when you’re far from civilization.
Forest fires can very easily get out of control, especially in warmer months when there is plenty of dry tinder around. Before leaving for your trip, do some research on your destination to see if there are specific rules about where and when you can start a fire. If you need a fire to cook over, make sure it is contained with a rock bed, and keep a bucket of water or sand around in case of emergency. Always make sure the fire is completely out before moving on.
Camping is a great way to bond with your family members and enjoy all that nature has to offer. Having a good plan and being prepared will ensure that you have nothing to worry about during your trip and can enjoy the freedom of the great wide open.
Find Science Camps around the United States www.scicamps.org
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