Camping and hiking are interlinked. In fact, they are two sides of the same coin. Camping is fun, but hiking is the real experience people look forward to. Let me put this way, and your camping holiday will be as boring as a dry weekend without hiking.
Every activity in a camp is planned around hiking. Whether you are going for birding/animal watching, long walk or hunting, they are what make the whole camping exercise fun.
It is very important to have fun in every camping holiday. Since it is an experience that comes once in a while, you need to make the best out of it.
When considering the activities to do in a campsite, don’t forget the hobbies you left in the past. We understand the fact that deciding on what to do during a camping holiday isn’t always easy.
While there are several fun things to do in a campsite, below are some of the most common ones.
Fun Things To Do In Your Next Camping Trip
The best camping experience comes with several months of preparation. To have the fairytale camping holiday you fantasize about, and you have to start planning now.
There are certain things that will naturally make camping fun. We all know that feeling of seeing your family overwhelmingly excited. This is what we all look forward to in a campsite.
Check out these fun activities you can do on your next camping trip. Without a doubt, this will make your holiday amazingly interesting.
Stone skipping is a perfect activity to do in a campsite, especially when the camp is close to a river. It involves throwing flat stones across the water in a way that it bounces off the surface severally before it sinks.
This game is very exciting, and the person whose stone bounces the most before sinking wins the game. It is a nice game to play when you go camping with your family.
Build A Sand Castle
Hey, building a sand castle is not for kids alone. Adults can also do it, and you can do it with your kids as a team. This game is actually possible when you are camping close to the beach.
You can also go fishing as part of the camping hike. But you need to go with people if you don’t have fishing experience. This will enable you to learn and catch fun while you watch other campers catching fish.
Oh! This is great. Swimming is another great fun activity you can include on your next camping trip. After a long day walk or other stressful activities, swimming will make you feel relax.
You can also go kayaking, and it is very fun. Let me explain, kayaking involves moving across water using a kayak.
A kayak is like a boat that people use to move across the water for fun. Kayaking experience is outstanding.
However, when you are in a camp that is not close to water, the aforementioned will not be possible. In a situation like this, you can play a water balloon fight.
Again, you can attack each other with squirt guns. It is actually very fun, and you can play this game with your kids.
If the campsite has necessary utilities, bringing an inflatable wading pool wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Also, you can play disc golf, horses shoes, lawn bowling, soccer, football, baseball, kickball, etc.
Must Have Hiking Gear For Beginners
There are certain gears you need during hiking. If you are hiking for the first time, you can’t just do without these gear.
Every hiker needs footwear. It is just an item you can’t exclude from the list. Again, you don’t just get shoes or boot because you want to hike. Nah, it doesn’t work that way.
There are certain footwears that are specifically designed for hiking. These footwears have better safety features, better traction and protect your feet from different objects you may step on during hiking.
We often advise that the footwear you are using during hiking is your side. If it is too small or big, you may not be able to hike for long before your feet start hurting you.
Clothing is an important gear you shouldn’t miss while hiking. We all know that clothing is more of a fashion. But when it comes to hiking, it goes beyond fashion. In fact, it is a mobile form of shelter.
So, for your own safety ensure that the clothes you are wearing are appropriate for the weather condition. As a rule, wearing cotton shouldn’t be an option at all. Don’t just consider it, because it is bad for everywhere.
Weatherproof jackets are often recommended. And you may also need a weatherproof pant if you will be far from your shelter or tent.
A good Pair of Binocular
You need a good pair of binoculars. It will aid you in watching birds and other wild animals. If you have some extra cash to splash, you can get a digital binocular. This will help you to record all the things you see.
A hydration pack is another great gear for hiking. While there are several options available for you to carry water, a hydration pack will help to keep your hand free.
Every hiker needs GPS. We know that you can use your Smartphone’s GPS app, but it is not advisable.
Most of these GPS apps drain Smartphones batteries a lot, and it can leave you stranded when your Smartphone battery runs down. Outside the battery challenge, there are several advanced features that a regular GPS has which can’t be found on the mobile app version.
Trekking poles in this context refer to hiking sticks, walking poles, etc. You can use them as support when walking on steep terrain.
First Aid Kits
You surely need a first aid kit to enable you to treat minor injury or illness. Your first aid kits should be well stocked. Don’t compromise this, and it could save a life during hiking.
We recommend that your first aid kits should have some of the following;
• List of emergency phone numbers
• First aid manual
• Adhesive tape
• Elastic bandage
• A splint
• Sterile pads of different sizes
• Soap and antiseptic wipes
• Antibiotic ointment
• Antiseptic solution
• Sharp scissors
• Alcohol wipes
• Flashlights and extra batteries
• Disposable instant cold packs.
The list is endless. But ensure that your first aid kits are well stocked. It will be useful when you least expect.
Matches or Lighter
You should go hiking with either matches or lighter. You may need them to make quick-fire, especially when you need to warm yourself.
You need a knife while hiking. It will be useful. As a rule, you don’t leave anything to chance when hiking. It is better to be prepared than being stranded.
Hey! Water is something you don’t want to leave behind when going hiking. Even if you can stay a while without drinking water, it is still advisable to go with water.
Remember, hiking is more of a work out exercise. And it requires you to drink water to remain hydrated. However, when you aren’t drinking enough water, you are going to suffer from dehydration, heat exhaustion and sometimes heat stroke.
Think again, before you decide not to go hiking with water. It is not a good experience.
Safety Tips To Apply During Hiking
By now, you will agree with me that camping and hiking are awesome. Hiking will bring out the fun and entertainment in a campsite. A well-planned hike will keep everybody busy. And you will definitely learn new things.
Again, as amazing as hiking is, things can still go wrong sometimes. We will not just be here telling you all the good things about hiking while leaving out the things that could possibly go wrong.
Sometimes, hikers sustain injuries, get sick, etc. Below are some common hiking injuries;
• Twisted ankle
• Bug Bites
• Minor Scrapes
Sadly, the aforementioned injuries could have been prevented if some safety measures were adhered to. Check out these safety tips that will keep you safe when hiking in a camp environment.
Ensure that the hiking trails you choose is appropriate for everyone in your group
Whenever you want to choose a hiking trail, consider everybody in your group, including kids. It is better to go for the one that is relatively easy than the difficult ones. With this, the possibility of injuries.
Always Stay On Your Trail
Veering off a trail is one of the causes of injuries during hiking. At all time, you must stay glued to your trail.
Let me remind you that you are likely to get lost when you deviate from your trail. Oh! Not only lost, but you may encounter wild and dangerous animals. We all know how risky that could be. So, don’t veer off your trail for any reason.
Learn To Read A Map And Use Compass
Argue if you want, but you can’t always rely on your phone’s map or compass for direction. You must learn how to read a map and be able to know where you are at all time. This is very important.
Even if you eventually lost, a basic knowledge of map reading and compass will enable you to find your way back to the campsite or trail.
Have Basic Knowledge Of Some Poisonous Plants
Most times, hiking takes place in the wild. And you tend to see different plants. While some of them are safe, others are extremely poisonous.
So, it is advisable that you have a basic knowledge of the poisonous plants in the area. This will keep you and your family safe. Again, inform your family (especially your kids) not to berries they find in the world.
Ensure That Someone Knows Where You Are At All Time
The mistake people often make going hiking alone. Well, you may want to have a quiet hiking time. This is not bad, but you have to inform someone you trust where you are going and when to expect you.
This will give them a clue on how to search for you when you stay too long.
Camping is interesting, but hiking makes every camping experience memorable.
I Got Lost Hiking While Camping in California:
I was collecting woods to make fire later in the night when the temperature would be on the low side. I expected the fire to keep me warm and also chase away flies. I was just a few walks away from my tent collecting the woods when I saw a white horse in front of me and staring at me. I dropped the woods I was holding and stared back at the horse. It was so beautiful; the white was without blemish. It started to walk away.
As if drawn I followed after it. After a while, it stopped, and I walked faster in my mind but slowly on my feet to get to it. When I was about a foot close to it with my right hand stretched, it started to walk again; it increased its pace, and at once galloped away.
I watched as it galloped through the wood, till I could not see its white tail anymore. I wanted to run after it, but my legs would not move. I was screaming for the strange horse to wait for me, but my voice was not making the sound. I felt disappointed and lost inside. What I did not know was that I was not only lost inside, I had also lost my path back to the camp.
I stood there a while, unmoving; staring at the emptiness that filled the space beneath the wood after the horse was gone. Then, all of a sudden, the desire to go back to my tent came back, and I thought maybe I had been hallucinating all along. I turned and looked around; I could not tell how and when I got to where I was.
I turned back to retrace my steps, to go back to where I was gathering the woods, pick up the woods I had gathered and returned to my tent before nightfall. I took a few steps and realized that I didn’t know which way I had come from. I decided to follow a path under the trees, but as I did, I was sure I was not going the right way. The fact was that if I got too lost in this California woods, I might not be able to find my way back to the road, probably not until someone decided to come to look for me.
“I cannot get lost” I kept saying to myself, even though it seemed I had.
I went a bit down a path I chose, then bend a bit to the right. “The road should be on the right side of the woods,” I told myself. Getting to the road meant maintaining the right course.
At that time, I was not bothering myself about finding my tent anymore. I just wanted to get out of the darned woods and be saved; I had no intention of becoming a primitive bushman inside one heck of a California wood in this modern age. Although I was sure if I spent more time than I told my family I would like camping, they would surely feel like something was wrong and send a search team after me. They all knew how strict I was to schedules.
I was thinking about this when I fell upon a creek; a small inlet just at a side of the creek. I called, but nobody answered. It must be where the fishermen bring their fish before taking them into town. I was not really sure, but if it were, then the fishermen obviously haven’t been there in a while. The place stank.
It was close to nightfall at the time. The dark clouds were already forming, and in a short time, it would be the night. I decided to spend the night at the inlet, but I couldn’t sleep. Mosquitoes and rats seemed to have made the place their home, and they were more active at night. I couldn’t wait for the morning to come.
Coming upon the creek turned out to be my amazing salvation. As I stood that morning, feeling hungry and a bit exhausted from not sleeping, wondering if I had finally gotten lost, then I thought there must be a community the fishermen that made the inlet came from, and it shouldn’t be too far. Even if it was, I was ready to take the long walk. It was then left to decide which way to follow. And like earlier I thought going right would be the best option. So I chose to go right.
If any human should ever wish to get lost, it shouldn’t be in the woods and this creek with its black looking water. I do not think the water would be good for drinking, so I ignored my thirst, swallowing my spit all the way as I walked on, making sure I kept close to the creek as I did.
I must have walked for what seemed like miles when I saw a mango tree. I was so grateful to nature and the Creator that made it that moment. I looked for something to throw at the mango fruit on it but couldn’t find a stone, so I decided to climb it; it was a bit tall.
When I was up, I threw some fruits down on the ground with the thought that if I didn’t find my way it would sustain me for some time. Then I grabbed a very fresh one and sunk my teeth into it. As I savored it with my eyes closed, it was like I haven’t taken anything as good as the mango before. When finally I opened my eyes, I was staring at the road.
I looked to the left and was staring at my truck, peacefully waiting for me. I looked back towards where I was coming from, and I saw the inlet a few feet away, the creek peacefully looking at me. I hadn’t camped too deeply in the wood, my tent was sitting there in the axis of my car, and I could see it too. I laughed and laughed. I hadn’t really been lost, and I had only been circling the same place since the day before. Only a little lost in California woods.