Going camping can be a relaxing experience, but it can quickly become stressful with a lack of planning and forgetting important items. Luckily, if you’re an experienced camper, you hardly ever forget essentials, but it might be time to kick it up a notch. There are many ways to camp, so whether you enjoy sleeping in a tent or directly under the stars, we’ve got a few ideas to make your next camping experience even more memorable. Here’s your ultimate campsite bucket list for the summer.
Sleep under the Stars
Bug spray is one of the most essential camping items to take with you, and you’re going to need it for this one, but it can be enjoyable when done right. Whether you sleep in a sleeping bag or invest in a Bubble Hotel, you can sleep under the stars and fall asleep to the most beautiful sights in the universe. If you plan to sleep under the stars, ensure you have plenty of protection from little critters. You can sleep above ground in a hammock or spray your area with bug spray to keep bugs off of you during the night.
Go Somewhere New
Whether you’re planning a camping trip for a large family or going with a friend or partner, you can choose to go somewhere new every year to experience new sights. Of course, everyone has their favorite camping site, but you never know what you could be missing by visiting a new campsite slightly farther away.
Bring a Shower
One of the most difficult parts of camping for most people is the fact they can’t properly bathe, and being covered in dirt is no fun. Of course, you can always go camping at a campground with running water, bathrooms, and showers, but if you’re sleeping in a tent somewhere more remote, you can bring a portable camping shower. These showers allow you to get clean after a long day in the sun and in the dirt so you can feel refreshed enough to do it all again the next day.
Bring Your Dog
Whether you’re going hiking or plan to spend your entire camping trip lounging around, you can always bring your best furry friend. Of course, your dog loves spending time outside during the summer, which is why it’s so hard to get inside after a walk. If your dog is well-trained, they could make a great camping companion, and they’ll enjoy spending some quality time with you in nature. Be careful, though; the great outdoors has tons of smells that can distract your dog or make them dig, which can be troublesome. Always bring tons of toys and activities to keep your pup entertained so you can stop your dog from digging before it begins.
When camping with your dog, ensure plenty of food and water for them. Dogs get hotter faster than humans, so they’ll need water to stay hydrated and keep cool during hot summer days. Also, depending on the temperature, your furry friend may need booties to keep their paws safe from the hot ground. When temperatures are at their highest most grounds are ten degrees warmer, and your pet’s paws need to be covered so they don’t blister. Think of it this way, if you can’t walk on the ground barefoot, neither can your pet!
When camping with your pet you must take multiple stops and water breaks. Even if you aren’t tired, your pup might be. It’s important to remember that they have fur which makes their body temperature warmer than ours, and if the sun is shining down your pup should take some time to lie down and drink plenty of water.
You can camp in more than just one spot every night if you have a few days to spare. Renting an RV will allow you to travel and camp wherever you see fit so you can experience new places. Additionally, road tripping with an RV will allow you the option to sleep inside when you don’t feel like sleeping in a tent.
If you don’t want to do the trip alone, you can have a group of friends joins you, making it even better! Road tripping with friends is not only an up-and-coming trend but also a great way to explore and try new things. For example, you may not be an avid hiker, but your friend might, and you two can go on a beginner’s hike somewhere and appreciate the outdoor scenery.
Likewise, camping around with friends can make things cheaper. For example, you can take turns paying for meals or locations. You can have one friend cover the cost of Utah, and the other cover the cost of Montana. Either way, camping around city to city is even more special with a companion because you’ll have memories and photos that will last a lifetime.
Everyone can enjoy glamping. Whether you’re an avid camper who likes to sleep outdoors or someone who prefers to camp at a site with showers, glamping can be a great experience that allows you to get outside without having to give up showers or bathrooms. Glamping offers the luxuries of beds, bathrooms, and even temperature control, so you can enjoy the great outdoors without feeling dirty, sweaty, or getting overheated.
Don’t stress about feeling like you aren’t getting the entire ‘camping experience’ because your experience is based on the activities and memories you make along the way. Not to mention, glamping is great if you want to bring the family together, depending on preferences or health concerns, glamping could be the best and safest option. Either way, glamping is here to stay so feel free to give it a shot one time.
Going camping and spending time in nature can help you relax, but you can get even more benefits from fresh air by not being distracted by your phone. Instead of scrolling through social media or reading news while you’re camping, keep your phone off, or at least try not to use it as much. Unplugging can be freeing and allow you to focus on yourself or spend time with the people you love.
Get Camp Chairs
Sitting around the fire is something everyone does while camping, but sitting on the hard, lumpy ground can be uncomfortable. So instead, get cozy camp chairs that can make you feel comfortable while you relax and watch the flames.
Set Up a Hammock
Every campsite needs a hammock for you to fall asleep or read a book in. Hammocks are a camping essential; there’s nothing better than swinging on a hammock outside. Luckily, you should have tons of trees to hang your hammock on when camping, but you can also find a portable camping hammock that doesn’t require the perfect tree distance to get your swing on.
Many campsites have picnic tables so you can sit and eat somewhere slightly more comfortable than the ground, but they’re not guaranteed everywhere you go. Instead, you can ensure your family always has a place to eat the food they cook over the fire by getting a campsite table that folds and can be easily stored in your car when not in use.
You likely won’t feel like going for a hike or to the beach every night before bed, so you can keep the entire family entertained by setting up an outdoor projector and having a movie night. If you don’t have access to a screen, you can use a white sheet draped over your tent or RV.
Lastly, if not the most important thing, bring games! Camping is the best way to have quality time with your family or friends so take it back to the classics and bring a deck of cards or a new game that is sure to bring everyone a laugh. There is truly a no better way to go camping than to enjoy some s’mores next to the fire while playing a game, this is a perfect way to incorporate every person that is camping. Not to mention, you can make it even more fun by having the winners or losers to a dare. Or, if you don’t have the space to pack games you can keep it original and play charades, telephone, 20 Questions, truth or dare, two truths, and a lie, once upon a time, and more.
The Ultimate Camping Experience
There’s an ideal campsite for everyone. No matter what type of camper you are, there’s something that can make your experiences even more enjoyable. So whether you prefer to sleep under the stars and on the ground or in a backpacking tent with lots of cushions, never stop trying to improve your campsite to make each experience unique.
Contributor: Ellie Williams
Ellie Williams holds a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality with a minor in Marketing from Chico State University. She enjoys doing freelance writing on general business, wellness, and lifestyle tips. During her free time, she enjoys catching up with friends and family or attending local events.