Expect the best, prepare for the worst—this should be your mentality for camping trips.
You plan for weeks, pick out the perfect campsite and scope out a few hikes. But when something goes wrong, it can ruin your trip. With proper planning, however, you can avoid potential mistakes and problems.
You Forget Something Important
It's not a total downer if you forget your breakfast food or an extra flashlight. If you forget your tent or sleeping bag, however, it could be a disastrous mistake.
How to Avoid: Print a camping checklist so you don't forget anything, especially the most important items.
More: Camping Checklists
Whether it's early in the morning, late at night or all day long, loud neighbors can put a serious damper on your trip.
How to Avoid: Practice good etiquette at the campground. If the arguing doesn't stop after the first day, politely speak with the group and request that they keep the noise down. If that doesn't work, talk with the manager. If nothing is fixed, you may be able to move to a new campsite.
An Animal Eats Your Food
With typically few restaurants around, the food you bring is all you have from morning to night. If an animal eats it, your camping trip can take a turn for the worst.
How to Avoid: Always lock your food up at night, or use a lock box provided by the campground.
You Get Lost
Few things are worse than the feeling you get when you know you're lost. The trees don't look the same, the sun is falling in the sky, and you don't have enough food or water to last all night.
How to Avoid: Never leave for a hike without a map, compass and at least one cell phone. If you have service, you can call the campground and ask for help. If you don't, use your other tools to get back.