Sunday, March 23, 2008

Time to go camping!

The flowers are coming out and the days are getting longer..this means spring is here! In Arizona the weather is perfect for camping, just what we did this Easter weekend! Now that the time is approaching to get out and enjoy nature, it is also the time to go through your camping gear, fifth wheel, etc.

We have a fifth wheel with 3 slide outs so we are very comfy when we go camping; we finally got to California (at 4am after leaving at 8:30pm!!) and once we got set up we had to put back everything we took down for the trip, so nothing would break. We realized this is actually a perfect time to spring clean, a little odd timing, but it really was the best for us; the trailer is normally clutter-free and clean, neither one of us likes clutter.

We got rid of a bunch of trash, old boxes (one was for the iron, but we never used the box!), and got everything reorganized. So needless to say, after about a half-hour of cleaning, dusting, purging, etc., the trailer looked great and we were able to keep it clean the whole time we were gone and once we got home, everything was in place.

What do you need to do before you head out?

  • When getting ready to go camping, pull all of your gear out and determine whether you need to keep items, replace new ones (do you really want to sleep in a moth-eaten sleeping bag?), or just pitch the unnecessary. Take with you only what you need (you probably won't be using your laptop on a camping trip!) so that when you get to camp, you can easily set up without a lot of hassle, and wonder, why did we bring all of this stuff?
  • Making a list of what you need to take with you and ensuring it all gets done beforehand is always a good thing. Start a few days before your trip, even starting before you think you need to. Nothing worse than leaving later than you plan on and getting in way too late! You want to enjoy what time you have, even if it's only a few days.
  • Keep cash handy just in case of emergency. Our trailer battery was dead shortly upon arrival and since we camp way out in the desert, about 30 miles from town, one of our friends picked it up for us on his way in. Luckily we had to cash to give him when he finally arrived, otherwise we would have been in a weird position.
  • Don't carry unnecessary weight, this translates into poorer fuel economy and unnecessary braking stress. Try to fill up your water containers at your last stop area, if at all possible.
  • You can NEVER have too much water. You may be surprised at how much you use for showers, dishes, drinking, etc. You can buy some 5 gallon water containers at Wal-Mart for about $7/container, bring more than what you think you'll need!
  • Try to minimize the amount of stops you take on your trip; this will save you time and save you gas as well, since you won't have to stop and restart your engine all the time. Take enough snacks and bottled water with you so you don't have to pay $15 every stop at a gas station!
  • If you have pets, we brought Juno and our kitten, Willow, make sure you have enough food for them and always keep an eye on them! All of our friends have little 4 wheel drive vehicles, quads, bikes, etc. Nothing would be worse then one of them getting injured and being so far away from a vet, when time is of the essence. Also, we have to be cautious of scorpions, rattlesnakes and coyotes, by keeping an eye on them you can make sure they stay out of trouble, and stay safe.
  • And most important, before you begin your trip or start your journey home, say a little prayer to the Man Upstairs, or whom ever you worship. Giving thanks for your health, your ability to be able to take a vacation, and making it safely, is always in style. After all, He is the reason we get to enjoy nature!
If you get everything planned in advance, your camping trip will be much more enjoyable. Your vacation is supposed to be relaxing, not exhausting! No one wants to stress on vacation so by getting a head start on planning your trip, you will be able to maximize time and ensure you have all the necessary equipment to enjoy yourselves! :)

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