GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOTV)- Camping is one of the most fun activities you can do with friends or family. It’s inexpensive, easy, and a great bonding experience. As a first time camper, you are bound to forget a few items and learn some things along the way. Don’t be scared and put away the “I’m not an outdoorsy person” attitude, because camping can be fun for everyone!
#1 Camp the way you want:
Camping has broader spectrum of destinations and styles than you think, choose one that sounds the most fun to you! Whether you want to hike the Pictured Rocks and camp with only a sleeping bag or RV down the lakeshore in style, there’s no wrong way. You can start slow and pitch a tent in the backyard, but I promise taking an adventurous camping trip out of your element will be worth it.
#2 Top needed supplies:
Here’s my list of camping essentials: Extra blankets, lantern, extra batteries baby wipes, toothbrush, hand sanitizer, zip ties, tool kit (or multipurpose tool), trash bags, easy to transport recreational games (frisbee, Kan Jam, capture the flag supplies), extra pairs of socks, picnic blanket, plenty of water (don’t assume water around your campsite is safe to drink!), food that doesn’t need to be kept cold (peanut butter, bread), disposable plates/flatware, bugspray. One of the worst things when camping is to not be warm enough, remember the nights tend to get a lot cooler than expected. A multipurpose tool and zip ties are important when you’re in the middle of nowhere and have to MacGyver something together, it will definitely happen at one point in the trip. Something will be forgotten, it happens all the time, but with some quick thinking on your feet, crisis will be averted.
#3 Pack for comfort
There’s an uncomfortable stigma with camping. Although you won’t be at the Four Seasons, camping can be a totally serene and relaxing experience. Bring things like chairs, fluffy travel pillow, lightweight towels, and comfortable lake shoes for showers and walking around the campsite.
#4 Take photos!
It may not seem like a lot of action is happening, but bring your camera and take lots of pictures! Kids carry memories of camping for years and you’ll do a lot of bonding with the people you go with. Chances are, you’ll have a lot of laughs looking back at your first camping trip!
#5 Keep a good attitude
Rain or mosquitoes may happen, but nothing ruins a camping trip worse than a bad attitude. Especially if you’re camping with kids, keep a positive energy around the campsite. Even if you’re having a less than perfect time, staying bright and positive will put you and everyone else you’re with in a good mindset.