Summer Camping Secrets For Hikers
There’s nothing like a bit of sunshine to make you rush for the great outdoors. But, when you are heading out into the wilds for summer camping, you still need to be well prepared. You might be wanting the sun on your back and the gentle summer breeze in your hair, but just occasionally, mother nature and lady luck will conspire to put a halt to your plans. However, with a little forethought and careful planning, you can still enjoy your camping whatever they decide to throw at you. From lifting your pack to preparing your meals, here are some useful tips to help you get the most from your summer camping trip.
Learn To Lift A Heavy Backpack
Lifting up a heavy backpacking backpack is one thing that should be done with great care. Incorrect ways of lifting your pack may disturb your balance and can result in back and neck pain. Not knowing correct techniques would also make it harder for you to carry the load in that scorching heat.
The best way to lift a heavy backpack is to mount it on a rock and slide your arms in. In the absence of any mounting place, slide one shoulder in the holding strip while your opposite knee is bent and the backpack is lying on the ground, then hold the backpack from grab loop and place it onto the bended knee and slide your other arm in. Always adjust the balance your pack before standing again.
Keep Yourself Dry
Even in summer, there can be rain. Travel prepared with light rainproof outerwear, jacket, and trousers. Keep yourself completely dry by lifting the jacket hood a little forward from your face. Keep your hiking shoes and feet dry by wearing extra gaiters under your rain pants.
Have Mercy On Your Knees
Remember your knees must be in perfect health to keep you going. You cannot ascend steep trails with sore, tired knees or for that matter, come down them. Keep your backpack weight to a minimum as it directly puts pressure on your knees and use walking poles to distribute your weight evenly if carrying a heavy backpack is essential. You have to be more careful while camping in the summer season as you will get tired quickly and your knees will suffer the most. In case of achy knees take pain killers and take ample rest before you move on. Applying cold packs is also helpful for relieving knee pain.
Choose Suitable Light Source
Always be mindful when choosing your camping lights. Some light sources are too bright and make your eyes tired. A soft calm light is ideal for keeping your camp well lit without a painful glare. You can always soften a bright light by tying it around a water gallon. Keeping the right light source handy is important irrespective of when you’re planning to enjoy a camping expedition.
Install Outdoor Lights
Outdoor lights are as important as indoor lights for campers. Installing lights outside the camp and on the route to the bathroom is essential to guide the campers in the right direction and enable them to see any obstacles in their way. When camping in the summer season, take advantage of solar-powered lights. These are ideal outdoor lights for camping as there is no relying on powered up batteries that are expensive to replace and create a safety hazard when they suddenly power down.
Try Simple Food
Always keep your camping food simple so you can spend more time exploring the place and enjoying the serenity of the natural environment than preparing meals. Pack goodies like tacos and biscuits which are ideal quick foods.
Learn To Cook Eggs
Carrying eggs is the biggest hassle. They break so easily in a backpack and leave a sticky, smelly mess. A simple egg hack is to crack your eggs into a jar and keep the jar in the cooler. Just shake the eggs when you need them and cook in the pan with seasonings. Voila! Your hassle-free scrambled egg is ready.
Use Fire Starters Properly
Starting a campfire can be a hassle and is not the easiest thing for first-time campers. Fire starters ease the whole process and mean you have a reliable fire. A stack of cardboard papers in a dry lint trap can do the job. Place your fire starter under your tinder and light up the starter kit. Once the tinder has caught, add increasing larger sticks and work up to logs when you have a healthy flame.
Plan Your Travelling Schedules Wisely
Summer mean crowds for campers and the key to avoiding them is to plan your traveling schedules wisely. Always start your journey with the first rays of the sun so that you can cross the busiest routes before the masses hit it. Don’t sleep in the first few hours. It will trap you in the pool of campers. Instead, save your siesta for the hottest hours of the day so your journey becomes less tiring and more comfortable.
Take Advantage Of Night Hiking
Night hiking is another good strategy for avoiding crowds. Some helpful pointers for successful night hiking include the following:
- Select trails that are least risky like the wide, even trails and trails with few low hanging trees.
- Allow time for your eyes to adjust to dark naturally rather than use headlamps as they may attract dangers towards you. Use the headlamps only when needed for example, when reading trail signs and maps.
- Hike when there is a full moon for better light rather than on nights with a quarter moon
Keep Your Stuff Organized
The organization is a key element for making your trips less messed up and more hassle-free. Organize your backpack and keep different equipment in the separate compartments of your pack so you can easily access the items you need without messing up everything.
Choose Your Campsite Sensibly
Your choice of campsite has a huge impact on your camping experience. Avoid selecting risky places like under old trees, rock fall zones and dry river beds. Reusing campsites left by previous campers is a safer bet but you can also opt safely for places a few feet above the streams and lakes. Gravel bar, slick rock, sandy beaches, and forest duff are more durable surfaces for camping than grassy meadows.
Choosing depressions in the terrain for camping, however inviting they seem, will turn out to be a huge mistake in the event of rain. Flat well-drained surfaces are always better for camping in rainy weather. Avoid camping near poison ivy, oak, or sumac patches as their leaves and stems release an oily resin known as urushiol which can stick to your body and cause itching and rashes. Urushiol can also stick on your belongings and camping tents and it is hard to get rid of.
Always Keep An Alternative Plan Ready
The urge to be at one with nature can be overpowering in summer, but nature is unpredictable. If you get stuck in harsh weather or if some natural occurrence becomes an obstacle, it can ruin your whole camping trip. But you can keep your journey going by keeping an alternative plan ready in case of an emergency. This way you can save your trip can get the best out of your vacation. Asking rangers about the prevailing situation in your destined camping site and keeping an eye on the weather forecast is a much-needed precaution for making your camping trip hassle-free.
Accepting Failure Is Not Shameful
There is no harm in accepting your trip was a failure and packing up for home earlier than planned. It is better to admit when you are not enjoying your journey instead of making it a burden and continuing your adventure in a miserable state. Sometimes plans don’t work out and there’s nothing to feel embarrassed about things not working out as you might have planned. Understand that it’s better to be safe rather than sorry so you can try again another time with even better planning.
Whether you intend to go over the hills or along the coast on your summer camping trip, if you have prepared the best you can, you will come home safe and well and invigorated by your time in the sun. So, put your pack on correctly, look after your knees and make sure someone at home knows your plan. Pack your equipment in each compartment and don’t forget your eggs, ready scrambled, and the pan. Put your best foot forward, make for the trail and head off for your summer camp.