The long days make summer an ideal time of year for a camping expedition. Before packing up, consider the following ways to make the most of your trip.
• Stargaze: Urban and suburban living can interfere with your stargazing potential. Take advantage of your remote location, away from clusters of light pollution to see the stars at their most vibrant. Check the weather in advance and try to pick a weekend with a good chance of clear skies. You may also want to bring along a telescope to help you pick out constellations, falling stars, planets and more. Remember, campsites are often densely forested, so before night falls, scope out a clearing where you can set up shop for optimal nighttime viewing.
• Use tech support: Get equipped with technology that can support your outdoor adventure even when you are offline or out-of-range of mobile device radio wave transmissions. For example, Casio's WSD-F30 Pro Trek Smart Outdoor Watch features a compass, as well as offline map usage capability, helping you navigate the trail. Map data downloading is handled through MapBox, a supplier of map data for countries worldwide. Featuring apps that support hiking, fishing, cycling and more, this water-resistant, durable watch will be a useful tool, no matter what activities your camping trip includes.
• Think in extremes: When preparing to spend time outdoors in summer, you may not think much about strategies for staying warm, but many locations can get quite chilly at night. Since the bulk of the time you'll be spending in your sleeping bag and tent is after the sun's gone down and temperatures take a nose dive, it's important to ensure these items are designed to keep you comfortable in the chilliest temperatures you expect to encounter. Likewise, you will probably do most of your hiking, kayaking and other active pastimes during the hotter parts of the day. Be sure you pack equipment and clothing for both of these extremes.
• Get there early: Some sites have a first-come, first-served policy, making an early arrival a necessity. However, even if you reserve a site in advance, you'll still want to make good time and get there before sunset. This can help ensure you get a good lay of the land so that you can pitch your tent on level ground that's free of extraneous debris which will make sleeping uncomfortable. It's also a good way to ensure you get all your items unpacked and organized so you know where everything is. Finally, if you only have a couple nights to camp, you don't want to miss even one spectacular sunset stuck in traffic.
With a few strategies and tools, you can make your next foray into the great outdoors your greatest one yet.