It was not that long ago that camping was the vacation of choice among families. Packing up the tent, the cooking utensils and the car full of food and heading off to a natural spot to enjoy lots of fresh air, non-electronic games and sometimes a spot of fishing. If this is not a treat you have yet enjoyed, read on for some great ideas for your next camping trip.

If you are camping at a public campground, make sure you pack shower shoes for everyone in your party. Not only will they protect your feet from the bacteria on the shower floor, but they are great for those nighttime runs to the bushes when you need to use the restroom. They can be old flip flops, Crocs, or even slip-ons.

Navigation is the key when it comes to camping. It is important to know where you are, and how to get back to civilization if you become lost. Always bring a map of the area, and a compass to help you. You can also use an outdoor GPS that will give you navigation information, as well as additional information such as altitude.

Keep the needs of your family in mind before selecting a destination. For example, if you have a baby or toddler, it may be best to stick close to home in case things don’t go as planned. If you have teenagers, however, you may enjoy traveling to a different state. Choose what is best for you!

Go to a class to learn about first aid. Accidents happen, and taking the right precautions will ensure you know how to better a poor situation. Be sure to do thorough research too. Know the types of wild animals that inhabit the woods and gain understanding of any poisonous snakes or plants nearby.

Set up a “jungle breakfast” when you are camping with your kids. Bring small cereal boxes, juice drinks and fruit, and keep them tied up high in the trees. Then when your kids get up, let them search for their food. This will add some adventure and fun to their day.

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.

Bring oranges not only to eat but also to deter mosquitoes. Save the peels when you’re done eating and gently rub them on your face, arms, legs or any other exposed areas, and you keep the pesky bugs away with no harsh chemicals and for a great price!

Save space in your bag by leaving mixing spoons and containers behind, and instead just bring plastic zip-lock bags. Place the foods or liquids that you want to mix in the bag, and ensure that the zipper is well closed before mixing. Not only do the bags take up considerably less space than bowls and spoons, but they’re much more lightweight as well!

If you are camping with others, ensure that there is something available to keep everyone entertained. There is nothing worse than a bored campmate, as they will constantly pester you for activities. Talk to your family and friends before hand and make sure they know how to entertain themselves for the trip.

Camping is fun, and camping with kids can be even more fun, but certain precautions need to be made for these little campers. Take plenty of extra clothes for them, because they will get dirty and wet. It’s important they don’t stay in wet clothes, because it’s possible, it could result in hypothermia. This goes for adults, too.

Understand how your food will be cooked. You need to consider how you are going to prepare all meals. Will you need charcoal? Perhaps you need a small propane tank. It can be difficult to cook every meal over an open fire; no matter, how much fun it might seem.

Some of the best food options to bring camping with you are things that come in cans. While this may not be the tastiest, it is great for two reasons. It is very convenient and easy to prepare, but more importantly; wildlife will be unable to smell the food inside of the cans.

You should bring food on your camping trips. You should plan out what and how many meals you plan on eating before going on your trip. As far as how much food you should bring, a good rule of thumb is to only carry the amount of food that you need to prepare your meals.

If you are camping in an area that has loose or very sandy soil, you should make sure that you place large, heavy rocks on top of all the stakes of your tent. This will keep the stakes planted firmly in the ground and your tent from collapsing on its own.

Recreational camping is not just for warm weather. If you are feeling especially adventurous, you can go camping in early spring and late fall at most camping grounds. You can even camp in the snow if you have the right gear. Make sure your sleeping bags are suitable for whatever weather you are camping in.

Never hike alone. It may sound juvenile, but always use the buddy system. It can be easy to get lost or turned around in nature. You could slip and hurt yourself. In instances like these, it is best to have someone along. Even if you have your cellphone handy, you may find it doesn’t get reception in the woods.

So there you have it. A camping trip can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. Once you have purchased or borrowed the minimum camping basics, the country is your oyster and you are only limited by the amount of time you have and how far you can travel. Enjoy!