Camping is one of the simplest ways to spend your time — no matter the season. With the right gear, you can have a comfortable setup in the beautiful outdoors, spend some time away from work and devices, and bond with people you love (even if you go camping in the winter). However, despite the simplicity of the activity, the setup and logistics of camping can be challenging. In fact, there are many common camping mistakes that people make that lead them to think camping is not fun.
We're here to give you a heads up about those common camping mistakes so you can know what to look out for before you leave home. That way, you can avoid anything that makes your trip unpleasant and adopt camping as one of your favorite pastimes — which is a good idea because it's an activity you can do year-round, worldwide, and at all ages.
Here are the camping mistakes you might make when you begin camping and how to avoid them.
1. Forgetting to Buy Waterproof Gear
Camping tends to be a messy, wet experience. Whether you get stuck in the rain, hike through mud, or need to rinse your hands off after they get dirty, water is simply an integral part of the outdoor experience.
For that reason, you need to consider the waterproof nature of your gear (and the water-tightness of your tent or shelter) before you go. You should wear hiking gaiters if you're walking through mud to get to your campsite. And you'll need waterproof socks to ensure you don't end up with feet that develop blisters, get cold, or grow fungus (sorry to be gross — that's just a natural part of constantly wet feet!).
Also, make sure you purchase a tarp to put under your tent and buy a water-tight tent with a rain fly to keep you dry if you get stuck in a downpour. Water can be refreshing and cooling when you're out in the wilderness, but it can be a real pain if the stuff you've brought with you gets wet and then becomes unusable while you're away from home.
2. Being Oblivious and Uninformed About Surroundings
One of the most common camping mistakes is simply not knowing enough about nature and not paying attention to it once you arrive at your campsite. When you get there, don't just plop down your tarp and tent and get started. Check around for plants, signs of animals, and other hazards that could pose a risk while you're out in nature.
Some important things you should do before you leave home and set up camp include learning about dangerous animals that might live in the habitat where you're camping and how to stay safe (i.e., if you're hiking in an area with snakes on the trail, make sure you bring and wear snake gaiters). Learn about poisonous plants so you can identify them and make sure you don't walk/touch/sleep in them. Also, be sure you find a spot where you can store food and trash that won't attract bears.
The more you know about where you're camping before you get there and the more you can prepare, the less likely you are to get injured, sick, or into an unsafe situation while you're out on your adventure.
3. Failing to Check the Weather Before Packing
The weather greatly affects the quality of your camping trip. If you want to ensure you're always comfortable on your trip, check out what the weather will be like. Once you know the weather forecast, pack for it.
If there will be greatly varying temperatures or weather events throughout the course of your days, make sure you bring things that make camping comfortable in the hot or the cold: like a sleeping bag liner in case it gets cold at night (which you can remove when hot) or a pocket blanket that you can use for extra warmth but shed when you don't need it.
4. Not Buying Your Gear at Pike Trail
When you go camping, the quality of the gear you bring matters. A common camping mistake is thinking that all camping gear is equal and not being intentional about where you choose to stock up on what you need. If you want to ensure you have the best-quality goods for your next camping trip, shop at Pike Trail.
Pike Trail is well known as a purveyor of high-quality camping and hiking gear. The online store has a range of goods that can help make your camping and hiking trip fun, safe, and comfortable. One of the best parts about Pike Trail is that we don't sell anything we haven't thoroughly tested to ensure quality and reliability. So, you can be sure when you're buying your camping gear from the store that you're purchasing an item you can rely on.
Browse through Pike Trail's store today, then avoid a foolish camping error by purchasing the things you need with the knowledge that what you're buying is affordable — but also top-of-the-line quality.