The key to camping is all in the planning. Sure, it sounds like a great idea to take the family out into the woods and commune with nature. You know all too well though that a thousand things can go wrong from not being able to light the campfire to finding a bear trying to take off with your cooler. Don't worry, here are a few tried and true tips on how to camp like a boss and not die.
Make things easier with a portable folding kitchen table.
First, Let's Talk About Bears
Throughout most of the United States, there is a healthy wildlife population, including bears. Out of the three main types of bears, you should only have to worry about brown and black bears. When camping in bear country, use the bear boxes that are provided with your campsite! Make sure you put all of your food, waste, and anything that smells tasty like toothpaste and even deodorant in there. Don't snuggle down into your sleeping bag with a chocolate bar for a midnight snack, unless you too want to be a bear's midnight snack.
When out hiking or taking in the sights, make a lot of noise. Get the kids in on a sing-a-long as the bears don't want to hear them sing off-key any more than you do! Seriously though, most wildlife will see and hear you first and move out of your path. Make noise!
Choose Your Campsite Wisely
The last thing you want is to be cozy in your tent and all of a sudden you are floating away in a random flash flood. Seriously, make sure you are in a safe spot before you unload everything. When you are car camping, most campgrounds have clear locations as to where you can park and pitch your tent. Choose a location that is somewhat close to the restrooms, but far enough away that you won't smell it if the wind picks up—trust me on this. Look for level ground underneath a tree to set up your tent. Don't place your tent on exposed roots as they are not that comfortable in the middle of the night when you roll over!
Big families call for big tents!
Set Up the Fire Like a Boss
You don't need to watch every episode of Survivor to know how to start a fire. By all means, try making a fire from scratch at least once in your life so you know you can do it. But when you are out camping, remember a few tricks of the trade. The super easy, no-one-ever-needs-to-know way is to grab a bundle of firewood and build it like a log cabin with small kindling on the bottom. Then (don't let anyone see), pull a DuraFlame out from hiding and drop that bad boy down in the center. When you light the bag, it will catch the kindling and create a nice slow burn for the logs. It's a little-known boss trick that no one talks about!
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