5 Camping Lessons... learned the hard way

I've been camping my whole life. But I've only been camping without my parents for the last couple of years. There is a lot of work that goes into making sure you are prepared to live in the woods. Over the past couple of years, I've made a lot of mistakes while camping. I'm hoping to share them today so that you will have a successful camping trip. 

1. If you have rain flaps on your tent, make sure they're closed. 
Seems simple enough right? Well as I found out just a couple weeks ago, you get busy cooking, playing games, or just having fun doing nature things and the last thing on your mind when it starts raining is closing the rain flaps on your tent. Basically, if it starts raining, go through a mental checklist of covering everything that you want to stay dry and be sure it's covered. 

2. Bring a can opener. 
A lot of camp friendly foods come from the can (pork and beans, spaghetti-os etc.), so make sure you throw in a can opener. The trip we forgot one, we used our GIANT chef knife to punch holes in the can. Very, very primitive. Also reminds me of the scene in Denis the Menace movie where the bad guy just stabs his can of pork and beans with a knife (anyone?) 

3. Bring soap and/or hand sanitizer. 
The last camping trip we went on with our couple friends we remembered Dawn dish soap but none of us brought hand sanitizer or hand soap. My friend and I are both nurses; that fact alone clues you into the fact that we're the type of nurses who aren't germaphobes. I'm pretty sure I don't even own any hand sanitizer at all. 

4. Don't forget the bug spray! 
We've forgotten this on multiple occasions and for some reason, we still haven't learned our lesson. So we just cover every square inch of our body in clothes, or the friends we meet always seem to come to the rescue with their giant can of OFF! 

5. If you're camping in a popular area, reserve a spot ahead of time. 
Otherwise, you might spend five hours driving around trying to find a vacant campsite, and get so desperate that you think about renting a hotel room in the nearest town. This is a hypothetical piece of advice of course. 

I'm sure I'll learn plenty of other things the hard way in the years to come. My Mom has perfected the art of camping and I have years before I master it myself. 

Have you had any mishaps while camping that the rest of us can learn from?? 
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