10 Common Mistakes When Going Camping
Over time, campers will make fewer mistakes and learn with each trip. But for those who are not so experienced, there’s a lot of ways to go wrong. It just happens that mistakes when camping can be far more serious than mistakes on other forms of trips. This article will start with exploring important camping fundamentals and then venture into some more obscure mistakes.
Thinking You Can Build A Fire
Many think they can start a fire from scratch, but the reality is even with the help of flints and other gadgets, it can still be very difficult. If you encounter unexpected rain, this can ruin your plans to start a fire. Whilst it can be done, you need to be more prepared, both in your tools and knowledge.
Cheaping Out On The Sleeping Bag
Sleeping is the most important time when it comes to comfort. There’s nothing that will ruin a camping experience more than lying awake by yourself for hours freezing cold and slightly damp. The number one thing to mitigate this common scenario is to buy a water-repellent, high quality sleeping bag that can see you through all weather conditions.
Not Preparing Food
Bringing perishable foods in an ice cooler box thinking this will suffice for more than a couple of days is a common mistake. You have to have a seriously high-spec cooler to pull this off for 5 days, and these usually weigh a lot. A lot of your food you will want to carry in your backpack, and non-perishable is the way to go. This often resorts to snacks – but it doesn’t have to. Nuts, seeds, dried fruit, tinned soup are some of the ways to keep nutritious without fresh food.
Cooking Or Lighting Things Inside The Tent
Inside the tent should be for sleeping only. Lighting a candle can attract insects and poses a risk of igniting the tent. A simple alternative is to have a camping battery-powered light bulb/lamp. Make sure the tent is fully zipped up and close off from insects through. The most deadly thing to do when camping is to put a disposable BBQ in the tent (even if it’s just hovering around the entrance). The deadly carbon monoxide can fill up a tent whilst you sleep.
Overestimating How Much You Need
This is very common amongst first-time campers. Bringing inordinate amounts of gear. A knife collection is larger than a Michelin star chef, all sorts of gadgets, enough clothes to change into a new outfit every single day. A single 45L bag should be enough for all your clothes, gadgets and even some food.
Being Unaware Of Nature
Poisonous plants, mushrooms that will make you sick, animals that can kill you. Nature is ruthless, and ignorance towards it is creating a gambling situation. You should be aware of what the wildlife is like ahead of time in the area you’re visiting, as well as the basics of what may be poisonous.
Not Taking Painkillers
Painkillers aren’t always the first thing on your list, but they can come in handy more often than you’d think. Camping can involve physical activities and a significant change in diet and lifestyle. These things can lead to being ill or injured, and painkillers can then become vital to mitigate those negative experiences of the trip.
Setting Up Too Late
Trying to set up as the sun is going down is a race against time. The thought of trying to navigate its components in the dark should frighten you to the core, because it may take you hours. If it’s a simple tent, then you might get away with it, but you cannot assess the surroundings sufficiently. There may be potential dangers, damps patches or animal pathways by your tent which could cause problems. Having said this, it’s also a mistake set off at midday when it’s too hot. Finding the balance and researching sunset and the weather is key.
Not Taking A Sleeping Pad
Many first time campers believe that their thick, water-proof looking sleeping bag will be enough. After all, sleeping on the hard floor has never bothered them. The issue is that the ground will get extremely cold at night, and you need a thick layer of protection in the form of an insulated mat or foam pad. The softness of it is merely a cherry on top compared to the warmth it will provide.
It’s easy to not consider why having too much tarp may be a bad thing, because surely it’s better than having not enough?! But many campers will place their tent on the tarp that’s too big. Where it sticks out on the edges outside the tent can become guttering for rain. It will collect the water and direct it towards your tent and will likely go directly under your floor.