Camping is fun, exciting, relaxing, fulfilling, and therapeutic … however, it can also be very dangerous and potentially miserable if you are not prepared.  

We have put together 100 valuable camping tips to help you make your next outdoor adventure enjoyable and rewarding and safe … or shall I say “rough it in comfort”.

100 Camping Tips:

  1. Camp with a friend – safer and more fun
  2. Don’t drink alcohol during winter camping – when you need to keep your wits the most
  3. Make your first aid kit – often cheaper and better meets your needs
  4. Be prepared for a zombie attack – although unlikely, it’s always good to be prepared
  5. Wolves don’t attack humans – there has never been a confirmed wolf kill of a human in North America’s wilds 
  6. Dogs attack humans – dogs are far more dangerous to humans than wolves
  7. A sharp knife is a safe knife – they work better and hence there is less chance of a mishap
  8. Bring a saw … leave the axe – An axe has more risk of injury – they are heavy and dangerous in the hands of a rookie … bring a saw
  9. An ounce on your feet is a pound in your pack – light hiking boots are best in most cases
  10. Roughing it is for TV survivalists – if you are comfortable, life is good
  11. Electric music is for the city – leave your speakers at home
  12. Scotch is a better camping beverage than beer – more bang for the weight. Leave the beer in the fridge
  13. Food always tastes better in the backwoods – this is a mystery
  14. Food is your fuel – eat well and perform better
  15. Water is more important than food – if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated
  16. Store your self-inflating mattress unrolled – protects the insulation and reduces mould
  17. Stuffing a sleeping bag is better than rolling it – easier and protects the insulation
  18. Store a sleeping bag in a large, loose, breathable bag – protect the sleeping bag
  19. 3 bangs or 3 whistle blasts – the international signal for distress
  20. Children love camping – go slow, take lots of breaks and stop at every cool place to play.
  21. Dogs chase wild animals – train or leash them.
  22. Cats don’t do anything – goldfish with fur!
  23. Bring sleeping socks or booties – always dry and warm
  24. Wear a helmet – when on white water, biking or downhill skiing … if you choose not to wear a helmet, then you don’t have much brain matter to protect … think Darwin
  25. Wear a wide-brim hat – protect your skin and eyes from the sun and your head from bugs. Bonus – sunglasses often can be left behind. 
  26. Sunscreen is for everyone … all complexions – always and everywhere
  27. Bandanas are wonderful – tons of uses
  28. Blaze orange is good – better for being seen and found, and not shot during hunting season
  29. Camouflage is silly for camping – it is great for hiding, however, if you want to be found and seen … go with bright colours
  30. Blow your nose without tissue – hold one nostril shut … then point and blow!
  31. Moleskin is essential – apply at first signs of a “hot spot” on your feet to prevent a blister from developing
  32. Down is great when dry and not so much when wet – light and compatible, however when it gets wet … most to all the insulation value is lost
  33. Synthetic insulation works even when wet – a little heavier and compresses less than down, but it always works
  34. Trekking poles can double as tent poles with some tents – saving some weight 
  35. Black widows, Recluses and Hobo Spiders are venomous
  36. Keep your tent zipped at all times – you don’t want spiders, snakes or other curious critters crawling in your tent while you are gathering wood.
  37. Shake out footwear before putting them on – snakes and spiders love hiding in dark warm places
  38. Round rocks are great for wiping as an alternative to toilet paper – really
  39. Remove ticks gently without pulling or squeezing – reduce Lyme Disease
  40. Sleep in your warm clothing and bring a lighter sleeping bag
  41. Stuff sacks make great camp shoes
  42. Put warm water in a water bottle before bed – warm up your sleeping bag
  43. Place extra clothing under your sleeping bag – increase insulation
  44. A warm hat – a light and easy way to regulate your body temperature
  45. Get in shape – not the round/soft kind of shape!
  46. Layer clothing – 1) thin synthetic/wool against skin, 2) insulation layer,  3) windproof/waterproof/breathable for the outer layer
  47. Cotton is rotten – holds sweat and moisture for days … and takes forever to dry 
  48. Nylon hikers are not good for deserts – fine sand passes through the nylon and causes grief
  49. Keep pocket zippers closed at all times – open pockets get caught on branches and valuable stuff can fall out
  50. Don’t eat yellow snow
  51. Zip tops are good – they regulate body heat
  52. Keep maps in the outside pocket of the pack – dahhh!
  53. Layer socks – thin wicking layer against the skin and then a thicker insulated layer. It will reduce blisters and increase padding
  54. Aftermarket footbeds – they place your feet in a better position in your boot, improve fit and padding, and reduce plantar fasciitis 
  55. Bring repair kits and know how to work them – tent, self-inflating mattress, stove, canoe, sewing, etc
  56. A spork is all you need – it’s a spoon & fork combined, and you already have a pocket knife in your essential kit
  57. Wide-mouth water bottles – easier to fill and clean
  58. Metal water bottles in the winter are nasty – your tongue and lips can stick to ice-cold metal
  59. A candle lantern will warm a tent – amazing … one candle can change a frigid tent to a nice place to read or play cards
  60. A candle lantern emits carbon monoxide – ensure there is good ventilation
  61. Don’t cook in the tent – fire and carbon monoxide are not good things in a tent
  62. Don’t cook or eat near the campsite – you will attract hungry and curious critters
  63. Don’t wash dishes at the shoreline – wash dishes 50 feet from both the water source and/or your campsite
  64. Headlamps are easier than flashlights
  65. Uninsulated Air mattresses are comfortable, however, they are chilly on cold nights
  66. Compasses don’t need batteries
  67. Compasses are not reliable north of 60º 
  68. Black bears can be dangerous, Brown bears are dangerous, Polar bears are very very dangerous
  69. Use biodegradable soap … better yet … don’t use soap
  70. Use “natural” toothpaste and swallow … better yet, brush without toothpaste
  71. Death can occur … 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food.
  72. Campers should eat 1.5-2.5 pounds of food per day or 2500-5000 calories
  73. Cook your meals in one pot
  74. The first day’s meal can be meat … pack a frozen steak in the morning, and by dinner time it will be thawed and ready to cook
  75. Chocolate is not good in the summer – it will become a molten mess
  76. Don’t eat wild plants unless you are sure they are safe
  77. Know what poison ivy looks like
  78. Pack and separate your gear with loosely packed stuff sacks
  79. Bear defence – bring bangers, spray, and canisters
  80. Hang your food or place your food canister … far far away from camp
  81. Don’t hang food in your backpack or anything you don’t mind being torn apart by bears or aggressive red squirrels
  82. Don’t put loose/open food in your backpack – your pack or contents shouldn’t smell like “food”
  83. Put toothpaste in a food bag at night
  84. Get your backpack fitted properly
  85. Socks can double as mitts
  86. Wear your hiking boots loose not tight 
  87. Point-and-shoot cameras are easier and lighter than DSLRs, smartphones are even lighter. 
  88. Leave deodorant at home – embrace the stink
  89. Learn how to read a map
  90. An altimeter helps identify your location
  91. Trekking poles help your knees and ankles
  92. Gaiters keep water, snow, dirt and debris from getting in your boots and socks
  93. Crossing rivers is more dangerous than you think
  94. Set your tent in a safe location – look up, down and all around
  95. Hand sanitizer – can save you from getting the runs
  96. Small injuries can turn into big injuries if not attended to promptly
  97. Blister treatment – the best treatment is prevention
  98. Take nothing from the great outdoors other than photos and memories 
  99. Avoid metal or high places during a lightning storm
  100. Take less and enjoy the adventure more!
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