As the flowers bloom and birds begin to sing, that camping spirit has undoubtedly begun ticking the back of your mind. Before you head out on the trail however, there are a few things that will help you better prepare for that first camping trip through the thawing wilds. Keep in mind these are only suggestions—experienced campers usually have their own regiment—but sometimes cabin fever makes us rush out the door too soon, so let us help you get ready for the season!
Check Your Gear
Even though you might be sure nothing is wrong, before saddling up for the camping season make sure to check your collective camping gear for any unknown issues or problems. Inspect your tents, backpacks, and sleeping bags for any rips or tears and make sure all zippers and snaps are functioning properly. For those gadget-minded campers, test the batteries on your flashlights and other electronic devices and make sure you have some backup power sources just in case. One last safety measure to take is to open your first-aid kit at the start of the season, replacing expired medications with new ones and refilling any medical supplies that might have been used.
Check Your Grub
Nutrition is critical to good camping no matter what the season, but in spring a smart camper should go through his or her food supplies with a critical eye. Look for bulging cans and expired food along with any potential contamination by mice or insects, and discard things like old bottled water or other drinks that might have been stored too long. Spring camping is also known for colder-than-normal days and nights, so be sure to include foods with higher fat and carb content to keep you warm when packing things to eat for the trip.
Check Your Guts
One last thing campers: get a check-up. Nature is beautiful but it’s also far away from civilization, filled with perils and pitfalls that only a healthy body can overcome. Scheduling a visit to the doctor and/or the dentist will make sure that your health is up to the rigors of hard living and help identify unknown health risks. It’s also a good idea to update vaccinations for things such as tetanus and other maladies common to the outdoors, and be sure to purchase new stocks of insect repellent and sunscreen. Any way you look at it personal health is a smart step in preparing for the camping season. Like the Boy Scouts say: be prepared!