Although it has been a year full of surprises, I feel like we are finally beyond the cold. Although early summer camping can be a bit unpredictable weather-wise; missing out on mosquitos, muggy weather, and crowded campsites makes for a great time spent outdoors.

When you begin planning your camping trip, you first need to choose a location. In Michigan, the farther north, the better. Online reservations can be made with ease and plenty of maps and reviews are available. Usually, I look for a site close to a body of water for recreational purposes. However, it’s important to always stay higher than the water and keep a safe enough distance. I also try to stay away from any restrooms, dumpsters, or other noisy areas like the park entrance/exit.

You should always pack a rain cover or tarp for your tent. Whether you stay inside it most of the time (I hope not) or barely go inside of it, you’re going to want to somehow contain the mess. I like to place a trash bag at the entrance of my tent to keep dirt, water, and other things contained. When you’re breaking everything down at the end of your trip you can easily wrap up your bag and dispose or recycle it.

If you’re into hiking, you know that more layers are better than less, so you should have a decent sized day-pack to hold your belongings. Things like a first-aid kit, water, food, a lighter, and a flashlight should be inside of it. Make a checklist for these types of items, it can come in handy.

Pack enough food to be comfortable. Do you really need three coolers and the extra pillow? No. It is best to plan out your meals before-hand, so you waste as little as possible and absorb the most nutrients. I like bananas, trail-mix and bagels for breakfast and snacks because they are easy to consume. Chili, stir-fry’s, and soups are usually the bigger meals that I prepare.

Roughing it out in the wilderness can make you feel great. I highly recommend taking at least a weekend this summer and enjoying it in the woods with friends or family. There are even some netlogx team members on the Wellness Committee who enjoy participating in these types of activities! If you’re interested, contact me and I will provide some more information.