How to Get Ready for Camping Season - Panergy

by Regina Wu
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How to Get Ready for Camping Season - Panergy


As much as you can, map out your summer and shoulder season camping in advance to maximize your nights spent in a tent. To ensure you get the best spots at your favorite campgrounds and parks, consider booking campsites or securing permits in advance. If you’re a planner, it’s also fun to create a personal catalog of camping trips you want to take. Once you have a solid list of campgrounds, maps to get there, info on nearby activities and amenities, it’s easy to pick a trip and go. Bonus: If you find yourself with a free weekend, you can hit the road for one of your pre-planned camping trips without spending too much time worrying about the details. 


The best time to get your camping gear adventure-ready is before you leave the house—it’s much better to come across a hole in your tent or a broken zipper on your sleeping bag while you’re still at home than, say, as you’re setting up your tent with a thunderstorm in the forecast. Before the first warm weekend of the season, grab your tent, sleeping bags and pads, stove, and any camp furniture for a spot check. Set up your tent, including the fly, and inspect closely for tears. Blow up inflatable sleeping pads to check for leaks you might need to patch. Check sleeping bags for broken or stuck zippers. Set up chairs and ensure their joints are working, and hook up your stove to some fuel to make sure it’s in working order. (While you’re at it, this is a great time to make sure you have plenty of fuel on hand.)


Two young women laying in a Kohana tent looking out through the open door.


After a season of winter activities, odds are good that you’re in need of a tune-up for camping season, too. Summer hiking, backpacking, and biking use different muscles than the skiing or snowboarding ones you’ve been using. Consider what kind of training plan will get you in great shape for the season ahead: more cardio for longer mileage hikes? Weight training so you can reach faraway backpacking destinations? Think also about any skills you’ve been meaning to add to your repertoire. Maybe it’s time to take that wilderness first-aid class, learn about backcountry navigation, or pick up a plant ID book and do some foraging. Whatever your goals for the camping season, the earlier you start, the better your chances of success.


One of the most time-consuming aspects of planning and getting ready for a camping trip is figuring out a menu and packing your camp kitchen accordingly. But whether you’re trying out new recipes or sticking with the tried-and-true, there are some things you know you’re going to need. One of the most straightforward ways to organize your kitchen for car-camping is to purchase a plastic storage container—large enough to fit your two-burner camp stove, two fuel canisters, camp pots and pans, plates, utensils, and some basic staple ingredients. Throw in a roll of paper towel and a few trash bags, and your camp kitchen is ready to move into the car, no extra planning required. 


A man opens the latch on a green Eureka Ignite camp stove.


Whether you have a gleaming garage with ample shelving or a small corner of a city-apartment closet, you can organize your gear so you’re not scrambling to pack and wondering where the headlamps are at the last minute. (The beauty of camping gear is that it packs down to be fairly space-efficient.) Start with the bigger items: your tent, sleeping bags, pads, any camp furniture, and your kitchen box. Next, grab a storage container—a grocery bag will do just fine—and gather the little things you know you’ll have a hard time remembering at the last minute, like headlamps, a pocket knife, sunscreen and bug spray, and spare batteries. If you don’t yet have a mental checklist of what you’ll need, no problem; consider downloading a checklist to help you think about what needs to come along. 

by Regina Wu


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