Avoid Rookie Camper Mistakes
Tips for spending a couple of nights in the great outdoors
Camping is a memorable experience. Whether bonding as a family or gathering with close friends around the campfire, trips in the trailer or tent are sure to inspire stories for years to come.
Not everybody is a seasoned camper, with a ready kit and the know how to brave the outdoors, cook over an open flame and stay cozy sleeping on the ground surrounded only by nylon walls.
“Even if you have never camped before, don’t let it intimidate you,” says Mark Bingeman, owner of Bingemans Camping Resort in Kitchener. “It is a truly enjoyable experience where you can escape from the every day and connect with nature.”
In order to make your camping trip easier, and ease some of your fears if you have never done it before, Mark offers the following advice:
· Pack for the season. It can quite chilly in mid-May, especially in the evening. Make sure you have a warm sweater, pants, jacket and appropriate footwear. A warm sleeping bag will be an asset, as will pyjamas. But it can also be quite warm and pleasant in the late spring sunshine. So pack some sunscreen, shorts and flip-flops, a hat — and don’t forget the bug spray.
Plan your meals. Bacon and eggs are a great camping breakfast, but so is a simple bowl of cereal. Bring some peanut butter or lunch meats for lunches and hot dogs, burgers, or finer cuts of meat — steak, chicken breasts — for dinner. Bring some side dishes like canned vegetables and potatoes. And don’t forget the snacks, particularly for the campfire. Milk chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers — the basics for a smote — are a camping staple.
Bring utensils. Food is great, but you need something with which you can eat it — and prepare it. Plates, bowls, forks, spoons, knives are essential, but often overlooked. Scissors will be handy, and pots and pans a necessity.
Chill out. Chances are you will have perishable food that will need to stay chilled. Invest in a good cooler with ample space. Pack it with heavier, rigid items on the bottom. More delicate things — like eggs — should be near the top. Leave space for the ice, and pour it over everything. You ice will inevitably melt, so make sure to top it up as needed.
Start a fire. Camping isn’t camping without a campfire, but starting one can be one of the most intimidating aspect of camping. First, make yourself a starter. Grab a toilet paper or paper towel tube from home, and stuff it with dryer lint or old papers. Next, get your wood. Use smaller pieces as kindling to help get the fire started, and then build a pyramid around the flame with the bigger pieces. Remember to extinguish the flames before your call it a night.
Light it up. Away from the city lights, the night can get pretty dark. Bring a flashlight and extra batteries. You can also make use of glow sticks to mark a path to your tent, or alert passersby to tent stakes and strings that may be a tripping hazard.
· It can be difficult to know what to pack for a camping trip. For more tips and advice, please visit bingemans.com/camping for a complete checklist of the items you may need on your adventure.
For more information, please visitbingemans.com. Join the conversation on social media; follow Bingemans onInstagram and Twitter @Bingemans, Like it on Facebook and watch exclusive video onYouTube.
Waterloo Region’s leader in entertainment and hospitality, Bingemans is a multi-use amusement park and campground located in Kitchener, Ont., that provides the very best in family fun, outdoor recreation and family camping. The camping resort features sites for tents, trailers and RVs, seasonal camping, yurts and cabins. With a heated wave pool, Spray “n” Play for kids and huge waterslides, Big Splash Waterpark is a great spot to cool down in summer’s heat. Explore FunworX all year long, a three-level indoor playground for children of all ages, boasting an arcade, climbing wall, ropes course and more. Bingemans is also home to Canada’s largest Boston Pizza, 28 lanes of 10-pin bowling at Kingpin Bowling, billiards, ping pong, outdoor beach volleyball and outstanding banquet and catering facilities. And don’t miss Bingemans in the fall with North America’s largest Oktoberfest celebration and Canada’s most terrifying attraction, Screampark.