Hello, we’re Grace and Jamieson! We’re Learn to Camp leaders at Bronte Creek Provincial Park and, between us, we have 39 years of camping experience. If you are new to camping or have just gone a few times, check out our top 10 camping tips:
- If this is your first time camping, it is better to bring more than it is less. Be prepared and bring a lot so that you’ll learn what you need and don’t need for future trips.
- Plan out your site before you begin setting up. Things to remember: put your tent on high ground so that water doesn’t run off into it, check above your site for dead branches, and make sure you don’t set up anything close to the fire.
- Hammer your pegs into the ground at a 45-degree angle away from your tent or shelter because it takes a lot less work and is sturdier.
- Don’t overfill your mattress because you don’t want it to leak. After filling your mattress you should be able to kneel on it with one knee and have your knee sink about halfway down to the ground. Another neat trick is putting your knee on your mattress as you fill it up and then stopping when your knee is lifted up halfway.
- Check your equipment before using it for the first time or for the first time in a while this way you’ll know how to use your equipment and be able to make sure it is working and you can set it up quickly. It will also make life easier if when you are setting up it is raining or on really sunny days.
- It is always nice to have a kitchen bin where you store everything you need to cook, eat, and clean with.
- Animal-proof your site by throwing out your garbage and putting away any food back into your car this way you won’t have any unwanted visitors.
- Make sure you use quality products for your camping experience. We use Coleman equipment for Learn to Camp and it works wonders.
- Don’t shake your marshmallows if they catch of fire. Instead, calmly blow them out. If you shake them, they can fly off and land on someone you like (and they may not like you as much after that!). Also, if you don’t like burnt marshmallows and you burned yours, you can always let it cool, then peel the blackened part off and reveal the gooey marvel inside.
- Have fun! Remember that teamwork leads to dream work and everything is easier if you do it with your friends or family members.
We love teaching people to camp and making new friends along the way. Sharing food, playing games, and giving your excess firewood to your campsite neighbour is a wonderful way to make new friends!
And remember everyone makes mistakes (even we do after 39 years of camping). You won’t remember the mistakes (unless they are funny and in that case, laugh!), but you will remember how you handled them together.
Also, rain does not ruin a camping trip, instead it brings you closer together. Some of our best camping memories are playing board games with our friends while it rained.