If making a getaway to a natural paradise appeals to you, then forest camping is the ideal summer activity for you. Seriously, there is no better way than reconnecting with nature to escape a humdrum existence in the city. Just think about it: no calls, no messages, no annoying notifications. Just you, the earth, the trees, and the sky. Pure bliss!
But how is a city animal like you supposed to go camping in a dense forest? After all, you don't want a nature getaway turning into a search and rescue mission. But don't worry! We've got you covered with this short little guide that covers everything you need to know about camping in a forest.
Step 1: Locating The Ideal Camping Ground
The first step, especially for a beginner, is to find the most suitable camping ground. Ideally, it would be best if you looked up already well-established camping grounds in your area.
Some places like national forests or government-run nature reserves may even allow you to book a camping spot in advance. Plus, these well-established camping grounds also come with amenities like bathrooms and picnic tables, as well as rescue staff in case of an emergency. We highly recommend these places to any newcomers to the camping world because, trust us, even the most experienced campers can encounter unexpected situations in the forest.
In fact, only veteran campers may venture out into unexplored territory while the rest should stick to more well-known spots. It is also recommended that first-timers go camping in groups rather than striking out on their own.
Going in groups is definitely a lot safer, and it is always helpful to have more hands-on-deck when setting up a tent or watching out for curious animals at night.
Step 2: Gearing Up!
We cannot stress enough the importance of carrying the right gear. When out camping in a dense forest, you need to make sure that you have all the essentials needed to keep you safe and warm. Trust us; a trip without the right gear can quickly turn into more of an ordeal, so make sure you pack the right stuff.
Some essentials that you need are food, especially items that won't go bad too quickly, like nuts and energy bars. If you have a grill, then taking along barbeque items is a great way to enjoy your trip to the max. Aside from that, make sure you pack one extra set of clothing that will preferably cover most of your body. This is really important if you want to avoid rashes from poisonous plants or bug bites.
And most importantly, always carry a first aid kit as well as a GPS tracker that allows you to send text messages even in areas that do not have cell service. Even if you are camping in a well-known spot or a large group, make sure you have GPS so that you can alert rescue personnel in case of an accident. Don't forget WATER!
Step 3: Know The Basics Of Setting Up A Tent
Once you are at the camping spot, the first thing you should do before you set out to explore is to set up the tent. Try to find a relatively clear spot and remove any stray leaves and twigs. You want a clear, level spot that is free of branches and twigs so that you can firmly secure your tent to the ground.
Next, spread the tent's footprint on the ground. This is the base of the tent and is made of a water-proof material that stops moisture seeping into your tent from the soil.
Then set up the tent body by threading the tent poles through the pre-cut slots in the tent fabric. Once the tent structure is up, firmly stake in the tent corners into the ground. We recommend metal stakes since these won't bend or snap even if you drive them into hard ground. This is really important if you don't want your tent to be blown over by the wind.
Lastly, cover your tent with a rain cover. This is an additional layer that keeps your tent dry even if it's pouring outside.
Step 4: The Importance of A Camp Fire
Now that your tent is up, the next thing you should do is to set up a campfire. If you are a beginner, make sure that you take some extra kindling as well as fire starters to kickstart the fire-making process.
A good campfire allows you to toast some marshmallows, which by the way, are absolutely necessary, no doubt about that. I mean, how can any camping trip be complete without some marshmallows?
But trust us, campfires have other uses too. Not only do they provide light and warmth after dark when the temperature suddenly drops, but they also provide some much-needed protection from wild animals since most creatures avoid fire. So, keeping the campfire going strong all night long is really important. And always make sure you have a good supply of dry wood like sticks and branches on hand to keep feeding the fire.
Step 5: Do Not Ignore Safety Measures
A good camper always follows all safety precautions when out in the woods. They always carry a first aid kit, plenty of flashlights, and a GPS in case of an emergency. It is also a good idea to carry bug repellant to keep yourself safe from insect bites because you don't want to go back home with some sort of weird tropical disease.
Lastly, make sure you completely put out your campfire when you leave the campsite. To do this, make sure you douse it with plenty of water so that it does not reignite and cause damage.
So, there you have it! Now you know everything you need to know before setting out on a fun and safe camping trip out in the woods. So, what are you waiting for? It's camping time - grab your gear and get going!