After delivering to Gander Mountain, a camping and hunting store in Fayetteville, NC, we felt like we could use a trip outdoors. Now that the weather is finally warmer, camping would be a great retreat. However, novice campers may not know what to bring — or expect. We’ve compiled some of our best summer camping tips for just that reason.

Early summer can be unpredictable, so here’s what you need to know to be prepared for anything:

 1. Pack Clothes from the Head Down. It’s easy to make sure you have everything you need when moving from the top downward. Pack items such as hats and sunglasses, then t-shirts and sweatshirts, and work your way down until you reach socks and hiking boots.

2. Keep the Tent Cool. In the early stages of Summer, some days are chilly while others are scorching hot. On the hotter days, keeping cool and comfortable becomes an issue. Make sure you pitch your tent in a shady area and sleep with a bed sheet under your sleeping bag. This will really help.

3. Be Prepared for Rain. You’ll probably have the foresight to bring along rain gear like coats and tarps. However, it’s also a great idea to bring along a bunch of plastic bags. These will help to keep your important personal items like phones, money, and even food dry from the rain too.

4. Keep the Bugs Away. Summertime bugs are so pesky, especially when you’re sleeping outdoors. In addition to spraying, there are some things you can do to limit your insect interaction. Only use light inside your tent when it is fully zipped and keep the campfire going whenever possible. Some campers also hang onions and garlic to ward off creepy crawlers.

5. Choose Ready-Made. Although it may seem less authentic, ready-made foods are easiest for transportation and preparation at a campsite. Granola bars, hot dogs, and canned beans will ensure your group receives decent meals and plenty of energy, without all the hassle involved in a four course meal prepared in the heat. Of course, no camping trip is complete without marshmallows and graham crackers.

What did we miss? Let us know!

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