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How to Prepare for a Camping Trip This Weekend

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The forecaster predicts perfect weather this weekend. Your new backpack just arrived in the mail. The great outdoors calls to you, and you want to go camping, but you only have a day and a half to prepare for your travel. Here’s how to throw together a perfect weekend in the woods.

Pack Living Essentials First

Pack your tent and sleeping bag first. This packing order ensures you have somewhere warm and dry to live for the weekend. Consider packing a pillow if your sleeping bag doesn’t have one built into its head opening. Choose a reinforced tent since just half an inch of rain spreads 300 gallons of water on a 1,000-square-foot roof, according to Gardeners, so imagine what it could do to a tent. Pack a first aid kit, too.

Plan Your Meals and Pack Food

Eating while hiking or camping differs from cooking out on your deck. If you plan to drive directly to your campsite, pack your favorite canned goods with flip-top lids because they won’t weigh down your backpack. If you plan to park in a lot and hike to your campsite, pack lightly, using dried meats, granola, energy bars, dried vegetables, and basic seasonings like salt and pepper.

Unless you truly want to cook over an open fire, skip the fancy camp cookware. Opt for a kettle, bottled water, and instant coffee or tea. Each person needs at least one gallon of water per day for hydration and hygiene. Drink 64 ounces of water each day to stay hydrated.

Keep Yourself Bug-Free

Pick up high-quality insect repellant that includes DEET and, says the CDC, at least 0.5% permethrin. Use this spray on your clothing, skin, and camping gear to keep ticks off of it. The DEET helps ward off mosquitoes, flies, and ants.

Insects spread diseases, so choose your spray wisely. When bugs get sick and bite a person, they pass the disease. But, concerns about contracting something like West Nile virus shouldn’t be your only concern.

Invite Your Camping Buddies

As much as you want to invite all of your friends, those with small infants aged four weeks or younger should avoid taking the baby camping. During the neonate phase of the first 28 days of life, mammals of all kinds run the risk of contracting C. sakazakii infection. The symptoms include sepsis, meningitis, and bacteremia, and the disease leads to death in 40% to 80% of the children who contract it. Babies contract the disease from powdered formula, powdered milk, and contaminated breast pumps.

Prioritize inviting friends who you know love camping and won’t mind a last-minute invitation. It helps if they already own the appropriate gear. Bonus points if they have already camped where you plan to go since it helps to have someone along who knows the area.

Consider Camping Extras

If you love rustic camping, you could hit the road with just these items. Perhaps you want the comforts of home to make it a glamping trip. If you don’t already own fun camping items, pick them up before you leave. Consider purchasing fun games for you and your camping partner. Maybe you want to get some good reading done on your trip. Pack your favorite book! While no one would consider these items must-haves for weekend camping, they make the experience more fun and entertaining.

Toss your toothbrush and toothpaste into your backpack with a change of clothes. After you pack your tent, sleeping bag, food, insect repellent, and comfort items, you can hit the road. Check your vehicle over before you leave because car trouble on the way makes a bummer of a delay. Happy camping.

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