Hey campers. As we know, camping is a fantastic and fun pastime all year round however the addition of multiple water sport and hiking opportunities make summer an especially popular time to get out and about. So with that, let’s have a look through my 7 summer camping tips to put on ice this year.
Of course as always this is not to say that if you miss one of these you will not enjoy your trip, however as we know camping trips are far more enjoyable if we are comfortable. So let’s check out my main 7 tips below:
1. Take plenty of water
This one probably goes without saying however in my experience, it is often the first thing that we forget – probably due to the fact that many summer campgrounds are surrounded by some sort of waterway such as a river, lake or even the beach. The trouble is that much of the time, this water is undrinkable.
To that end, make sure you have enough water whenever you go camping. My suggestion here is to take bottled water for drinking and a large container for cooking etc. That way you can keep all your water for drinking and use local water for cooking (with desalination or purification tablets if preferred).
2. Look for shade
Our next option here is all about staying cool when you are hanging out at the campsite. This starts from the time you reach your campsite in that you want to set up your tent and living areas in places where you will get the most shade. To make sure of this, as you start to scope things out, look for:
- Shade creators – Trees, rocky outcrops and even cliff faces provide good shade so look to set up near these.
- Geographical location – As we all know, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west meaning the shade from trees etc. moves around during the day. Determine whether you want shade in the morning, middle of the day or afternoon and situate your campsite where it will be at your chosen time.
Alternatively, If you are going to a spot that you are not familiar with, then bring your own shade making options such as a good tarpaulin with poles and pegs or a gazebo for example with you. This way you can set your shade where you want it – and cover your tent as well if need be.
3. Sun and safety
It probably goes without saying but when it comes to camping, there are some obvious dangers to be accounted for. After all we are dealing with tent pegs, axes, hammers, cooking appliances and fire – just to name a few. So to that end, I highly recommend adding a small first aid kit to your list. Obviously you don’t want to be carrying a hospital ward around with you however as a minimum, I would add:
- Small bandages
- Waterproof medical tape
And while we are on the safety train, keep in mind that in summer you do tend to spend a lot more time in the sun. So make sure you also take:
- Protective clothing (rash shirts etc.)
- After-sun scream
4. Prepare for insects
We all know that summer means warm weather, cold drinks and outdoors fun. Sadly however, all those little creepy crawly ‘biteys’ also like to come out and play. So in order to keep yourself protected from our little friendly mosquitos, midges, sand flies and whatever else you may come across, remember to keep the insect repellent handy.
Aside from things that bite, other annoyances such as flies and spiders can also interrupt you when cooking or relaxing. There are a number of options available to keep all of these at bay including:
- Personal Insect Repellent (sprays, bracelets or cream)
- Mosquito coils
- Citronella Candles
- Rechargeable bug zappers
- Ultrasonic pest repellents
- Incense sticks
If you can, make your lighting a non-insect attracting colour such as yellow or orange as well. Smoke from the old camp fire can also assist here however always check your local regulations etc. as many jurisdictions ban fires over the hotter months.
5. Get some airflow at night
For many of us, the biggest problem when camping at night is trying to get some sleep in the heat. If you can, open up the windows on your tent so that you can get that nice summer breeze flowing through (only if they have insect mesh installed of course). From there I would also recommend getting yourself a nice battery operated portable camping fan. These will also add extra airflow as you sleep.
And finally, a good summer sleeping bag will go a long way to getting some comfortable sleep as well.
6. Freeze your food
One rule of thumb my dear old dad used to have as we were getting ready for our summer camping adventures was that “if you can freeze it, freeze it”! This was due to the fact that it simply meant that all of our meat etc. would stay colder for longer in the summer heat. It also meant that the ice in the cooler would last longer as well.
Of course camping cooler technology and the advent of 12V camping fridge freezers has alleviated that issue somewhat however the same rules apply. Higher ambient temperatures of summer still mean that anything you can do to keep ice for longer the better. Frozen food will also reduce energy use in your camp fridge as well.
Oh, and if you freeze bottles of drinking water, then tip #1 above is taken care of too.
7. Prepare for weather changes
And finally, one of the most common mistakes I have made in my camping lifetime is to not prepare myself for unseasonably cold or wet weather. Many a time I have sat through a wet change in board shorts, a t-shirt and thongs (flip-flops) and froze!
Now I am not saying you need to prepare as you would for winter camping, however at the least, make sure the following makes it into your kit:
- Jumper/sweater and warm pants
- Waterproof jacket
- Warm socks and covered shoes
- Extra blanket – if it gets cold at night, forget about tip # 5 above and snuggle under your blanket – you will thank me later I promise!
And there they are – my 7 summer camping tips to put on ice this year. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please let me know of your experiences or any other tips you may have.
Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.
Until next time