Whether it’s you who enjoys camping or your spouse or kids, the most enjoyable trips are the ones that allow you to enjoy what you are there to do without the stress of being uncomfortable. Many people who don’t particularly enjoy camping often equate the word camping with the word uncomfortable, but this doesn’t have to be so. I have learned over the past couple of years that there are simple actions one can take to lessen or eliminate uncomfortability and stress on camping trips.
Even if you are not going to be hiking with a pack all of the time, it is still a good idea to pack as little as you can without sacrificing safety. This idea may sound counterintuitive, but the logic behind it is simple: It’s much easier physically and mentally to manage a pack that is simple and light than it is to do the same with a much larger, complicated pack.
I have found that packing light, although it may sacrifice some luxuries, allows me to more easily find items without having to tear apart the entire pack. This may sound trivial, but being able to find and access everything you need quickly and without hassle allows you to focus more of your energy on the main activity.
Pacing yourself physically is a no brainer, but pacing your camp set up is equally important. Many people arrive at their camp site with the intention of setting up everything as quickly as possible: This is a mistake!
Setting up slowly and methodically is far more effective from my experience. This is mostly due to the fact that if you rush through set up, you will inevitably lose track of where you placed items and will therefore have to spend additional time searching for these items. I have also found that when I set up too quickly, I don’t think logically enough about the placement of my shelter in relation to everything else. This makes maneuvering in the camp difficult and clumsy and only fosters frustration during the trip.
If Stationary, Add Some Luxuries
If there are no plans to leave the camp for hiking or other activities, I would recommend spending more time on physical comforts such as:
-Bringing a tent that is roomy enough to sit up in.
-Using a sleeping pad or air mattress in the shelter.
-Bringing folding furniture such as chairs and a table.
-Bringing a cooler to keep food and drinks cold.
-Spending more time making the camp easy to maneuver in (i.e. make more spacious).
An example of a more stationary camping set up.
Don't Skimp on Food
This is a mistake I have made many times; deciding to take less food because of expenditure or because of underestimating how much food I will need or want. I have learned to take as much food as I know I will eat and then taking at least a third more than that. This will not only alleviate the uncomfortability of having not eaten enough, but will also eliminate the stress and worry that you might not have brought enough food.
When thinking about how much food to bring, I typically ask myself how much food I think I will need. Once I have decided on the necessary amount, I then add about another days worth of food on top of that thus eliminating the worry that if I want to eat more, I won’t have enough meals for the last day.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comments below.