Tips for Campers

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Written by bike posted on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

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Camping in Colorado can be a fun way to make memories with your family and friends, but can sometimes turn to disaster if you’re not prepared. Weather can turn, items can be accidentally left at home and other campers can confront you if you’re not following the rules.

A couple plans their next adventure on a camping trip near a high-mountain lake in southwest Colorado. (Colorado Tourism Office)

Read here for a few Rockies.com tips and you’ll be sure to avoid all those faux pas, lapses in judgment and other easily prevented trip-ruiners on your next camping excursion.
Checklist
Prepare a list of supplies that you will need during your trip. Don’t forget items like patches for your air mattress, a hammer for driving your tent’s stakes and trash bags to carry everything (and we mean everything) out with you. Check your list twice before leaving home. Forget your socks or sleeping bag and your whole trip will be a wash! Home is also a good place to check that all your gear is working correctly and the tent doesn’t have any holes. Read here for an example checklist.
Courtesy
Be aware of other campers during your trip. Most hit the sack early so they can start their day’s excursions early, so don’t have a loud party. Also, be courteous of each campsites boundries. It’s a scary and rude thing to wake up because someone is stomping by your head right through your camp.
Campfire Etiquette
Bring water to your campsite with you and have some close to the fire in case it gets out of hand. Make your fire the right size- just a little fire makes a lot of light and enough heat to cook your dinner. When you leave camp make sure it is completely extinguished by dousing it liberally with water, so as not to endanger yourself, your fellow campers and all the surrounding wildlife. Also, pitch your tent far from the campfire. A slight breeze could bring unwelcome and destructive embers into/onto your tent!
Local Regulations
Colorado is full of beautiful parks, each with different rules and regulations. Check before your trip and ask park rangers if questions arise during your camping trip.
Prepare For Adverse Weather
Camping, especially in the mountains, can become anything from uncomfortable to dangerous if you’re not prepared for what Mother Nature can deal you. Rain is a common afternoon event in the early summers in Colorado, so bring ponchos and plastic covers for your extra clothes, bedding phones and cameras. If you’re going in the spring or fall, be aware that temperatures may drop quickly and snow is a real possibility. Heat can surprise campers as well, so bring lots of water. Keep the weather in mind when you’re placing your tent. Choose an elevated portion of the campsite so that your tent doesn’t get flooded in case of rain. And if all else fails, keep a list of nearby hotels in your pocket.
Just In Case
Let someone in your circle back home know about your trip. It’s a simple step, but could potentially save your life. Tell them where you’re going and when you expect to get back. Include the names of everybody that’s going and the vehicle you’re driving. Also, provide a cell phone number for emergencies.

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