Signing off and heading out on a weekend camping trip is one of the best ways to practice mindfulness, especially in the summer. But just because you’re in the woods doesn’t mean you’re automatically being mindful. To make the most of your time off the grid, you still want to consider all the details when planning, and find moments of calm to take in your surroundings and appreciate the present moment. Here are our camping tips to make the most of your adventure:
When it comes to food, bring only what you really need.
I love campsite cooking, so it can be really tempting to go completely overboard and plan an elaborate meal that calls for many ingredients and several dishes/utensils. While I’m all for a delicious meal at the end of a day spent exploring and hiking, I’ve learned that it’s often in your best interest to keep it simple—while still delicious. Camping is entirely unpredictable, so you never know how much time, space, or light you’ll have while preparing your meal. Keeping it easy and prepping as much in advance as possible will save you heartache, and planning a meal that uses as few dishes as possible saves water, time, and space in the car. My favorite meal is a combination of chicken sausage, potatoes, onions, other veggies, and cheese thrown in foil and cooked over the fire—with s’mores for dessert, obviously.
Leave nothing behind.
This should be obvious, but we always find litter even on the most out-there hikes and campsites. Packing out what you pack in not only keeps the earth more beautiful, but also protects wildlife and other hikers. Bringing only what you need and avoiding packaging-heavy products helps with this as well—the less you bring, the less you can leave behind!
Be smart about your campfire.
For me, it isn’t camping unless you have a campfire. That being said, especially with California’s current drought, it’s super important to be smart about your fire. Always follow the area’s rules about fires, keep a jug of water nearby and make sure the fire is completely out before heading back to the tent for the night—covering the coals with dirt is also a good technique. It can sometimes be tempting to burn sticks or grab wood from around you, but bringing your own wood is always a good idea—leave the spot as you found it!
Don’t be those people.
Nothing ruins a night of camping quicker than the sound of music blaring or people yelling across the campground. It’s fine to have a little music and to allow yourself to have fun, but keep the noise pollution to a minimum and keep in mind that most people go camping to enjoy a little peace + quiet.
Know when to put the camera away.
As photographers, we are constantly trying to capture the moment in a photo, especially when out in beautiful spot in nature. Some of my favorite photos are from a quiet morning making coffee on the campsite! But if you’re really trying to disconnect and spend a weekend getting back to the source, it’s important to know when to put the camera and phone away and just soak in your surroundings. Take a few photos of the sunrise, and then take the moment to sit back and just take it in.
Are you doing any camping this summer? Wishing you a happy 4th of July!