Camping is one of the most popular choices for vacationing families. It’s relatively affordable, and it immerses you in a natural wonderland that’s entirely memorable. Properly preparing for a lake camping trip is essential to your comfort and safety. Take a cue from the experts with these top tips on that next camping excursion.
1. Select Your Shelter Type
The first preparation step to take for a lakeside trip is selecting a shelter. Camping means different things to different people. Some people enjoy roughing it with a large family tent and sleeping bag. You might enjoy more amenities, such as pulling out a camper. Renting a recreational vehicle or RV might be your other option.
Every shelter type has its benefits and drawbacks. Tents are certainly economical, but an RV is incredibly warm and comfortable. Discuss these options with loved ones as you plan out the trip ahead of time.
2. Inquire About Reservations
Heading out to the lake on a whim is a spontaneous plan, but be prepared about your trip. Today’s popular lakes are typically busy areas. There may not be available space for your group. From the moment that you decide on a camping trip, pick a location, and ask about reservations. Some regions are booked several months out from your chosen date.
A reservation gives you guaranteed access to the site’s amenities. Hoping for a spot will only make the trip more stressful. Settling on another location that’s not as exciting might be the final destination.
3. Consider Personal Needs
Roughing it in the wilderness doesn’t have to compromise your personal needs. Think about your group’s preferences for restrooms. Camping often entails a trip out into the bushes with a roll of toilet paper. Modern trips, however, can include a designated restroom at the campsite.
These facilities usually offer showers for campers as well. For extended trips, choosing a campsite with restrooms and showers is preferable. Feeling comfortable while you explore the lake should be a given for any family.
4. Pick an Appropriate Season
Your lakeside adventure can include many activities. If you’re looking for water excitement, scheduling a spring or summer trip is ideal. Alternatively, some lakes are close to mountainous regions with skiing as the main attraction. You’ll want a prime winter reservation for these areas.
Autumn might be too cool for jumping into the lake, but the trees surrounding the water may be your attraction to the spot. Set goals for your trip so that an appropriate season makes itself known.
5. Refresh the First-Aid Kit
No one wants to think about injuries or problems while on a lakeside vacation. However, it’s always better to be prepared with a first-aid kit and never use it. Update your current kit or purchase a brand-new one. These resources come with general supplies, such as bandages and gloves. You can also add items that might be applicable to your trip. Ice packs, pain medications, and other products are priceless when you really need them.
Consider extra water and food as part of the kit too. If there’s an emergency, the food items can be critical to your comfort.
6. Be Generous With Blankets and Sleeping Bags
It may be summertime during your trip, but the evenings will almost always be cool. Don’t hesitate to bring a lot of blankets, jackets and sleeping bags. Layering up as the evening cools off will keep everyone comfortable.
Forgetting these key items can lead to hypothermia in severe cases. Wrap up in a blanket as you roast marshmallows at the fire. Wear hats and jackets as you explore the water’s edge at sunset. The items may take up some space in the vehicle, but they’ll be appreciated as the trip continues.
7. Remember the Water Toys
Keep your mind on fun with water toys packed into and onto your vehicle. From water guns to inflatable rafts, these items will make the trip an enjoyable one for every age. Some families go as far as hauling jet skis and similar toys. Be sure to secure them as necessary to the vehicle. Safe hauling makes the start of the trip a successful one.
Bring swim vests and float devices for the children. Water toys are spectacular fun, but safety must be part of the scenario too.
8. Bring the Spray
The great outdoors is home to a lot of wildlife, including insects. Protect yourself by bringing plenty of bug repellent. Skin-safe products should be worn each day. Mosquitoes and other biting bugs will create itchy patches and general unrest if you don’t use repellent.
You might go so far as adding a decor repellent to the campsite. It creates a halo of protection as you enjoy the sunset.
Bring along sunscreen as your other spray. You may be wearing clothing layers, but any exposed skin might burn as you hike and explore the lake’s coast.
9. Know Food-Storage Suggestions
Remind yourself that you are in nature when you camp, regardless of the amenities at the site. Be aware of any recommendations from park rangers, such as storing your food in a proper manner. Certain areas may have foraging bears. These animals have a keen sense of smell. If they smell food, they will enter the campsite to investigate. Hanging the food simply keeps it out of reach.
If hanging the food isn’t required, use logic otherwise. Wrap up food and store it in a bag or cooler. Attracting ants isn’t part of your camping plans either.
10. Create an Emergency Plan
As much fun as a camping trip is for the entire family, be ready for the unexpected. Aside from a first-aid kit, know where the closest exits are at your campsite. Carry a radio to hear any announcements from local rangers.
It’s unlikely that an emergency will occur during your stay, but being prepared for one takes any surprises out of your trip. Be proactive at camp too. Ensuring that a campfire is out and controlling any fuel under your care are important factors to consider.
11. Haul Plenty of Fuel
Camping in modern times means hauling a certain amount of fuel. Consider propane, extra gasoline, and other forms of fuel for your trip. You might have a gas grill or off-road vehicle to power.
Buying additional fuel at the campsite will often be expensive. There’s usually a premium for the service. Think about the fuel volume that’s necessary for the trip and then add a bit more for emergency purposes.
When it comes to electricity, pick a campsite with this amenity or bring a generator. Powering up your fun toys with a variety of resources is how the trip will be a memorable one.
12. Pack a Few Amenities
Communing with nature doesn’t have to be the definition of “roughing it.” Think about bringing a few items that are luxury amenities. An air mattress is a perfect addition to any tent. Don’t forget the pump to add air to it. You’ll fall fast asleep on air as opposed to laying on the hard ground.
Pack chargers and battery packs for your electronic devices. Some campsites, like the Eagle Island Campground, will have cellular signals. You can post photos and connect with loved ones during the trip. Any amenity that’s easily packed can make the trip more comfortable than without it.
Create a checklist as soon as you know a camping trip is approaching. Checking off these items will only relax your mind as the big day arrives. The lake’s refreshing water is just waiting for your arrival.