No matter how luxurious your lifestyle of choice is, connecting with nature provides you with a calming sense of oneness that can help you find peace amidst the chaotic hustle and bustle of the city. And as tempting as it may be to drive yourself to a rented cabin in the woods on impulse, preparing for your trip to the great outdoors is a must in order to minimize inconvenience and maximize the fun.
Here’s what you need in order to enjoy your trip and stay safe.
Pack Everything You Need
Before you start packing, sit yourself down and list everything you’ll need on your trip. It may help some individuals to close their eyes and imagine their trip, from the drive to their destination until they get back home, in order to remember what they may need. It would be a shame to forget your sunglasses or earbuds and have that ruin the quality of your adventure.
On the other hand, if you plan to camp for a few days, you may want to purchase a waterproof sleeping bag, more than one tent, a couple of flashlights and lots of charged power banks. If you’re not familiar with camping or hiking in the great outdoors, outdoor enthusiasts recommend taking a look at OutdoorMagazine to pick up on the basics; it may also suggest you some reputable stores where you can purchase outdoor gear. Also, check the weather forecast before you head to your trip, and make sure you have umbrellas and a parasol in case you need it.
Ditch Everything You Don’t Need
Do you really need your work laptop or tablet on your way to the forest? If you’re planning to unwind, it’s best you leave all distractions behind. It’s always a good idea to cut down on the electronics you take, which leaves you with more room to pack the essentials.
Make sure you also choose your companions wisely and preferably have someone experienced with camping or hiking in the great outdoors with you. Your closest friends are not always the best choice, especially if you’re going on this trip to relax. With the wrong company, a relaxing getaway may turn into an outdoor frat party.
Dress the Part
Staying safe doesn’t just come down to nitpicking the safest hiking and camping areas in the woods. You need to dress the part to avoid slipping and falling and to avoid getting sick if it rains or if the weather is unpredictable.
Even if the weather forecast predicts that your destination of choice will be warm and dry, always pack umbrellas and waterproof jackets. Forests and mountains also tend to be much colder during the nighttime compared to the city. Bring lots of heavy blankets and always pack an extra sleeping bag.
Tell Your Family Before you Go
While it may be tempting for us to just impulsively go on a field trip to the woods after a stressful week, you never know what unpredictable predicaments you might run into, either on your way to your destination or after you get there.
It’s always smart to purchase a cheap prepaid phone before your trip, seeing as it can stay charged for days, while your smartphone might need to charge once or twice every day. No matter how many power banks you have, a prepaid phone allows you to make emergency calls to your trusted contacts in cases of emergency.
Bring Enough Food Supplies
If you plan to camp for a few days, consider canned foods as well as raw vegetables like potatoes, which you can cook over a campfire. Depending on how long you plan to camp, you may want to bring your own pot and lots of matches or lighters. A blow torch may also may necessary in order to easily start a fire.
Aside from food, you should never depend on any outdoor sources of water, as these can be contaminated, and may make you and your companions sick. Bring plenty of bottled water, as well as any container that can be filled from streams if needed.
In case you run out of the water on your trip and have no other choice but to drink from a stream, pour a drop or two of chlorine into the water from a questionable source, and let it sit for ten to twenty minutes before you drink it. Although not ideal, it’s safer than dehydration.
Taking precautions and making sure you have the right tools before you head out to the great outdoors makes your adventure all the more comfortable and much more fun. Be sure to check out the safest camping and hiking spots in your area, and consider going with a group of friends to make sure that you have the backup you need.