Camping is one of the best and easiest escapes into nature, away from the chores of daily life. The more nights this summer you can spend staring at a campfire and sleeping under a canopy of stars, the better, even if you stay close to home. Here are ten ways to make it more fun and happen more often
If every camping trip starts with a two-hour effort to locate all your gear and load it into the car, going camping will feel like work. Keep a prepacked box of your camping gear in a certain corner of your house or garage—or better yet, in the trunk of your car—all summer, and you’ll be ready to hit the road with minimal stress every time. Keep your tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad together, along with your lighting (headlamp with extra batteries, lantern, and/or tent lights). Pack the kitchen stuff together (repack it in your garage or car immediately after you’ve cleaned it from the previous trip): your stove, enough stove fuel for the next trip, coffee-making apparatus, lighter, knife, pots, mugs, bowls, spoons, forks, other kitchen equipment, a water container, and nonperishable food items. This way you can head out of town with only one or two stops for last-minute groceries and firewood.
A campsite can feel a little lonely when you're walking around in the darkness if the only light is coming from the small LED bulb in your headlamp. One or two additional lighting options can make the campsite, kitchen, and tent feel more inviting.
Camp on a School Night
A camping trip doesn’t have to take up an entire weekend or be a three-day backpacking route somewhere far away from home. No matter what city you live in, there are usually campsites within a 90-minute commute from downtown via train, bus, bike, or car.Hardly anyone is there on a Tuesday night. Arrive on a weeknight just in time for a late dinner, then get up early the next morning to head into work. Or show up at the office with your car packed.
Take It a Little Farther Into the Backcountry
You don’t need the newest, shiniest, most ultralight, super ultrahigh-tech gear to go backpacking. It’s nice, of course, and can enable getting farther down the trail or up the mountain before you stop and camp for the night. But, the fact is, if you have strong legs and a big enough backpack, you can take pretty much whatever you want on a backpacking trip
Find (or Make) a Better Pillow