Ladies and gentlemen, I'm home sweet home after four days of fun-filled camping adventures! This camping trip was definitely a learning experience because the majority of my friends who went (including myself) had never done the whole tenting thing! I thought a great follow up to my last post would be to list off a few live-and-learn lessons from my time in the wilderness (aka a provincial park). Check out my advice for any of you campers out there!
1. Research the Area and Fun Things to Do
A lot of campgrounds and provincial parks have websites with maps that you can see before you even hit the road! The park where we stayed was rather large, so it would've been good to get familiar with the area surrounding our site in advance. We were given a park map when we arrived and were able to plan out how we'd do a beach day, go canoeing and do a hiking trail. There's always so much to do while camping - make the most out of your time!
2. Think of Food and Refrigeration while Meal Planning
By the end of this trip, I was known as Meal-Plan-Marlee! I got to do the grocery shopping and meal planning for our trip, which was actually a little more challenging than I anticipated. Because we were tenting, we didn't have a stove, microwave or fridge like most trailers do, so we had to get creative! We brought with us a big cooler for drinks (chilled with bags of ice each day), a big Rubbermaid tote to store all of our breads, snacks and utensils, and an electric cooler/fridge which we used for all of our dairy and meats. If we didn't have that electric cooler, we would've been eating PB&J all week!
Bonus Food Tip: Don't leave ANY food out and keep on top of garbage disposal (for obvious reasons). Although we all knew this basic camping tip, some racoons or squirrels still got lucky, getting away with some butter tarts and peaches!
3. Wear Sunscreen
Yes, this tip is a bit of a no-brainer too, but here's where I went wrong... when we had our beach day, it was unseasonably chilly, so as soon as the sun came out, I just wanted it to warm me! I didn't end up going in the water or anything, so I was covered up in shorts and a t-shirt, but of course, I still got burned! My neck wasn't protected by my shirt, so it's still lobster red and rather sore! Oops! Wear sunscreen at all times - especially if you're going to be on a beach all day!
4. Plan for All Weather Situations
Remember when I just mentioned that the weather was unseasonably cold? Yeah... the nights were rather frigid! I wore sweatpants, long socks and a sweater to bed, all bundled in my warm sleeping bag and I was still a little on the cool side when I was trying to sleep. Make sure you pack a wide variety of clothes for all weather! We also experienced a bit of rain on our first day, and we were so thankful we brought tarps, rope and bungee cords with us! We set up tarps above our tents and were able to stay dry!
And there you have it! Just plan ahead, be safe and be smart! And like Scar from the Lion King says, "be prepaaaaared!" And as much as I thought I was prepared for this trip, there was one event that took place that I could never have been prepared for! Stay tuned for a special camping story in my next post!