This country is filled with a multitude of stunning nature reserves and national parks, yet every year more people opt out of communing with nature and opt into sterile hotels. It is time to get back to basics and a fun-filled camping trip is just the way to go. Read on for tips and hints on how to have a great time in the great outdoors.

A good multi-purpose tool needs to be part of your camping gear. There are two kinds to bring. First is the saw/hammer/axe 3-in-1 tool to use for firewood and other chores. The other is the standard multi-purpose tool with a variety of tools on it like a can opener, tweezers, scissors, and a knife.

If you are going on a camping adventure, make sure you have enough time to set up camp before dark. It can be extremely difficult to set up camp in the dark and possibly unsafe. You need to be able to scout the terrain, prepare bedding, and possibly build some temporary shelter prior to the sun going down.

Do plenty of research on your camping site and ensure that it offers everything that your group will need. Consider the individual needs of each camper to ensure that everyone is taken care of. This alleviates the need to make supply runs, or worst case, have to end the trip too soon.

Introduce yourselves to other families camping in your immediate area, as a means of being social and more apt to help each other out. If another crew arrives after you’ve set up, offer to help with their tent or equipment. If something goes awry during the trip for anyone, it’s much easier to ask for help from somebody who was courteous enough to introduce themselves.

You can make tasty meals even when you are camping. You do not necessarily need to eat just franks and beans or hamburgers. Pack a box with herbs and spices, olive oil, brown sugar or whatever else you like. You can fix meals that have flavor even when you are “roughing” it.

Get a sleeping bag that is warm enough. This is important. Even if you go camping in the summertime, nights can get very cold out in the wild. There are sleeping bags promising protection from varying cold temperatures; it is a good idea to opt for as low a temperature as you can find.

Bring your cellphone with you when you go camping. Even if you are serious about roughing it, cell phones are still very useful in emergencies and should not be left at home. A cell phone is no longer a hobby, and when you go camping it can help you reach police and emergency personnel–bring it.

When camping alone or in the company of friends, always bring an emergency kit. The contents of the kit may change depending on where you camp and who you are with, but it should contain basic supplies. Be sure to do your research and bring along any location-specific items you will need.

When you go camping, be sure to have a few activities in mind other than just… “camping”. The camping experience is enriched by hiking, swimming, exploring and things like that. Be sure to engage in some of these other activities so that you have the fullest camping experience you’ve ever had.

Bring bug spray. If you forget your bug spray on a camping trip, you will deeply regret it. Try a few different bug sprays ahead of time. Find something that works and doesn’t irritate your skin. You also want to make sure that it isn’t so greasy you’ll be unwilling to sleep in it.

Giving yourself enough time to enjoy your camping trip is key. Plan out your trip far in advance and get a couple of days off from work if possible. You want to enjoy yourself camping for at least a few days, that way you feel like you got the full experience out of it.

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.

Many people who are not very experienced with camping start out by doing day trips. This can be a great way to adjust to nature without the dangers associated with staying in the woods all night. The best way to do is to find a simple hotel near the campground, but only for sleeping purposes.

Take along a fire extinguisher! You never know when a fire can spread. Being prepared to put it out quickly could save your life, your gear and the woods around you. Find one that is capable of putting out fires of all kinds to be sure you are prepared to extinguish them all.

When you are going camping, do your best to get as early of a start as possible. It will be your job to pitch your tent so you have somewhere to rest comfortably, and that will be much harder for you to do once it starts to get dark outside.

For your first camping trips, try to choose a place that you can drive to. If your car is nearby you can use it as a “fortress” of sorts when you are in the middle of nowhere. Not only can you enter it in case of wildlife attack; it can also protect you from the elements.

On your next camping trip, take along some empty prescription bottles. These can be used to store a lot of small items for a low price. One good use of them is to help keep your matches safe and dry. The matches will fit in perfectly, and they are fairly leak-proof, so you won’t have to worry about the contents when it rains.

So the next time you have some vacation days to enjoy, make sure you give air conditioning and cable television a big miss. Instead choose to enjoy seeing the natural beauty of the world around us. Camping does not have to mean discomfort, but it can mean a whole lot of family fun!