Getting out there in the wilderness and setting up for two or three nights is the kind of break everyone needs to experience. At least once. You get closer to nature, which can be very therapeutic. You also discover more about the kind of person you are. Particularly if you’re fishing for your own supper. But it’s not a kind of vacation that should be taken by the unprepared. It can be uncomfortable, painful and dangerous. Here’s how you ensure that doesn’t happen.

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Do your research

Don’t even think about camping before you’ve done thorough research on your destination. You want to know where you’re going to camp, nearby sources of water and potential risks. For example, whether and where there are sheer cliff drops nearby. Getting an idea of the wildlife in the area is important, too. If there are bear habitats near where you plan to park, you need to know so you can take the proper precautions. Finally, for your comfort’s sake, get a weather forecast in advance. Camping in the rain isn’t impossible, but you don’t want your entire stay to be waterlogged. The internet is full of travel resources, so search for the particular location you’re heading for.

Setting up

For comfort and safety’s sake, let’s look at how you set up your campsite. The number one thing you want to do is make sure there’s adequate space around your tent. Avoid camping directly under trees and clear away debris. Many national parks and the like will also ask that you camp a good 200 feet from the shoreline to protect the ecosystems on the shore and in the water. You don’t want to camp on a slope, or else you might find yourself rolling downhill. Alternatively, you don’t want to camp on ground that’s too flat, which can lead water to pool beneath you if it rains. Food storage is also important for keeping your food edible, as well as for keeping wildlife from coming sniffing. http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/outdoor-activities/hiking/5-tips-for-preparing-site-for-camping.htm recommends getting specific canisters to seal food. This is especially important if you’re camping anywhere near bears.

Your trusty tools

There are a few things you should never go without when camping. A compass and a map to help you get about are recommended. You should also make sure you’re carrying airtight containers of water. If you end up getting far from camp, dehydration is a serious risk you need to be fighting by drinking every now and then. There are other tools that will be particularly helpful if you’re hiking or climbing. For example, see sites like http://www.knifeista.com/best-pocket-knife/ for quality knives. A good knife can help with plenty of tasks. Like cutting ropes in emergencies, preparing food and cutting wood for fires.

Make sure to have fun but always be aware of the risks involved in your situation. The wilderness isn’t a place designed for your safety. Treat it with the right respect and you should be able to have the kind of camping experience that enthusiasts rave about.