A Guide To Camping Season
If you’re one of the over 40 million people going camping this year, you know a lot of planning goes into getting ready to head outdoors. In honor of national camping month, we’ve assembled some of our favorite tips to help make your summer campout stress-free, fun and healthy, too!
Camping Meals Made Easy
While we all can agree that nothing says camping like s’mores, there are plenty of healthy and tasty options to the traditional camping diet. For example, don’t be afraid to go lighter on the chips and heavier on the veggies, because grilling over the campfire infuses even the blandest vegetable with flavor while bringing out its natural sweetness. As an alternative to tortilla chips, raw vegetables can also be paired with hummus or guacamole.
Even healthy and hearty breakfasts can be a snap. For make-ahead breakfast parfaits, just layer yogurt, fresh fruit and granola into individual jars that can be stored in the cooler. You can make breakfast burritos ahead of time with eggs, spinach, cheese and any of your other favorite ingredients. Simply wrap in tin foil and freeze. Pack them in the cooler with ice, and they’re ready to throw on the campfire.
Seasoned campers recommend planning your menu, meal by meal and prepping meals before you hit the road. Not only will your cooler be stocked with fresh, less-processed foods, but you’ll also cut down on the time you’ll have to spend cooking and cleaning up.
Handy Camping Hacks
Whether you’re a camping novice or seasoned pro, having a few tricks at the ready can help make the camping experience even more enjoyable. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Freeze gallon jugs of water and put them in your cooler — it’ll keep your food cold, and you’ll have plenty of water to drink for later.
- Pack foam floor tiles for a softer, more comfortable tent floor – you’ll enjoy a healthy night’s sleep and have more energy for the day’s activities.
- Bring microfiber towels — they’re super absorbent, lightweight and less wasteful than paper towels.
- Make travel coffee bags — simply place a scoop of coffee grounds into a coffee filter and tie it up with dental floss. When you’re ready to brew, just make it like you would make tea in a teabag.
- Have sage bundles on hand to help deter mosquitos. Set a bundle over the hot coals, and the smoke acts a natural insect repellant.
Want more? Check out these 13 clever camping hacks.
Work in a Workout while camping
For some, camping trips include physical activities like backpacking, canoeing and swimming. For others, it’s a time of relaxation — lying in a hammock and sitting in front of the campfire. Whichever tack you take, there are a few things you can do to help keep sore muscles at bay after a long hike, as well as sneak in some exercise for those planning to spend a lot of time with their feet up.
If you’re planning to hike more than usual, many trail experts recommend taking shorter hikes before your trip, in addition to walking on both flat and hilly terrain. Regular stretches and balance exercises will also help train your muscles in advance and cut down on soreness. You can find more tips for getting hike-ready here.
On the other hand, if you’re looking forward to this time off the grid and keeping the recreating to a minimum, there are some quick and easy exercises you can do to balance your downtime with keeping your body healthy and heart happy.
Squats, pushups and planks are three simple exercises you can do anywhere using your own bodyweight. These three easy moves are favorites of BowFlex fitness advisor Tom Holland because they are extremely effective, can be done quickly and don’t require equipment.
Arming yourself with a few tips and tricks, and by doing some advance planning goes a long way to ensure a fun and stress-free camping experience. So, grab your tent and sleeping bags, and head outdoors!
Check back throughout the month for more tips and advice for boosting your energy naturally, and getting in shape for the next wedding on your calendar.