Everyone is concerned about their homes and their security while they are on the road and it is no different for someone who is planning to go on a camping trip. It goes without saying that people find the threat of someone breaking into their house to be very disconcerting. There are other cases of concern such as having a pipe freeze or failing heat system, which you won’t know about until you get back from a long camping trip.
Anything could go wrong in your home while you are gone, especially, if you don’t leave someone to look over your home. While you are gone, did you remember to do certain things such as locking the sliding door, turning off the gas, taking out the trash, and a bunch of other things that you do on a daily basis? Once you put some planning into your camping trip, writing things down and executing them, you should fare better. Prevention is better than the cure and it will make your trip less worrying and more relaxing. In this article, we will address some of the concerns you may have and give you some recommendations and instructions on what to do.
Securing the Home
While you are gone from your home; whether on a long trip or short trip, it is still important to secure the home as best as you can, especially, if it will be unoccupied for long periods at a time. Maybe, the most important thing to do as it relates to preparation and planning is to ensure that the home has the security alarm system on. Make sure that the front door and back door are locked. Secure the garage door and any other entryway into your home. If you have deadbolt locks, use those too for added security. Lastly, be sure that every window in your house is securely locked and curtains or blinds drawn.
If you have a garage door that operates electronically, with an opener scanner, thieves could be able to get in. To defeat that purpose, it is best that you disconnect your garage door system and manually lock the garage door instead. While you are away, be sure that the door opener for the garage is unplugged. As a matter of fact, it would be best to remove all door openers for your garage. If you have a luxury vehicle, it would be recommended that you park it at a family member’s home where it can be watched. Inform your neighbors that you are going on an extended camping trip and that you are kindly asking if they could give an eye on your home.
The House Keys
Make sure that you don’t keep the house keys hidden under a mat outside the door, in a land clearing, under a potted plant, or under a rock, because thieves know the places to look for your keys. They have all the tricks in the book and you might be leaving yourself vulnerable to theft. It would be best to take an extra house key with you and leave the main one with a family member or trusted neighbor.
Empty and Clean the Refrigerator
Empty out your refrigerator of every cooked meal or they will spoil and smell. Once you empty out the refrigerator, go through and clean it. Trash everything that is useless and then empty the trash. If there is any food item that can be frozen, then put those in the freezer. Unplug the refrigerator, if you don’t want to leave anything inside.
If you own dogs or cats or any other pet such as a rabbit, and you are going on an extended trip, there are a few suggestions:
• Leave the pet with a family member or neighbor
• Drop the pet off at an animal clinic
• Hire a pet sitter
• Take your pet along with you
Ask the Police for Help
It wouldn’t be too much to go to the police station and let them know that you won’t be at home for a long time. Most neighborhood police stations will assign a cop in the area to drive by on a daily basis. It depends on the relationship that you have with the police, but for the most part, the police supervise various areas of the community regardless.
If you live very close to your neighbor’s house, it would be advised that you ask them to park one of their vehicles (if they have more than one) in your garage to make it seem as if you are home. If you leave the keys with your neighbor, you should ask if they could do a weekly walk-through to make sure everything is OK, especially in extreme or bad weather. When they do the walk-through, ask if they could pick up delivered packages for you. If you have an outdoor garden or potted plants, it is also suggested that you ask your neighbor or a family member to water them for you while you are away.
Securing Your Mail and Bill Paying
Ask the neighbor to ensure that if the electricity went out in the area, check if the alarm came back on. If your mailbox is in front of your home, ask your neighbor to collect your mail on a daily basis for you. You also have the option of renting a mailbox at one of the local data center services and have your mail redirected to the rented mailbox so you can pick up your mail when you get back from your trip. If you are going to be staying on your camping trip for more than three months, it is best that you forward your mail to a secure location or to a USPS mailbox that you can access while you are on your trip. Set up bill paying online or with your bank so that you don’t miss any payments.
Using A Recreational Vehicle
If you are going to use a recreational vehicle or RV to go on your camping trip, be sure that you have RV insurance for the proper coverage on the road. If you don’t own an RV, but you are renting one, it still important to have rv insurance. Be sure that the vehicle is in optimum shape, even if you have to consult with a fuel storage tank repair service or auto shop to do a quick overview. Bring items for your comfort because for the majority of the time before you get to the camping grounds, you will be sleeping in your camper. So bring pillows, blankets, and toiletries. You may have to dock somewhere along the road to rest for a while and get some sleep.
Things to Bring
Make a list of all the things that you will need to pack for your long camping trip. These would probably include:
• Sleeping bags
• Camping gear
• First aid kit, if you suffer from existing knee pain or any other injuries while on the trip
• Bug spray for spider control
• Water bottles
• Raincoat, poncho, and rain boots
• Hiking gear
• Garbage bags
• Sewing kit
• Hand sanitizer
• Face masks
Before the trip, take out camping gear you have used before to make sure that they are all in good working condition. Inspect your tents carefully to see if there are any holes for stitching or decide if you have to buy new tents. If you don’t have any of the items or materials listed below, make sure you add them to your list of purchases.
Sunscreen and Bug Spray
In the wilds, you may have to contend with bugs. Don’t forget your bug spray as well as sunscreen, lip balm, ibuprofen, Benadryl, and anything that will help against bug bites and stings. A hat and sunglasses are not enough to keep you protected from the sun. Sunscreen is essential whenever you have to spend long hours outdoors.
A week or more before your trip, take out your tent and air it out because it could be musty and smelly. Take it outdoors and open it up in the shaded area of your yard. Set up the tent a few days prior to the trip to ensure that it is in good working condition. Buy waterproofing spray to take with you and to use on the tent and your backpack. The tent is an important commodity for a successful camping trip and so, you don’t want to be caught by surprise when you get to the camping ground that your tent has holes in it.
Enjoying Your Pastime
Depending on where you will be camping and if you love to hunt, you may also want to bring your guns. If you forgot your guns, you could find a gun shop nearby to purchase them. Or, if you are not going to be involved in hunting, but you still want to enjoy your pastime, you could consider going to one of the indoor shooting ranges in the area.
No matter where you are going, it is important to check the weather forecast on the way to your destination and at your destination. Of course, sometimes, the weather forecast is never 100% accurate, but it is still better to have an idea of what you may encounter along the way. This is part of the preparation process. You should always prepare for the worst forecast, which means, you should bring all rain or storm gear; just in case. Bring sweaters that will protect you from temperature drops at night.
Bring a Map and Compass
Include a compass into your list of things to bring as well as a map. If you happen to end up in the wilderness while camping, then you can find your way easily back to the main campsite. No one wants to be lost in the woods. You should also consider bringing a GPS for when you are traveling to the campsite. It could also help you while you are out in the wilderness. You should always be equipped with a backup.
The Park Rules
Most people camp in national or state parks. However, these parks all have their specific rules; some stricter than others. It is helpful if you could call ahead or research online to get a list of rules that campers have to follow. In some cases, a park may not allow camping while others will allow you to use a hammock in certain zones. In addition, some parks may not want you to light a campfire or pitch a tent in specific areas. At some parks, you may not be able to take the leash off your dog and then there are camps that do not allow pets at all. You may also encounter parks that have hiking trails, which you cannot access. If you are not allowed to have a campfire for cooking a meal and you can use a small propane stove, which would be your backup and that is why it is important to know the rules ahead of time.
Hiking the Trail
If you plan to go hiking, you must have the right gear and clothing including a backpack, good pair of pants; lightweight and breathable. Avoid wearing jeans. You should bring a pair of comfy shoes and socks. A hat and sunglasses are also useful for protection against the sun. You should also consider layers, especially, if it gets cold at night while camping.
Use these tips to plan ahead for your long camping trip so you can be prepared and not forget anything back home. You will have a better trip when you have everything you need. If this is your first camping trip, it goes without saying that you should follow these instructions and directions. Even if you are a frequent camper, you may forget essential items and things to do, if you have not planned ahead. You want to have peace of mind; knowing that your home is protected and you have what you need for an enjoyable and adventurous trip.