What not to take on your next camping trip

Last week we discussed important things to take with you on your camping trip that you might not have thought of including on your packing list. This week we are covering the other side—what NOT to take on your next trip!

  1. Contraband
    This is simple enough. If it is against the law, do not bring it. Some campsites also have additional regulations (no glass, fireworks, or even fires in certain areas), so be sure to check beforehand what these are.
  2. Perfumes
    You might think this is a good idea, given that you are going to be spending a while immersed in nature and potentially surrounded by sweat and other natural smells that we generally try to avoid. What you may not realize is that bugs also find those smells pleasant—including, but not limited to, mosquitoes. Unless you want to be attracting mosquitoes instead of repelling them, opt for bug spray instead and leave the perfume at home.
  3. Video games/electronics/music players
    If you want to spend your vacation playing videogames and listening to your ipod, you would be better off staying home. One of the best things about camping is immersing yourself in nature and getting away from those distractions. Also, loud music can be very disruptive to your neighboring campers. Respect them and leave the electronics behind.
  4. Valuables
    Jewelry, electronics, designer clothes—bringing these with you is a huge risk, as there is no guarantee they will come back in one piece. If you must have something that falls under this category with you, leave it in the car if you can. It will be much better protected that way. But the best option is to simply leave it at home. You will enjoy your vacation a lot more if you are not stressing about your belongings the whole time.
  5. Your whole kitchen
    While it is good to be prepared, you are cooking dinner for your family, not a four star restaurant. When it comes to camping, less is more. If you can use a bowl for soup, sandwiches, or pasta, just bring the bowl! Leave the plate behind. Get creative with your appliances. There is no need to bring three pots of different sizes if you can get away with using one, and there is no need for a crepe maker in the middle of the woods.
  6. Excessive snacks
    Definitely bring enough food for your family. Hungry usually equals miserable. However, some beginning campers think they have to bring everything in their fridge, pantry, and every supermarket along the way—just in case. Plan what you think you will need for each meal, and then bring a little extra. Then keep some cash on hand in case you have to make a quick run for something important. That should cover your bases and will save you a lot of space in your car.
  7. Uncooked meat
    Refrigeration on a camping trip is sketchy at best. Using your cooler to keep your Coke cold is fine, but be wary of storing raw meat for an extended period of time. Not only do you risk your health, but also unplanned visits from furry visitors. All the same, if you really need to make that campfire burger, consider making that your first meal as opposed to a later one.

With these new amendments to your packing list you can get the most out of your camping experience. Escaping the tedium of life will open your eyes to a whole new world.

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