Camping… Kinda: A Handy Guide to Backyard Survival
Camping has been a favorite pastime of many people for decades, harkening back to childhood outings and adventures. Do you miss those simple evenings as a kid? Sitting around a bonfire and roasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories before tucking into a sleeping bad and sleeping under the night sky?
Well, being busy can get in the way, but it doesn’t have to prevent you from enjoying the great outdoors. After all, if you’ve got a backyard, you have a built-in campground that you can use any time of year. And as we settle in to fall, it’s a great time to think about how you can maximize your experience without caving and heading back inside.
Check The Weather
One of the best (and most obvious) ways to ensure that you’ll have a great home-camping experience is to check the forecast before you pitch the tent. The great thing about camping in the backyard is that there are no deposits or reservations – so you don’t have to stubbornly insist on sleeping outside if the weather isn’t cooperating.
And of course, inclement weather isn’t necessarily a disqualifier for an evening out in the yard. If you’re getting ready for a bigger expedition, for example, you can’t necessarily count on the weather to be on your side every time. So dealing with less-than-favorable conditions with your home as a backup can be a great way to practice preparing for undesirable weather, without all the hassle of traveling to set up camp somewhere else.
Don’t Forget Your Layers
When it comes to camping advice – or words of wisdom for any outdoor activity, really – layering takes the cake (no pun intended). Especially in late fall, winter, and early spring, when things tend to be on the cooler side, having layers that you can put on and take off will go a long way toward keeping you comfortable.
Just make sure that if rain is in the forecast that you have enough extra clothing to replace all your layers – not just the top set. After all, if rain soaks through, you’ll still be chilly (and risking hypothermia) if you hang out in the cold and damp.
Bring The Right Gear
Making sure you have the appropriate equipment for your camping adventure is critical to ensuring an enjoyable (and safe) experience. A cold-weather sleeping bag can make all the difference in the world – compared to a lighter, warm-weather sleeping bag, gear that is rated for freezing temperatures will keep you a lot warmer all through the night, allowing you to sleep better and wake up refreshed.
Additionally, ground pads are critical – even in the backyard. Your body calibrates its temperature based on the surrounding environment, and a barrier between you and the ground can mean the difference between a good night’s sleep and a late night effort to warm back up.