This is a continuation from my last post, Part 1. Please read that one too for more great tips!
6. If possible, make friends with the Campground Hosts (also called Park Hosts).
These people know the park inside and out as they live there for extended periods of time. They are a great resource for information and can be very helpful. We made dear friends with the hosts at Lake Ouachita and even exchanged phone numbers at the end of the trip! They helped us find the best hiking spots, provided us with local maps and outing information, told us the best times to visit during the year, and even let us know where the cleanest, newest bathrooms were in the park!
7. ALWAYS spray your tent with waterproofing BEFORE going on a trip, even if your tent is brand new.
We took our tent that was a few years old and it hadn’t been unpacked for about a year. Bad move. It leaked from every seam! After spending one very soggy night, and then subsequently having to wash all of our laundry and bedding the next day, we went to a Wal-Mart and bought a new tent to continue our trip in. This tent held up extremely well, despite storms, and we only dealt with a few droplets. We were so impressed! Even still, it is now currently set up in our backyard and has been sprayed from top to bottom with waterproofing to make it an even better tent! (Click on picture to take you directly to our tent’s website.)
8. Stop at a Park Ranger station in the state you are traveling.
Most states have Travel Books, or something of that like, that details the State, National, and CCC parks in that state. Having one for Arkansas was a huge help when we had to come up with a new destination. It listed parks that allowed tent camping, allowed pets and told us what to expect before we arrived. Rangers themselves are also a wealth of information so don’t be afraid to ask questions!
9. Make lists… Of Everything!!
Make a list of meals ahead of time, and be sure to write the recipe if you need it. You will be so tired (and sometimes frazzled) that you may forget what you wanted to make with the chicken you brought. You don’t want to waste food and you don’t want to forget an ingredient so it helps to glance at a list.
Make lists of what you have packed. We needed a foil cooler insulator the whole week and were so frustrated that we didn’t have it… only to find out once we got home and unpacked that we had it the whole time. UGH!!
Make a list of the necessary items to pack for a hike. (My personal hiking list will be in a post to follow.) Nothing worse than being well into a hike only to find out you forgot to pack a baby’s diaper!
10. Last but not least, always take spare rope.
We used rope to tie tarps around our Easy Up to protect our “kitchen” from rain. We used it for a make-shift clothesline. Tie down lids on totes or coolers to keep critters out. Handy to have if a guy-line on your tent breaks. So many uses!
I hope a few of these tips make your next camping experience better and easier!
Was there a tip on here that you haven’t heard before?