camping out

The outside is the only place we can truly be inside the world. –Daniel J. Rice

camping guide book Camping is one of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors.

Nothing puts you as close to nature (or as far away from civilization) as spending the night out in the woods. It doesn’t matter whether you hiked hours or days to get to your campsite, or if you set up a pop-up camper in the woods, there’s something about spending the night under the stars with nothing but a tent or a few thin walls between you and the outside world that makes you truly appreciate nature.

It can also make you truly appreciate the wildlife, especially when they’re close to your tent and it is late at night. But there is something about spending the night in the woods, something that you can’t find when in the comfort of your home.

Camping makes you slow down, enjoy the simple things in life, and listen to the crackle of a fire without the distraction of a cell phone or work life. Camping allows you to enjoy nature, to go fishing or swimming in a pond, to hike up a mountainside, or to listen to the crickets as the sun goes down.

Sometimes, you find yourself going out into the woods to get away from everything, but instead, you bring a part of the woods back with you when you return home.

That is why camping is one of the many amazing forms of exploration; because not only does it allow you to become a part of the landscape even if only for one night, but it also allows the landscape to become part of you.

The Basic Pitch

There is no right or wrong way to go camping, though there are some ways to be prepared when it comes time to spend the night in the great outdoors. Whether you decide to go for a more down-to-earth form of camping where you hike in with everything you need, or if you decide that you’re the best way to commune with nature is still hooked up to your truck, going camping does take some preparation.

There’s no real way to just go out into the woods and go camping without the proper supplies, unless you find yourself on a survival TV show, of course. But it’s always a good idea to be prepared before answering the call of nature. Otherwise, you may find yourself spending the night curled up in your tent wishing you had brought a camping mattress, camping pillow, and a blanket.

Gearing Up to Head Out

One of the first things you should consider before going camping is where you intend to sleep. A good camping tent is light, water and weatherproof, and easy to set up and take down.

You should also keep in mind how many people are going camping with you before picking out your tents, as there’s no real need for a 6 person tent when you intend to go camping for some “me time.”

It’s also important to keep an eye on the weather before striking out. While some tents are best for summer camping, the same tent may not hold up so well during the winter, despite how high-quality it is. So make sure to pack light but bring the necessities when it comes to your shelter during your camping trip.

What better to carry your tent in then a high-quality backpack? Backpacks for camping should be multi-purpose and weatherproof, as well as easy to carry with you no matter what trail you may find yourself on. Nylon or other weatherproof backpacks are great for any camping trip and can make your trek in and out of your campsite much easier than trying to haul in a dozen bags.

And also make sure to bring camp-worthy cooking supplies with you. Finding the right camping stove or portable grill can be quite the adventure, especially when you’re trying to decide if it’s worth the effort and space it takes up in your camping bag. That’s why we’ve gone ahead and compiled some of the best camping stoves on the market, so you know what you’re getting into. You will also need a camping cooler if you plan to bring drinks, meat, or anything else that you want to keep cold.  Unless you want to eat on the ground, a camping table is essential.

There are also dozens of activities you can do while out camping, and each of them needs their own unique set of equipment. But sometimes it is nice to do nothing but sit around the campfire, which requires nothing but a good camping chair. You should make sure to prioritize what you are bringing with you, but make sure that you have everything you need at the same time. After all, nothing makes a good campsite like an easy cleanup. Creating your own camping checklist will ensure you pack in and out all your gear.

Where to Camp

It’s always a good idea to check if you can camp where you plan to camp before setting up your tent. Some locations have specific rules about when you can and cannot camp at a campsite, or may require you to call ahead and reserve a spot.

While camping in the national parks, especially Yellowstone, can be an incredible experience, these spots can fill up quickly and lead to an overcrowded parking area and a disappointing camping trip.

The same goes for finding your own camping spot in the middle of nowhere. You want to make sure that the weather and location aren’t going to threaten your good time. Roof top tents make this easier then ever – just drive to your destination, set up your tent, and you are good to go.

There’s no such thing as over planning when it comes to setting up for a camping trip, otherwise, you may find yourself making a soggy trek home after you’ve forgotten your rain tarp. Whether you looking for a camping site to hike into or want something a little bit closer to your car and your comfort zone, there is no shortage of places to camp around the world, all it takes is a little exploration to help you find the best place for your home away from home.

So pitch your tent or set up your camping hammock in the wilderness and settle in to listen to nature say goodnight. Or, head out to your favorite camp and bring along a solar generator and a portable air conditioner. Either way, you may find yourself never wanting to leave.