A "Top 10" List of Things We've Learned Camping
10. Be sure to greet the campground host if there is one. During our last camping trip at Reed Bingham State Park, our campground host stopped by to visit with us. During his visit, he let me know of another site that had quite a bit of leftover firewood. He then drove me over there on his golf cart to gather it up. Even though I purchased a bundle from him too, that second bundle saved me $5.00! The host may also be able to give you other valuable information about the park and trails.
9. Get firewood! If camping in a State Park, be sure to know the park's rules and regulations on firewood. Our Georgia State Parks prefer us to use "local" firewood and their site lists a few reasons why. Be sure to check and make sure to see if there are any regulations where you are camping.
8. Don't forget your camera. We love to take photos! While camping can be fun and relaxing, you may also find yourself wanting to preserve those memories. What better way is there to do that than by taking lots of video and pics.
7. Don't over-do it with the food. While we love campfire cooking, it can be quite demanding and tedious. When lots of cookware is involved, there is also lots of cleanup involved. We are very simple in our campfire cooking, although we do love to splurge occasionally, especially if we'll be there for a few nights. Some of our favorites ideas involve cooking hot dogs on marshmallow prongs. In the mornings, we also cook link sausage in the same manner.
6. Dispose of your trash properly. This is very important to keep critters and other wild animals away from your site during the night...especially if you're in an area populated with bears.
5. If camping in an RV/Tent camper section of a park, choose a site that is convenient to the "Comfort Station" - aka the restroom facility. This is especially important if you wake up often during the night with a sudden urge to go.
4. Use large plastic bins to organize your food and other miscellaneous supplies. We have two bins. One is for all of our foods, and the other contains all of our accessories (eating utensils, plates, paper towels, flashlights, matches, cookware...etc). As a side note, be sure to sort out anything that you may need first thing in the morning so that you can avoid having to rummage through the bin while trying to find that coffee! Other campers may not enjoy those early morning hours as much as you do, and they certainly won't be too happy to hear your pots and pans clanging around at 5:00 or 6:00 am.
3. If you use an air mattress, be sure that your air pump and mattress works properly prior to going camping. During a recent camping trip, some of our campsite neighbors worked well into the dark hours trying to get their pump to work.
2. Keep a flashlight in the tent with you at night. Both my wife and I keep a flashlight on each side of the mattress in case we have to get up during the night.
1. Keep your firewood covered over night to prevent dampness caused by dew or rain. This will be a great help for you when you rise early and want to get a fire going.
So there you go. What does your list look like? If you don't mind, how about sharing with us?