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.

Reserve your spot at a campground as soon as possible. Particularly in the summer, many people are interested in camping with their families. If you make your reservation in the winter, you are much more likely to get the best rate possible. Those savings can translate into additional family fun while on your vacation.

Keep an eye on the weather. Rain or other conditions may impact your travel time and your experience at the campsite. Make sure that you have gear that is appropriate for the weather conditions that you may face. Adjust your departure time as necessary to try and avoid the bulk of the bad weather, if possible.

Look up activities to engage in prior to getting to your destination. This will allow you to check for any deals that may be offered. Also, it will help you be more prepared when you actually get to your destination. You can find trails that may be appropriate for everyone in your family or restaurants that you would enjoy.

Particularly, if you have children, you need to consider what to do if you have inclement weather one day. Gather together a few supplies to have on hand in case you need to stay in your tent. Bring a board game, play doh and art supplies. Don’t let your family members touch these items until it rains so that they don’t lose their appeal.

Take only photos and leave only footprints. That is the rule of thumb when camping. Only use the natural resources that you need and do not leave any traces that you were camping when you leave. Pick up all trash, extinguish and cover any fire pits, bury all human waste, and make the area where you camped look exactly as it did when you found it.

Before you bring your dog along for a camping trip, get him used to the idea with a little practice run in the back yard. Pitch the tent in an already familiar area, and let him sleep or play in it for a while. Bringing a dog can really add to the fun of camping, so long as the animal has been adequately prepared for the event.

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 enough food and snack items to last you throughout the whole trip. You don’t want to spend your time going to get food every meal, enjoy yourself while you are camping. Bring cereal, hot dogs, and all of your other favorite food items that will fuel you throughout your trip.

Collect more wood than you think you are going ot need. Unless you go camping every day, you probably don’t have an accurate idea of what “enough wood” actually looks like. You can always leave the extra wood in a pile as a gift for anyone that uses the campsite after you.

Bring along some interesting activities when planning a camping trip with kids. When you are in the woods with nothing around but trees, they may become bored. They have probably never fished or set up tents. Teach them about these activities prior to leaving.

Make sure that the cooler you are taking with you is air tight. You do not want your food to spoil because the cooler was allowing the cool air to get out. Store your cooler in a shaded area where the sun will not work against it. This could save your food and your stomach.

Duct tape can be a camper’s very best friend. When disaster strikes on a camping trip, a roll of heavy-duty duct tape will usually save the day. If the tent fabric needs patching in the rain, duct tape will hold back the water. When tent poles need reinforcing, the duct tape will provide support. Do you have holes in your tennis shoes? Duct tape right over it. Whatever the mishap, a roll of duct tape is sure to help!

If you’re bringing your dog along for the camping trip, make sure it’s wearing its tags. Losing track of a pet can be heartbreaking. Make sure your dog is wearing its dog license and an ID with contact information before you leave on your trip. Neglecting to do so can have tragic consequences.

Flashlights are imperative to bring while camping as there is minimal light in the wilderness. Once the sun has set it is nice to have a source of light. Having enough light can prevent nasty falls or unwanted encounters with wildlife. If you are camping with your children, a flashlight for each child is a wise idea.

The best tip in camping is to decide where you are going to camp and who is going to camp with you before you go. You need to pack for everyone and make sure there are facilities available. If you add any additional people at the last minute, you need to add additional food and supplies for them.

It is a great idea to put your tent together at home before you go out camping. Some tents can seem very complicated, and you do not want to get stuck in the dark without your tent being assembled. If you practice when you are at home, you will already have the experience of setting it up, and it will go smoothly.

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!