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New To Camping? Prevent Mishaps With These Careful Planning Tips

Spending a few days in the company of nature can be an excellent way to unplug from a high stress lifestyle and force your family to put down their smartphones. Even better, a camping trip can be just as much fun as the typical beach resort or ski lodge vacation and much more economical.

Camping trips often involve remote locations where it is inconvenient or even impossible to replace forgotten items or get assistance. Because of this, it is important to make careful plans and preparations before you go to ensure that your family remembers every camping trip as a truly great adventure.

Create an Emergency Box

Even the most well planned camping trip can go awry. The trick to handling these little emergencies without ruining the fun is to have a few versatile supplies in your camping gear that can be used in a number of ways.

To assemble this emergency box, you will need a compact, water-resistant container, such as a five-gallon bucket with a snap on lid or a durable, plastic tote box big enough to hold the following items:

  • An extra flashlight and spare batteries
  • An extra supply of waterproof matches
  • Tarps to use for shelter during storms, barriers under tents or to solve the problem of a leaking tent
  • A recent map of the area where you will be camping
  • Basic first-aid supplies for emergency use
  • A roll of duct-tape to seal a leaking radiator hose, patch tents and secure loose items
  • A tube of super-strength glue and poly patches to patch inflatable mattresses and rafts
  • A compact, manual or battery operated air pump (with extra batteries) to inflate mattresses, rafts and toys
  • Rope or cord to lash items together, create a camp clothesline or make a pet leash
  • An amount of cash that could be used to purchase a tank of gas, food or other needs in a situation where credit cards cannot be used
  • A pocket or folding knife, preferably one with extra tools, such as a saw blade, screwdriver and bottle opener
  • A spare manual can opener, in case the main one in your camping gear is lost or broken
  • Water purification tablets to ensure a supply of potable water in primitive conditions
  • Protein bars or other high-energy foods that could be used for nutrition in an emergency
  • An emergency roll or two of toilet paper, just in case your main supply gets rained on

When packed carefully, these items will all fit into your emergency bucket or tote. Remember that these items are not meant to replace your normal camping supplies. Instead, this container should be inventoried and freshly restocked before each camping trip, as a backup supply for emergency use.

Verify Your Vehicle’s Safety before You Head Out

In addition to packing an emergency box, you will need to make sure that the vehicle you will be pulling your camper with is ready for the stress of hauling a heavy camping trailer and traveling on rough or hilly roads.

Start by having the oil changed and checking fluid levels and the condition of the belts, tires and brakes. Next, make sure that your vehicle’s trailer hitch is in good condition and rated for the weight of your camping trailer, including the weight of the supplies and equipment.

If your current trailer hitch is not properly rated for your camping trailer, or if you notice any cracks or rust during your pre-trip visual inspection, contact a reputable trailer hitches dealer in your area to have it repaired or replaced immediately. 

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