Camping gives you a chance to be with nature, but do you have the right materials to survive in the Wild? Having the right materials and things will give you a better experience with nature along with your peers, friends, and families. I had a chance to go to Skykomish Ranger District located in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest for a 5-day service-learning and environmental education trip. I was there with the Wilderness inner-City Leadership Development (WILD) to do some trail work, remove invasive weeds, and repair a fire lookout. I was very excited for the trip and the whole process of getting ready for the trip including packing and shopping was very fun.

I often hear people complain that they do not know what to bring for a camping trip or wondering if they are over-packing. First, you need to make a checklist of what to bring, because it will help you organize and make your trip less stressful. Do not pack at the last minute, because the majority of time, you will forget something. This happened so many of my friends and me. Secondly, you should start thinking about your personal supplies and needs, since you will be out of your comfort zone and away from home. Thirdly, if you are going on a trip by yourself then you should prepare or decide what kind of food that you will need to bring. I recommend buying food that is weight concentrated and easy to cook once you are in the outdoors. Fourth, you can start shopping for essential camping materials including bug spray (to keep away the bugs) , baby wipes (for cleaning yourself), a whistle (for emergency calls for help), a flashlight (to use at night time), a compass (in case you get lost), toilet paper (a must ; just make sure to dispose them the proper way), a backpack (to carry your things while you hike), a sleeping bag and tent, sunscreen (say ‘no’ to sunburn), and a digital camera (to capture fun moments and the beauty of nature). More information about the “Ten Essentials” can be found at: HYPERLINK “http://www.fs.fed.us” http://www.fs.fed.us. All of these materials can be found at Target (my favorite) or Wal-mart or any local drugstore. My tip when it comes to shopping is to buy products that are two in one. For example, a product with bug spray and sunscreen will save you money and time to apply. Lastly, I know that this is hard to do, but try to limit bringing electronic devices like your cell phone or electronic games. Most people these days cannot live without their cell phones, but without all of that, I guarantee that you will have more time enjoying nature and be able to relax with whoever you going on a trip without the distractions.

These steps seem small but they are very important. They offer a whole lot of benefit for your trip. I learned this lesson after my very first camping trip. Some may say that preparing can be boring but I say getting ready for the trip is just so exciting. So know what to bring and be ready to create unforgettable memories for your trip.

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