Camping is a unique opportunity to take a step back from the rush of the modern age and enjoy the peace that comes with spending time in nature. Sometimes, what we think brings comfort actually induces anxiety, and camping is a great antidote to that.
However, this romantic idea is great in theory but less so in practice. If you can’t sleep because mosquitos keep pestering you or you can feel every rock beneath your body, you’ll curse the moment you thought camping was a great idea to reset and get some rest.
The good thing is that you can still enjoy the great outdoors while bringing with you the comfort of the indoors. Here’s how.
Picking a Good Camping Site Is Half the Work
Finding a general location where you can set up camp can be challenging, especially if you’re not an experienced camper. However, this is what can make or break your entire experience.
Firstly, it’s important to find a flat, level campsite, where you won’t have any trouble setting up your tent. It’s best if the site has all the amenities you may need, such as water, showers, and even small stores nearby. You never know when you may run out of something essential.
A truly comfortable experience will have a wild feel, but it will also allow you access to anything that you might need in the wilderness.
Also, be sure not to camp at the bottom of valleys or canyons because it’s usually cold and humid there. Maximize your comfort by picking the right spot.
Wear Appropriate Clothes
You may think that wearing your softest cotton blouse is ideal for a camping adventure, but cotton is a big no-no. When you sweat (which you probably will be doing a lot), your cotton clothes will get soaked, and when they do, have fun waiting for them to dry on you!
Instead, wear a moisture-wicking T-shirt and hiking pants or sweatpants. Polyester or nylon are great fabrics for this layer of clothes. Of course, it’s best to wear several layers so that you can peel them off one by one or pile them on as needed.
Remember to also bring comfortable clothes for sleeping. Bear in mind that layers are not a great idea for nighttime. Your sleeping bag will actually keep you warm better when there are not many extra layers between it and your skin. If you want to get warmer, you can put a blanket or some clothes on top of your bag instead.
Bring Everything You Need to Sleep Well
First, you need to think about the tent you’ll bring. It needs to be big enough for you and whoever you’ll be sharing it with so that you can rest comfortably. Then, think about the weather conditions you’ll encounter during your camping trip. Make sure your tent is sturdy enough to withstand them.
Next, pick a sleeping bag with meticulous care. You don’t want to ruin your entire camping experience by freezing or boiling every night. You need to look into the temperature rating of your bag. The rating will tell you if the bag is suitable for the temperatures where you’re going.
Moreover, you need to choose the appropriate shape. For example, if you’re going somewhere warm, you might want to choose a wider, rectangular bag. On the other hand, if it’s going to be cold out there, you might want to choose a snug, mummy bag.
Lastly, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can do without a sleeping pad or cot. You need that extra layer between your body and the cold hard ground.
You can also bring an inflatable pillow, some earplugs, and an eye mask to sleep like a baby.
Make Cooking an Essential Part of the Experience
A hangry camper is not a happy camper. Just because you’ll be outside for a few days doesn’t mean you need to compromise on food. You don’t need a lot to have a fully functional camp kitchen where you can prepare anything you want.
So apart from bringing a stove, pots and bowls, and a quick-boil kettle, don’t forget to pack a cutting board and a good knife. Think about the campsite you’ll be staying at. If it doesn’t have a picnic table, make sure to bring a camping table too.
If you want to save space in your cooler for some extra fish or other fresh food, you can pack a lot of dry, no-cook items for breakfast, such as dry fruits and nuts.
Plan your meals in advance and meal-prep at home so that you can pack smartly, not waste anything, and not miss any vital ingredients.
An essential part of any camping experience for many of us is staying off social media for a while. However, that doesn’t mean you should go full-on primitive. Choosing a powered campsite or bringing a generator could make your stay in nature magical.
Bring an outdoor speaker and enjoy some chill music every evening while cooking and enjoying your meals. What’s more, you may also need some electricity to power up some of your gear, and there’s no shame in that.
Ward Off Bugs
Nothing can ruin your stay in nature like persistent mosquito bites or various other bugs crawling all over you. Luckily, you can avoid this nuisance quite easily by bringing a bug spray and a powerful mosquito repellent.
You also need to make sure your tent zips tightly and keeps bugs away while you’re sleeping. Furthermore, keep your campsite clean so that food leftovers don’t attract any unwanted guests. Lastly, long pants and sleeves are a must if you want to remain bite-free.
You Can Enjoy the Great Outdoors While Staying Comfy
As you can see, you don’t need to rough it up to experience the wilderness in all its splendor. After all, the point is to have a great time and relax, not return home more stressed than you were before.
So don’t hesitate to bring anything that will enhance your comfort level. Enjoy your camping trip!
I’m Rebecca, a translator, avid traveler, and bookworm. My job has given me the amazing opportunity to travel to dozens of countries around the world, and writing on Rough Draft gives me a chance to try to showcase some of them.