Camping can be a great way for you to spend time with your family. However, there are a lot of things you need to keep in mind so that you not only are safe, but have fun as well. Here are some great ways for you to have a good time camping while remaining prepared for whatever comes your way.

Pre-cool your ice chest by filling it with loads of ice, at least six hours prior to departure. When you are about to leave, pack up your refrigerated cooled drinks and block ice, not cubed. Popping room temp beverages will take up valuable ice-life, and the cubes will melt much quicker than a block!

If you are traveling with children, give them the opportunity to assist you when you get to the campground. They can carry gear, support you as you set up the tent and look for firewood. Not only will it keep them busy and out of trouble, it will be fun for them as well.

When going camping, make sure that you bring the right sleeping bag with you. Some sleeping bags will not keep you warm when the temperature dips below 40 degrees, while others will have you sweating all night long because they are too hot. The label on the bag usually will tell you what kinds of temperatures are appropriate for each sleeping bag.

Research any potential campground well. They all have different amenities. Some may have showers and bathrooms, while others may not. There are even a few campgrounds that are quite fancy, with onsite miniature golf games or water parks. You may not need or want all that, so figure it out ahead of time so that you are not disappointed when you get there.

When you buy a new tent, always set it up at home once before taking it camping. That way, you won’t be missing any pieces, and you’ll be able to set it up correctly the first time. A little practice can eliminate the frustration of setting up a new piece of camping equipment.

Know what is available in the area around your campsite. You may get lucky and have beautiful weather the entire time. However, you may also face inclement weather, too. Have a backup plan in case you need a diversion. This is particularly crucial if you have kids, but adults need a little entertainment as well!

If your canteen is beginning to smell musty, you can give it a good cleaning with baking soda. Place a little bit of water in your canteen, and then add three tablespoons of baking soda. Shake gently, let it sit for sixty minutes, and then rinse with water. Your canteen will be refreshingly clean!

Get everything you need ready for your meals before you get to your campsite. If you are only camping for a few days, this initial trip to the store should be all that you need to do. Stock up on nonperishable items, too. You don’t want you or your family members to be hungry on your trip.

You can go swimming at the same time that you camp! When you’re out camping, it’s really easy to miss your shower at home. Cool water will make you feel clean and fresh, so you may not miss your shower at all.

Be certain your camp fire is completely out before you leave a campsite. To your eye it may seem like the fire is gone, but stir the ashes with a stick and you may find burning embers. Pour enough water and keep stirring until you see no more embers in the fire pit.

When camping, periodically do a tick check. Look for any brown or black spots that have just appeared on your skin. Ticks attach themselves to the skin without causing too much of a disturbance, so be sure to check yourself and your companions for ticks after spending time camping outdoors.

Be sure to choose the right site for your camping experience. The camping site can make or break your trip. Try to choose a site that is not too far away from help should you need it. Choose a site that is flat and somewhat apart from trees. You want a location that is far from critters and close to aid.

Choose your campsite carefully. The location in which you’re camping can make all the difference. Do plenty of research before you make any plans. What is the weather like? Does the campsite have specific rules? How crowded will the campsite be? Poor planning can make for a miserable camping experience.

Bring along plenty of zip-lock bags on your camping trip, for a great mixing tool with foods as well as great storage. Always make sure the bag is completely sealed, then pop in any foods you need to combine, like chicken and batter or steak with marinade! Zip-lock bags are the best at keeping anything you need water-proofed too.

Your survival kit should include waterproof matches. They should always be kept in a container where air cannot enter. You can convert standard matches into waterproof ones simply by dipping each one into substances like nail polish or paraffin. You can also make a caddy for them out of a 35mm film container or a medicine bottle made out of plastic.

Talk to everyone in your next camping party about the health of their backs. Some might not be able to sleep on hard ground or need more than a standard mat or cushion. Also, portable or foldable stools might be needed around the campfire, as constant standing or sitting on the ground is not good for their spine.

Camping can be a magical experience for both you and your entire family. Use the tips in this article to make sure you do a good job of staying safe and having a great time camping at the same time. Go on your next camping trip better prepared and even more ready for fun.