As I sit here waiting for my first born to arrive, I started thinking about my family’s yearly camping trip. Every year we travel from New Jersey to Bar Harbor, Maine for a nice relaxing and scenic camping trip. I look forward to this trip every year and book my campsite a year in advance. Now, that’s not really a tip because most campgrounds do not fill up that quickly; however, depended on where, when and how you want to camp it would be wise to book your reservations a few months in advance if you are staying at a campground.
For this article, I wanted to help new and veteran campers have a great tenting experience. You may think that all you have to do is put up the tent (which can be challenge at times) but there is much more to getting the campsite ready. Here are some tips that I have learned through my years of camping. There are obviously a lot of tips for using a tent, but these are some I have found to be really helpful!
5 Basic Tips for Camping with a Tent
Buy the Right Size Tent
Growing up, my family was a “tenting” family. We had a huge tent that gave each of us plenty of room and had many windows for good air circulation at night. When purchasing a tent, be sure it is big enough to accommodate your family size. It may also be a good idea to round up when looking at how many people the box says the tent will fit. In my opinion, some 2-4 person tents are quite small and you will be living on top of one another.
Use a Ground Cover
Be sure to purchase a ground cover so your tent is not sitting directly on the ground. This helps immensely when it rains; though don’t be surprised if you still find some puddles in the corners after a good rain storm. Also, make sure the cover fits because if it sticks out of the tent all the rain will come in anyway.
Treat the Seams
After you find your tent you have to be sure to treat the seams with scotch guard. Yes, tents are water resistant, but don’t let that fool you. The seams have tiny little holes that will let in water if you don’t seal them up. In fact, even if it doesn’t rain at night, the condensation inside the tent is enough to leave you feeling damp at best, and anything touching the walls of the tent will be wet in the morning. For this reason, I always left my bag of clothes in the car so I didn’t have to worry about it.
Keep Food (and Toothpaste) Out of the Tent
Obviously, you don’t want to keep any kind of food in your tent, but you also shouldn’t keep things like toothpaste in there either. Bears, raccoons, and other critters are fairly good with zippers and wouldn’t mind snacking on whatever you have in the tent. Also, please lock you cars because the wildlife can open a door handle with ease to get the contents out of that cooler you packed in the trunk.
Air Out the Tent When You Get Home
Now this may not help with your current camping trip, but it will definitely help with the next one. Opening the tent when you get home will help keep it from growing mold from the condensation. That could definitely put a damper on your next trip!
Now after reading all that you may think, why the heck would I even want to go camping? The fact is, tenting isn’t for everyone. It’s not even for me anymore so don’t feel bad. My family purchased a travel trailer a few years ago and it’s one of the best investments we have ever made. Just having our own shower is a huge perk for me.
You might be thinking, well that’s not camping. I have to admit, I was one of these people. I would look at the people in RVs and cabins and think, “you’re not really camping.” But you know what? It doesn’t really matter where you sleep at night to consider yourself a camper. Camping has to do with having fun, enjoying time with friends and family, and being a part of nature!