National Camping Month
June is National Camping Month! According to the 2021 North American Camping Report by KOA (Kampgrounds of America), campers are more diverse, numerous and camp more frequently than ever before! With all these happy campers, we put together some advice to help make your camping trip more successful. Whether you like to rough it by sleeping under the stars or enjoy the luxurious amenities of “glamping,” here are six tips to help you save time and money.
- Buy Adequate Gear
If you’re dipping your toes in the water of camping and not sure if it’s going to become a long-term hobby, you may be tempted to cheap out and buy a low-end tent, sleeping bag or other gear. But as the old saying goes, “buy cheap, buy twice.” Low quality materials tend to end up in a landfill. Gear with longevity is both better for the environment and a better investment. Even if you camp one time and decide it’s not right for you, you can possibly get much of your investment back by selling your gear on the used market, giving future campers years of potential enjoyment. For that matter, if you’re looking to save money, you could buy quality gear at a lower price on the used market yourself.
- Put Together a Travel Plan
Don’t just throw a tent in a car and go. If you’re driving a long distance to a campsite, plan out your driving time. Use a map-based mobile gas price app to find gas stations with lower fuel prices and plan your refueling stops around them. Try to find out when cities have heavy traffic and see if your plan can avoid peak times. After all, time is money. The more time you spend sitting in traffic, the less value you’re getting from your excursion.
- Pack Plenty of Food
If you brought a can of beans and a few gummy worms, you might find yourself hungry later. But proper packing and proper food storage will keep you fed, happy and save you the expense and trouble of going on a food run in the middle of your camping trip.
- Avoid the Weekend
According to KOA, summer weekends are typically high in use at any given campground. If your schedule allows, you might consider planning a trip in the middle of the week. After all, it’s hard to get away from it all if you put yourself in the middle of a crowd.
- Safety First
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you’re going to be outdoors, pack plenty of adequate sunscreen. Make sure it has an adequate level of SPF protection. Bring insect repellent. Bugs such as deer ticks could carry diseases. By taking sun and insect protection seriously, you may help avoid medical bills for treatment from complications down the road. Finally, if you’re going to be out on any kind of watercraft, ALWAYS wear a life jacket! You can’t put a price on a human life.
- Stay Home
Staying home doesn’t mean don’t camp. If you have small children who aren’t ready yet for the full camping experience, you can still celebrate National Camping Month right in your own backyard. Pitch a tent in your backyard, make some s’mores and sing some campfire songs under the night sky to give your little ones an outdoor experience in a safe and convenient environment. A backyard campout can help them get ready for the real deal later.