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Camping guide for camping trips.

All about camping.

For many, some of their their fondest memories are of camping trips and experiences. The little things like campfires at night, skipping rocks on a lake or stream, sleeping in a tent, fishing, hiking, swimming and other activities with friends and family.

Camping is an inherent part of our nature taking us back a couple hundred years ago when it was the primary way of life for many. Today, camping is a form of entertainment. It can be so much easier than back in the day. Or you can choose to rough it an any level you desire. You can trudge off into the wilderness with only a backpack, or you can go in style in a motorhome with all the conveniences.

Experience the outdoors.

Enjoy the back country away from the hustle and bustle of every day life or stay ar a modern campground with all the facilities just for the fun of it. Either way get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you like to hike, explore, fish, hunt or simply sleep in a sleeping bag, there are untold numbers of options to fulfill your camping preferences. Thorough planning will certainly enhance the experience. Here are some ideas for you to consider as you plan your next camping excursion.

Select The Right Place To Camp.

Once you decide you want to go camping, consider where you want to camp and what you want to do in conjunction with this camping trip. If the purpose of the trip is simply to camp, you will want to consider campground facilities as your primary focus. If your trip will be centered around a specific activity such as hiking or fishing, you'll want to select a location in close proximity to your activities.

Visit these websites for information to help you plan your camping trip.
USDA Forest Service
National Parks Service
National Parks Service Reservation Center
National Parks Foundation

Use the find a campground tool here.

Pre-Planning Your Camping Trip.

Once you have isolated potential camp sites, issues like weather, fire danger and road construction should be evaluated to determine your top candidates. If fishing is a major part of your plans, acquire fishing reports and determine if water level issues would impact your plans. Make necessary reservations for a camp site. It's also a good idea to select a back up camp area in the event of the unexpected.

Camping Trip Preparation.

Camping tent and sleeping bags.Make a list of all the things you plan to take. Discuss this list with everyone who plans to attend. Talk through all the activities planned for the trip to be certain everything you will need is on this list. If you need to purchase items on the list, seek advice from experienced campers for guidance.

Do an inspection of everything you plan to take. Make sure there has not been damage since it’s last use. It is also a good idea to test stoves, lanterns and the like to make sure they work properly. For battery powered items, check the batteries and bring backup batteries. It may be a good idea to set it up the tent and make sure you have all the parts in good working order. A first aid kit is a must for every camper’s list. Make sure that it is complete for emergencies you may encounter.

Packing the vehicle for your camping trip.

Sleeping bag.With an accurate list, loading the vehicle is now a simple process of placing everything on the list into the vehicle in an organized manner. Give thought to which items you will need first upon arrival at the campsite. Load those items last. Use pillows, blankets and sleeping bags as padding for fragile items like lanterns. Be certain that all items are secure to avoid shifting during transport. Include extra drinking water as well as water to extinguish campfires in the event water is not readily available at the campground. For safety reasons fuel for stoves and lanterns should be carried outside the vehicle if at all possible.

Making the trek to the campsite.

Before you leave, notify family or friends of exactly where you are going, your basic itinerary and when you plan to return. Check road conditions with the highway department before heading out. Allow plenty of travel time for a safe trip. Buckle up and travel at posted speeds or below. Your vehicle is probably loaded heavier than usual and it may handle slightly different than normal. Be prepared for the worst in a critical moment. Better safe than sorry cannot be overstated for these camping trips. Take your time and enjoy the scenery.

Setting up camp.

Organized campsites make for a more enjoyable camping trips. Check with the park host or ranger regarding food and garbage storage as it relates to local wildlife. Keep tents and sleeping areas situated safely away from natural water drainage in the event of an unexpected storm. Be considerate of others camping in close proximity. Be prepared to leave the camping area as clean or cleaner than it was before you arrived.


Campfire.Always check fire danger levels with campground officials or the Forest Service before starting fires of any kind. If campfires are allowed, take extra caution to make sure your fire does not exceed the intended boundaries. Be prepared to extinguish the fire if it gets out of hand. Check flammable materials that may be at risk nearby before selecting the best location for your camp fire. Put the fire out before going to sleep for the night. Follow approved methods for putting out your campfire and make 100% sure it is out before leaving the area.


Meals planned in advance to be hearty, simple and enjoyable without a great deal of effort keep mealtime simple. Extra snacks are always welcome and will come in handy to fuel the extra energy you will exert during outdoor activities. Visit the camping food and recipe section for meal and snack ideas.

Nature walks, hiking, fishing and other activities.

Camping and fishing go hand in handCamping offers you and fellow campers an opportunity to experience the great outdoors. Take walks around the area to see what nature has to offer. Always carry more water than you think you will need and be prepared for at least minor emergencies of scrapes, cuts and the like.

Before leaving camp for any extended period notify fellow campers of your plans. Have a plan in case of emergencies. When you leave, carefully secure your camp area following campground recommendations for food and garbage storage. Allow plenty of time for your intended activity so you can relax and enjoy yourself.

Find camping areas by state.

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Wilderness survival awareness.

If your camping plans include any excursions away from civilization it could save your life to know a bit about surviving in the wild. Check with local experts for details on what one might expect in your area at the time of your trip. Simply knowing some basics may help keep you safe until you find your way back or are rescued.

Camping in campgrounds or in the wild.