Saturday, June 27, 2015

12 Camping Tips for National Campout Day

It’s National Campout Day, and it’s time to rock the outdoors with an awesome camp adventure. Here are 12 camping tips to ensure a great time free of hassle and full of FUN.

Camping Tip #1: Be prepared!
Our Girl Scout motto is especially true when camping.

So be prepared for safety and emergencies by packing a first-aid kit, waterproof matches and fire starters, a headlamp and extra batteries, a whistle or other signaling device, a space blanket, and a compass or GPS device and map of the area.

Also be prepared to manage your personal comfort. Pack for all kinds of weather, pack each day’s clothes in plastic bags, and don’t sleep in clothes you’ve wore all day.

Finally, prepare for downtime. We’re so used to being busy that free time on a camp adventure can make us a little uncomfortable. Camping gives us a chance to unwind and try something different. Pack a book, binoculars, art supplies, and/or travel-size board games so you have something to do when relaxing or when bad weather keeps you confined to a tent.

Camping Tip #2: Tell someone where you’re going!
This is super important. Always tell someone where you are going for your camp adventure and what day/hour you plan to return. If something happens to you, that person will know to call the authorities.

Camping Tip #3: Leave no trace!
While camping or doing any other outdoor activity, it’s important to respect nature. Make sure to pack up all your trash and food scraps, and leave things like rocks, trees, wildlife and other natural things untouched.

Camping Tip #4: Disconnect/unplug!
Don’t let your peaceful campsite be interrupted by the ring of a cellphone or the ping of a text. We live in a world so hooked to the Internet, cell phones, and tablets; give yourself the gift of disconnecting for a few days. There are so many things to hear, see, and do on a camp adventure that can’t be replicated in any other environment. You’ll miss out on experiencing the power of this place and time if you stay connected to your devices—so unplug and enjoy.

Camping Tip #5: Pick up after yourself!
For more than 100 years, girls have heard their leaders say, “A Girl Scout always leaves a place better than she found it.” That is also true when camping! Please pick up and pack up the litter you find on the trail, clean up your fire ring and campsite, and be good neighbors to those who are camping nearby by keeping noise at a minimum whenever possible.

Camping Tip #6: Pack pliers and work gloves!
That’s right: pack ‘em! They come in handy for lots of reasons, and are great when grabbing pots off a fire.
Camping Tip #7: Soap your pots and pans!
This is a neat trick: apply dish soap to the outside of all your pots and pans before putting them on the fire. When it’s time for cleanup, the soot from the fire will wash right off.

Camping Tip #8: Bring a bandana!
Bandanas are useful in so many ways—especially when you’re out camping. They can function as slings, hats, bandages, potholders, strainers, and so much more.

Camping Tip #9: Pre-pack your meals!
Here’s another cool trick to simplify your camp adventure: remove all your grocery items from their boxes and pack the ingredients for each meal you plan to eat in individual plastic bags. You can also add matches and a fire starter to each bag. When it’s time to cook, you’ll be all set, instead of having to sort through coolers and boxes to find everything you need.

Camping Tip #10: Protect yourself from the environment!
Pack and use sunscreen, hand sanitizer, and insect repellant every day. Also, pack extra dry socks to avoid blisters and a hat to protect you from the sun, rain, and cold.

Camping Tip #11: Pack a few S hooks!
S hooks are handy inside tents to suspend a flashlight or small items you might need during the night; you can even use them to hang and dry out wet articles. And get this: an old belt buckled around a tree with S hooks clipped to it becomes a handy place to hang cooking gear.

Camping Tip #12: Pack a plastic shower curtain!
It has a ton of uses including as a ground cloth under your tent, a sit-upon, a tent fly, a tablecloth, and a way to keep your firewood and equipment dry.
And we know we urged you to stay disconnected and unplugged as much as possible, but here are some cool and even educational apps to add to your camp adventure if you just can’t resist the call of the screen. And make sure to share your favorites with your friends. Happy camping!

<![endif]-->CampSongs (lists songs by title, type, and tune) 
CampRecipes (tons of campfire-friendly recipes) 
Lantern (basically a flashlight shaped like a lantern) 
Creepy Tales (stories, geared for specific ages, that have funny endings) 
KnotsGuide (how-to for several different knots) 
NatureGate (tool for plant, animal, etc. identification) 
Campers List (place to list/share items needed for a camp adventure) 
Leafsnap (tool for plant identification using photos) 
Bird Calls (tool for identifying birds by sound) 
Night Sky (star and constellation ID tool) 
Sibley Lite (tool for identifying birds by habitat/color) 
Anti-Mosquito (sends out a frequency that repels mosquitos) 
AllTrails Hiking and Mountain Biking (resource for trails galore!) 
Trails-GPS (tracker for hiking) 
MapMyHike (GPS mapper) 
First Aid By American Red Cross