From the almost impossibly vast, cold, and stunning landscapes of Wrangell St. Elias National Park in Alaska, to the scorched, postapocalyptic vistas of Death Valley National Park in California, no other nation in the world offers more variety in outdoor adventure than the United States. There are thousands of hiking and trekking trails spread across and around lakes, rivers, bays, deserts, hills, mountains, marshlands, forests, and just about every other kind of terrain you can imagine.
Before you go out to explore any of those options, do note that preparation is essential. In fact, preparation is often what separates a great adventure from a harrowing experience. As suggested by expert outdoorsmen and rangers, here are three tips to help balance adventure and safety on your next camping trip.
Prepare Your Backpack with the Essentials for Every Adventure
You will need certain items such as knives, compasses, first aid kits, ropes, flashlights, sleeping bags, weatherproof lighters, MREs and water filtration/purification devices on every adventure, irrespective of the location. Always make sure that each of the essentials are in your backpack, even before you step out of your home for the big adventure.
Paracord is lighter and stronger than rope, while flashlights with solar panels assure illumination even after you run out of batteries. As for the utility knives, check this uniquely designed, folding Karambit for sale. Bottles with inbuilt water filters and replaceable cartridges are easy to come by these days, but you can also use a UV water-disinfecting light.
Research the Location
A simple Google search will not be enough here, although that can certainly help. Visit the National Park Services website and contact the officials for specific information about the location. Your questions should focus on at least the following key aspects:
Opening and closing schedules: Most National Parks and the locations managed by NPS do not stay open throughout the year. Be sure that your planned destination is indeed open, before planning the trip.
Weather: The weather can be quite unpredictable out there, so ask the officials regarding what to expect, how to prepare for it, and what kind of clothing and equipment you should bring. Also, check the local weather perditions online.
Probable dangers: Landslides, forest fires, animal attacks, floods, storms, and blizzards are just a few of the potential dangers that unprepared campers are likely to encounter. Ask the ranger’s office about potential dangers and they will provide you with more information regarding how to avoid them, if necessary.
Bring Tools and Equipment Specific to the Location
All that research you did to find out about your next destination will act as your guide here. Other than the essentials already mentioned, you’ll want to prepare separately for each adventure. For example, you will always need a flashlight to see at night while camping, but you will only need wind-resistant, insulated tents if snow and wind are to be expected.
As a final tip, it is highly recommended that you register with the concerned location’s park officials before heading out. If you are lost, or if anyone is injured, they will know to come looking for you, past a certain period.