When my son was 11 years old he started the Boy Scout program. I was recruited to serve as Scout Master (my 2nd time at it). He jumped into the program with full enthusiasm. It fit his personality to learn and achieve and gain ranks.
One day we were talking about his Eagle Scout award and I happened to mention that I had earned mine at the age of 13 because of an ambitious mother. I could see him start to calculate..."we should look at the calendar," he said. We realized that he could get his Eagle award BEFORE he turned 13 with some careful planning.
I asked him, "are you sure you want to get it that quickly? It's going to be a lot of work." He saw an opportunity to knock off his old man at something and couldn't resist. "Yeah, let's do it!"
Over the next 18 months we logged 20 camping nights for the longest time-consuming Camping Merit Badge. It was A LOT of camping. However, we got good at it and it became an adventure we looked forward to every month.
It was an awesome father/son goal to tackle and we learned a ton!
Having the right gear and doing a little planning make camping so much fun. Getting the food right and figuring out how to get a good night's sleep are the keys to enjoying a camping trip.
Adventure Story: Sleeping with Rats
...As I put shoes on to go relieve myself I heard something. Whatever it was scurried right by the tent. As I sat and listened, I could hear scurrying all over the place. It was kind of eerie.
I slowly unzipped the tent door and shined the light out. There were several rats bounding around the campsite looking for whatever food we had left out...
Below you'll find the following topics:
If you're like us you'll love the outdoors and camping will become second nature. Let's get started.
Over the years we've learned how to set up the perfect camping trip. To really enjoy camping we found you have to conquer hunger and fatigue. The 2 main keys to enjoying camping:
Here are a few other tips to consider for your next overnighter:
High end 4-season survival sleeping bag for overnight campoutsBuy on Amazon
We all have different risk tollerances. As I've gotten older I've consciously slowed down a lot and take fewer risks. I've seen guys with life-altering injuries who can't enjoy the outdoors any longer. I talked with a man this week who has messed up his knees and joints so much he can't go on a simple hike. That can't be me!
When we venture out, we need to keep in mind that we have future outdoor experiences to enjoy so we need to get home safe after every one. Our chances of survival and safe return increase with a few principles:
Having the right first aid supplies handy can help a lot. Make sure you have the right supplies for the activities you're doing.
There are so many variations on camping (backpacking overnighter, car camping, campers, etc.) it's hard to put together the perfect list. We're going to shoot for the basics to cover any camping scenario knowing you'll customize the lists to your style.
There are many variations beyond these basics. We'll list a few. Keep in mind they add weight and bulk but some are great creature comforts.
Sturdy, lockable, plastic industrial totes/bins for survival gearBuy on Amazon
Portable, durable 5 gallon water containers for potable water transportBuy on Amazon
Emergency dehydrated food storage 2 servingsBuy on Amazon
I'm a former Scout Master. I've used or seen others use just about every outdoor product you can imagine. When it comes to camping, there are some pretty tried and true products you can rely on. Here are some of the outdoor products we recommend taking on all outings.
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Affordable, long lasting personal water filter and purifier for the trailBuy On Amazon
The most popular, reliable outdoor multi-tool on the marketBuy on Amazon
Durable, rechargeable 450 lumen LED head lamp for hands free trail useBuy on Amazon
Being prepared with some survival skills, trail information, and weather forecasts can make your hike relaxing and help you get home safe.
Don't get lost! Find the right map for your area. We recommend reviewing the map BEFORE your embark on your adventure. Get a feel for the topography, water sources, trails and roads, etc.Choose Your Map
We love our trail time! We hope your outings this year are memorable, relaxing, full of adventure, and safe.
We'd love to hear about any memorable stories you experience. Submit them to us and if we feel the story matches the site we'll publish it.
Gear up, prepare, and hit the trail! Enjoy!
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3 Most reviews are based on personal experience from one of our content editors. Some are based on research and the opinions of other reviewers.