Whether you’re camping for a month or just over the weekend, campsites are meant to be inhabited and to be lived in – it’s not just a place to sleep when you’re outdoors.
Although it’s an awesome challenge to brave the rough outdoors and to live with limited resources, it doesn’t mean that your comfort should be compromised. The goal for every camping trip is that it should have the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation.
Here are some easy ways to help you enjoy the comforts of home while tent camping:
1. Pack Sensibly
One of the comforts of home is knowing where to find everything you need. This doesn’t have to be compromised during your trip if you pack right. The key is to keep everything organized – pack each change of clothes in a large zipper bag, replacing the fresh ones with the used throughout your trip.
Pack your stuff in large clear plastic boxes (with lids), using a different one for a different categories of gear (like kitchen items, sleeping gear, snacks etc.). Label each one with its contents so you know where to find a particular item.
2. Find a good spot to pitch your tent
Any camper knows that it’s smart to set up camp in a smooth, level surface free of rocks, twigs and other debris. But there are other important things to consider to get the safest, most comfortable spot to camp out on.
Look for an area that where you will be sheltered from natural elements like winds and direct sunlight, preferably a rock formation that will act as a wind-breaker or a band of trees to provide shade. For extra safety, avoid pitching your tent near a body of water, as bears and other wildlife often drink from rivers. The nearer you are to a body of water, the more mosquitoes there are, too.
3. Divide your tent into sections
If you’re sharing the tent with someone else, it’s ideal to divide the tent in sections to each have your “own side”. Even if you’re sharing with family, keep all your stuff at the foot of your sleeping bag to keep everything organized (and to prevent having to climb over your tent mate in the middle of the night to look for something).
4. Set up a tarp shelter
© Get Out With The Kids!
Your tent may feel comfortable, but it’s mainly for sleeping and for lounging. Set up a tarp shelter –having a central gathering area where everyone can chill, cook and eat together adds a “hominess” to your campsite.
A tarp shelter also helps protect you and your tent from direct sunlight, wind and moisture.
5. Pack comfortable sleeping gear
There’s no other place where we sleep like a baby but at home, so it’s only wise to bring a little bit of home to your camping trip. To able to sleep comfortably outdoors, you should feel like you’re in bed at your house.
A sleeping bag is great for cool nights (and if space is an issue), but otherwise, you can use a cozy comforter to keep you warm and snug. Bring your favorite pillow, an eye mask (a great alternative to curtains) and ear plugs, too – what makes you fall asleep comfortably at home should help when you’re outdoors, too.
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6. Bring a “comfy chair”
Unless your campsite has a picnic table with chairs, there’s actually not a lot of places to sit on apart from the ground or inside your tent. Bringing a chair where you can comfortably sit on to read a book or to watch nature from.
Alternatively, you can use an outdoor mat or rug to “lounge on” whether you’re inside or outside your tent. It’s a small touch that goes a long way!
7. Set up a good ambiance
Even if your camping trip is packed full of outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, fishing and the like, make sure you have time to just relax and unwind. Play some good music to set up the mood while with friends around a campfire.
If you’re staying in your tent for a night, read a good book, listen to an interesting podcast or simply listen to relaxing songs – anything that will keep you in a happy mood.
8. Keep your tent and campsite clean
If all you see is clutter all around, you won’t feel at ease. That’s why it’s important to keep your tent and campsite clean and organized at all times. Keep food and other kitchen items neatly in one place and never eat food inside your tent (to avoid attracting ants and other insects). Keep garbage in one space and dispose of it properly each day.
Make the inside of your tent a shoe-free zone to help it clean. Additionally, you can get rid of dust and debris from your tent daily by flipping it upside down and giving it a good shake (works for free-standing tents).
Don’t forget to leave your campsite cleaner than when you found it!
9. Prepare comfort food
If you’re used to having coffee in the morning, do the same during your camping trip. Following your home routine loosely will contribute to the feeling of a homey camp. Prepare quick meals and eat snacks that you consider to be “comfort food”.
Eggs for breakfast, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or some chips and dip are some good examples.
10. Don’t forget the little things
© Hiking Mastery
More often than not, it’s the little things that make a huge difference. When it comes to making your tent and your campsite feel more like home, it’s the small items that make everything flow more smoothly.
A clothesline, a good quality camping lantern, a radio and a hammock are some of the things that will contribute to the general organization and hominess of your tent and campsite.
If it’s your first time to go camping or you’re still getting used to living in the great outdoors, having a homey campsite will help you feel at ease!
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