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Summer is that time of year when people like to take family vacations or camping trips. Even if you’ve planned everything out, there is always room for improvement, so in this article we’re going to share some of our important tips for hot weather camping.
4 Camping Tips for Summer 2019
Finding a Place and Reservations
When planning a camping trip, the first thing you should remember is reservations. If you plan to go to a national park or popular camping area, it may be first-come, first-serve, or there may be a way to reserve a space. There’s nothing more disappointing than when you’ve prepared everything to have a good time, but you get to a space in the evening and there is nowhere for you to camp. You then have to stay far away or, even worse, book a hotel last minute.
You can avoid this by doing a few things. Do your research to see what other’s experiences have been for the location in mind. Yelp is great because it will show you all kinds of reviews and tips.
Another thing you can do is – if you’re going to a national park, for example – see what info is on their website. You may be able to plan your camping trip during the week or at another time when people are not as likely to be camping, instead of on a weekend.
Even if you’re just planning to camp in a national forest, you may need a permit, so don’t leave yourself stranded.
Great! So now you know that you have the reservation and you know where you’re going, what should you pack?
Of course, you’ll want to check the weather forecast, but even that will not help you be 100% prepared for your trip. Your camping essentials will almost certainly include a tent with good ventilation and sleeping bag. But where you’re going will make a difference in the kind of tent and sleeping bag you’ll want to pack. For example, if you’re camping out by a river or lake, there are likely to be lots of mosquitos. So a tent with extra mesh or mosquito netting may be helpful.
But if you’re going out to the desert where mosquitos are not a problem, you could take a light-weight tent with a skylight for seeing the stars. Maybe you’re just car camping and you’re planning to pull up to the site and sleep in your car. Plan to bring clothes that are comfortable and good for different kinds of weather. Keep in mind that weather forecasts are not certain. Plan for things to be hotter or colder, drier or wetter than projected.
It will be nice to have a few comfortable camping chairs and tables around with a nice canopy for eating-drinking and relaxing with your loved ones. It’s also important to keep your campsite clean while camping in summer to avoid creepy crawly, so bring along wet wipes and paper towels as well.
Food Ideas for Hot Summer Days
No matter what your sleeping situation will be, you’ll certainly want to plan for your meals.
Check to see if there are any grocery stores in the area, or if you’ll need to pack your food in advance. If you don’t plan to spend a lot of time at your campsite, but will be exploring instead, you may not want to have to cook that often.
One way to avoid cooking too much is to bring a cooler full of easy-to-eat snacks and cold foods, like bread, cheese, fruits and cold meats for sandwiches. Here are some nice ideas for easy-quick cold food recipes for hot weather days.
If you’d like to cook for dinner, you’ll need to plan your heat source. You could bring a portable camp stove and pot, or plan to build a fire. Don’t assume that just because you’re camping, you’ll be able to construct a campfire. Many campsites have specific fire restrictions.
Will you bring disposable cups and plates, or will you want to wash dishes? For washing dishes, you should bring some soap and a little bin to fill with water for wash dishes in. Depending on where your site is, you should decide if you need to bring in a lot of your own water or if there is accessible water. Either way, you should bring along a few gallons of fresh water for drinking. Keep a full water bottle so that whether you’re at your site or away, you’re staying hydrated and cool.
Keeping Your Tent and Food Cool
The first thing that comes to many people’s minds in the summer is – heat. Besides your tent, you may want to set up a pop-up sunshade over your camping area. Many people like to put one over their eating space to make a little outdoor dining room. When you set up your tent, you can pitch it in the shade under some trees if that’s an option. If you’re hiking, swimming, or exploring, you can come back to your cool, shady tent for a break.
Second way to keep your tent cool is to ventilate it. You can do this by opening any flaps or doors. If you’re hot but concerned about mosquitos, some tents have an extra mesh lining that goes over the entire outside so that you can vent it without letting bugs inside. Another idea to keep you cool while sleeping in your tent is using a portable tent fan. You’ll find great camping tent fans on the market, which has battery-power and flashlight.
Depending on where you’re camping, something that’s very important to consider is food storage. Besides the fact that you want to keep your cool foods cool and your dry foods dry, be aware of any critters in the area. Some campsites and national parks have bears or other animals that could get into your food or destroy your campsite. Fortunately, if there is a known issue with bears, parks may provide bear-proof storage containers. You don’t want to keep any food or snacks unsecured, because even if there are not bears, there are all kinds of other creatures (like racoons) who would happily avail themselves of your food.
Summer camping is a fun activity to do alone, or with friends or family, and you’ll have the best time when your most prepared and when you follow some of these tips.