5 Tips for a Great Camping Trip

Last weekend I joined up with several MAPS (Marketing Association at Plymouth State; a chapter of the AMA) Alumni on our annual camping trip. This year we chose to camp on Tripoli Road, a roadside first come first serve camping ground in the White Mountains. The spot we chose is right on top of a beautiful running brook right in between Waterville Valley and Thornton. This trip was not our first, and we observed that we continue to get better at the whole event each year. Naturally this means we have more fun, but it also comes in terms of preparedness, comfort, and the feeling that you are out in the woods and not on a paid by the campsite campground. You wouldn’t even know you drove to this location! I want to share some things that we noticed about this trip that may help you when planning any backcountry or weekend camping trips with friends.10446042_10152206436658499_1362894883814580242_o

  1. Bring good edges

    Knives and camp axes are a must when you are camping. On the sites and in surrounding areas is where you will find all your down and dead wood. This is great because the forest is a never ending resource for these types of trees. Do not, I repeat do not, cut down live trees, but take anything and everything you find lying around. You’ll burn through a lot of wood sitting by the fire all night, and you don’t want to by $6 bundles of wet wood from somebody’s front lawn. Knives are also helpful to cut cheese and salami, turn a stick into a hot dog skewer, or just to use as needed, you never know!

  2. Don’t bring the kitchen sink

    I see so many people go camping with more than they could ever need for a few nights. It’s always great to have one change of clothes, extra food, and some essential camping gear, but you won’t need everything else. I bring only what will fit in a backpacking pack and cooler. Nothing else. You end up carrying more weight, and scattering stuff around the campsite. Just because you have nice things that you went to EMS and spent a fortune on, doesn’t mean it’s all needed for this one trip. Everything serves a purpose, but you should just be comfortable and under burdened with your gear.

  3. Bring something to boil water

    Boiling water is essential at camp. You may run out of your own fresh water and need to get some from the brook, but the only way to ensure it is safe to drink is by boiling it first. I use a JetBoil personal camping stove, but there are some other great stoves on the market as well. They are about $100 but you’ll find use in them every time you go out. I use mine to boil water for oatmeal (great breakfast), coffee, MRE’s and drinking water. It is a self-contained system that is small enough to pack but does all that you would need from the food and drink department. 10504953_10152206434788499_6623025789083408145_o

  4. Be comfortable

    I mentioned not bringing more than you need but for a fun and successful camping trip you need to be comfortable, so this is a must. That means when you know the night will get to the low 40s (even in summer) bring some socks, sweatpants, and a fleece; you’ll sleep much better. Also, if you have a sleeping pad, that will prevent you from sleeping on the ground and even insulate you. I advise a good sleeping back and tent as well, still something that can fit in a pack.

  5. Plan fun activities

    This last piece is a must. As much as I love sitting around camp, it’s not what I want to do all day and night. There are plenty of hikes, swims, bikes, and waterfalls to check out all across the state. No matter where you camp make an effort to leave the site and explore the area for fun things to do.

I’ll also end with saying to do these things with good people. People that share your passion and interest in being outdoors, where there is nothing to complain about. There is no end to camping and hiking tips, but follow these general guidelines to get a start at having a good time.

2 Responses to “5 Tips for a Great Camping Trip”

  1. JohnJune 20, 2017 at 10:52 am #

    My wife and I think camping would be a fun hobby for us to pick up this summer. Neither of us have a lot of experience, so the tips you provided in the article were all helpful. I especially liked your suggestion to remember to be comfortable while you camp by bringing the right clothing and gear. We’ll be sure to do this!

  2. Mark MurphyAugust 3, 2018 at 1:06 pm #

    I really like your tip to make sure that you don’t bring too much to the campsite, especially since you might leave a lot of the stuff behind. My wife and I are thinking of taking an exclusive camping trip for our anniversary, and because of that, I want to make sure that we don’t leave the campsite messy. I will be sure to bring the bare minimum since it is just the two of us.

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