Why is it that camping is one of the most iconic outdoor activities, but also one of the most misunderstood? Check out these 12 Popular Camping Myths that need debunking.
Camping is a great spur of the moment activity.
Although camping can feel freeing, it does require some preparation. Depending on where you plan to camp, you may need to make a reservation. If you will be back country camping, it is critical to let someone know where you are going and how long you will be gone.
Also, bringing along the proper gear for the conditions can make or break your outing. For example, a camping trip where you freeze your tail off because you forgot the right clothes is memorable, but for all the wrong reasons.
You have to be an expert to enjoy camping.
Nope, one of the biggest camping myths! The preparation mentioned above does not mean that you have to be an expert to experience a great camp out. Just do your homework. Learn about the conditions at the location where you plan to stay.
Use one of the many good camping gear checklists found with a quick Google Search to determine what to take with you.
So, I need lots of expensive camping gear for my adventures to be successful.
Wrong! You just need the right gear. The inexpensive version of some items will work fine while for others things, investing money to get the right gear will make all the difference.
Check out 7 Pieces of Camping Gear Worth Every Penny and Cold Weather Camping Gear Worth Its Weight In Gold to see what I am talking about.
In state, national parks and forests, you can camp wherever you like.
Many parts of state and national parks and forests are open for camping, but not everywhere. It is always best to check things out ahead of time before pitching your tent.
Rain and camping don’t mix.
Wet weather and camping go together just fine under the right conditions. Common sense comes into play here.
Obviously you don’t want to go camping in the middle of a tropical storm or when severe thunderstorms are predicted. It can actually be relaxing though to lay in your tent and listen to the sound of a light steady rain.
Take a look at my 5 Don’t Miss Tips for Camping In the Rain for information on how to make it a fun rainy camping day. Also, take the time to learn what to do should severe weather sneak up on you. Scouting Magazine’s article Outdoor Smarts: Camping With an Eye to the Weather is a good quick read.
Camping means using the bathroom in the woods or in a primitive latrine.
Not necessarily! fFacilities or lack of depend on the type of campsite that you choose. Many drive up campsites offer flush, indoor toilet facilities. Hike in and back country campsites rarely have these type of facilities available. In today’s world,
it is certainly possible to camp and still experience some of the comforts of home. Just plan ahead.
Camping cuisine is limited to freeze dried meals and prepared snacks.
Having worked for a Boy Scout council for many years now, I can tell you that is definitely not true. When it comes to drive up and easy hike in camping, the meal possibilities are wide ranging. From spaghetti and chili to jambalaya, meals options are often just limited by camper tastes and how much cooking gear you to desire to schlep with you..
For back country camping, freeze dried meals or home prepared dehydrated and reheat are often a good option. They are lightweight and require minimal cooking gear to prepare.
Nobody needs to know how to use a compass now that GPS is on the scene.
This one is among the dangerous camping myths. Having a plan B when camping can literally save your life! What happens if you are in the back country, slip on a trail and your GPS takes a tumble down a ravine and is irretrievable? More likely, what if the batteries go kaput? You will be left to navigate your way back to your starting point without any assistance if you don’t have a compass that you know how to use.
Same goes for using GPS on a cell phone. Don’t assume that modern technology enables you to have a reliable signal wherever you go.
Heck, I have to stand in just the right place in a particular parking lot at our Scout camp to get a signal. And the camp is only located 15 minutes from town.
It is okay to store your toiletries in your tent with you.
Bears and raccoons are actually attracted to toothpaste and, in some cases, soap, lotions, and perfumes because of the strong scents. Keeping these items stored away from your tent in animal resistant containers is the smart thing to do.
The best way to get rid of trash in your campsite is to burn it.
Really not. Burning certain items can let off noxious fumes that aren’t good for humans or the animals that inhabit the area. The best thing to do if there are no garbage disposal facilities nearby is to carry your trash out with you. This takes some effort and space in your pack, but is definitely the most environmentally friendly option.
Dehydration is not much of a risk when winter camping.
Actually, sometimes it can be an even greater risk because it can sneak up on you easily in winter. You may not feel overheated and as thirsty in the cold weather as on a hot summer day. Often, you have to consciously remind your self to keep drinking water.
Mosquitoes can we repelled by a number a concoctions made at home.
Don’t I wish! I am a mosquito magnet, and have therefore tried lots of things to keep them away. Living in an area where the mosquito really should be named the state bird, I have had plenty of opportunity to experiment. I have also had the opportunity to speak to several mosquito control experts.
They recommend and bears true to my own experience that spray containing deet, picardin, lemon eucalyptus and a few other plant oils are most effective. The sprays with the higher concentrations of the these ingredients, unfortunately tend to be the more effective. I know, I don’t like having to spray more concentrated stuff on myself either! (I am not a physician and this is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your physician for her or his recommendations based on your particular needs. Certain repellents may not be right for you.)
Now that you know the truth about these 12 Often Heard Camping Myths, you can help spread the “correct” word.