Warm weather makes for good camping

Published 7:00 am Thursday, May 29, 2014

Now that the weather’s finally warming up, it’s a great time to plan a camping trip.

My favorite time to camp is on nice, sunny days when the evenings bring a cool breeze.

When deciding on a campsite, consider national parks, national forests and even recreational areas managed by the Army Corps of Engineers.

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Whether you want to spend just one night outside or the whole week, here are a few tips to ensure your trip is as fun and safe as possible.

The first thing you’ll need is a good tent; it doesn’t have to be an expensive one. It just needs to be sturdy, weather-resistant, and only as large as the number of people planning to sleep inside. Although plenty of people prefer to sleep under the stars, a tent is a place to avoid inclement weather and insects, while providing a little privacy.

It wouldn’t hurt to invest in a pad for the floor of the tent to shield you from the hard ground. Padding will make sleeping more comfortable, but so will a sleeping bag and pillow.

Even if it doesn’t rain, dew is an inevitable part of camping. Use tarps to cover anything that should not get wet. Make sure to do this before you go to sleep at night so your items aren’t damp the next morning.

Keeping a clean campsite is perhaps the most effective animal and insect deterrent. Ants and animals are attracted to food scattered around the site.

Bring snacks or food that will be simple to prepare. Store your food and drinks in a cooler. You may want to consider locking these things up in the car to safeguard against wild animals looking for an easy meal.

Before you leave, make sure to clean up after yourself. What you bring to the campsite, including trash, should be removed when you are done.

Never leave a mess behind.