When people go on a tent camping trip, they already have a good idea of the things they do not want to do. This list can vary from person to person; however, there are a few things that most people would agree on are inconveniences. We have put together our list of tent camping irks and provided some tips on how to minimize them.
1. Comfort level with sleeping arrangement and tent space: For people who are used to sleeping on a queen or king-sized bed raised several feet of the ground, the prospect of sleeping on the ground in a body-sized sleeping bag with little head room to maneuver can be a little uncomfortable to say the least. Even if you are able to adjust sleeping lower to the ground in an area with less space, you still will often wake up with aches, pains and tired eyes from the inability of getting a quality night’s sleep. To help combat this, we recommend the following:
a. Cot or Air Mattress: Purchase a cot or an air mattress that will allow you to be raised off the ground by a couple of feet. This will make it easier to get up in the morning or in the middle of the night to use the restroom and, it will be closer in similarity to your sleeping arrangements at home.
b. Tent with room: Purchase a tent that allows for additional space, a large amount of head room and will allow you to stand up while changing. This will make you feel less claustrophobic and give you the ability to move around a little bit while you sleep without bumping into things.
c. Bring a set of ear plugs: A night in the woods can be a very peaceful experience; however, sometimes the insects or animals will make a racket that will prevent you from having a good night’s sleep. By using some ear plugs, you can block out this type of background noise and start the morning fully refreshed.
d. Fresh sleeping supplies: Try to keep a clean pair of sleeping clothes handy. Before you go to bed, it will be a welcome treat to be able to slip into some clean clothes that you have not spent the day sweating and working in.
2. Cooking: Everyone enjoys a well cooked meal. Few people enjoy the effort it takes to make one. If you are in this group, these tent camping tips may help:
a. Make simple meals: These meals should be ones that are easy to put together, have few ingredients, and can be made very quickly. For instance, pasta and rice dishes out of a box make for easy cooking.
b. Avoid the cooking: Purchase MREs or freeze-dried food instead. These are easy to use and the taste is similar to food you would get out of a can. If it is good enough for the military, it can be good for you too.
c. Eat out of a can: This requires very minimal cooking as it only needs to be poured into a pot or pan and set over the fire. Easy to accomplish, little setup time and fast to cook.
3. Cleaning Pots: Although some people find washing dishes and pots therapeutic, most see it as an unwanted chore that they would gladly put off. Here, are some tips to reduce the time of cleaning pots.
a. Use paper plates and cups: By using paper plates and cups you can reduce your cleanup by burning these after you use them. This will not help with the cleaning of the pots, but at least you will not have to also clean a mess kit.
b. Use your large pot: This large pot can be used as a pot and dish tub in which the other smaller pots and dishes can be cleaned in. This should make it easier to clean your pots and pans and reduce your supplies.
c. Make crude soap: A crude soap can be formed from animal grease and ashes. This will help make the cleanup easier by reducing your overall supplies and making use of materials readily available.
4. Dealing with Insects: People tend to enjoy seeing animal wildlife, but tend to enjoy dealing with insects a lot less. Here, are some tent camping tips on how to make the best of this situation:
a. Purchase Off and a fly swatter: Spray the general area of the campsite with Off or some other insect repellent and keep the fly swatter handy around the campfire. If flies are a large issue in your area, this will help keep them off your food and away from your campsite.
b. Blend into the environment: Wear clothes that match the environment. For instance, if in a forest, wear greens and browns. These are less likely to attract insects that bright colored shirts.
c. Scope out the area before setting up shop: Make sure you are not putting your tent down into or near a fire ant pile, hornets nest, or beehive. Some effort should be made to try to find a camping area that is not overrun by insects.
The main takeaway here is to get you to start thinking about what things you do not like to do while on a tent camping trip. Just by starting this process you will begin to think of ways to minimize those inconveniences. Remember the bottom line of any camping trip is that you should enjoy it. With a little pre-planning in this area, you can ensure that you do.