A comfortable sleeping pad is one of the best pieces of camping gear you can have in your tent. Not only will your sleeping pad provide much-needed cushioning when you’re sleeping on the ground, it will also help keep you warm when the weather gets chilly. But which type is right for you?
As their name implies, air pads need to be inflated, either with your breath or with a hand pump.
Pros: Air pads are great for backpacking trips because they’re very lightweight and comfortable.
Cons: The lighter and more compact the air pad, the more expensive it tends to be. They can also deflate somewhat during the night, and are prone to rips and tears.
Self-inflating sleeping pads combine open-cell foam insulation and air. Some are foldable and designed for backpacking trips, whereas others roll up, and are best for car camping trips.
Pros: Self-inflating pads offer excellent insulation and make it easy to adjust the firmness by releasing or adding air. They’re also made of stronger fabric than air pads, which makes them a good choice if you’re traveling with pets or children.
Cons: Self-inflating pads are less compact than air pads, and heavier than simple foam pads.
Closed-Cell Foam Pads
These basic backpacking pads are made of dense foam.
Pros: You can carry them outside your pack without fear of damage, since they aren’t prone to punctures or damage. They also offer good insulation.
Cons: Many campers find foam pads to be the least comfortable type. They also tend to be stiff and bulky.
Ready to enjoy a relaxing camping trip by the shores of the Suwannee River? Give us a call or contact us online to book your next trip today!
Your backpack can make or break a day of hiking. Choose the wrong backpack, and a light load can feel like a ton of bricks. Choose the right one, and you’ll feel like you’re barely carrying anything at all. Here’s how to fit a new hiking backpack:
Pay Attention to Length, not Height
Don’t choose a backpack exclusively based on your height—the length of your torso is a far more important measurement. Use this helpful guide and a friend to properly measure your torso, or visit a local outfitter to get an accurate measurement.
Measure Your Hips
Once you’ve gotten your torso measurement, it’s time to measure your hips. You’ll be carrying most of the load on your hips with a well-fitting backpack, so this is an important measurement to consider. Use a tape measure to determine the circumference of your hips, and check the bag’s hip belt size to ensure it’s a good fit. If not, many manufacturers offer interchangeable hip belt options to accommodate different body types.
Adjust the Straps
Ideally, your shoulder straps should be flush with your shoulders and upper back. If there’s too much space between the bag’s straps and your shoulders, you’ll need to shorten the suspension or try a shorter model. You can also adjust the load straps on the top section of the backpack to keep the weight evenly balanced over your hips.
Ready to load up your new backpack and do some hiking this summer? We’d love to see you on the campgrounds at Suwannee River Rendezvous! Book your campsite online or give us a call today at (386) 294-2510 to learn more!
Getting ready to hit the road for your next camping trip? Before you leave home, you’ll need to pack up everything you want to bring along with you for the journey. From weather-resistant clothing to food for your fellow campers, you don’t want to leave any necessities behind. Here are a few tips to make the packing process seem a little less daunting.
Roll clothes to save space.
Clothing can take up a surprising amount of space if you don’t pack it efficiently. To make the most of your available space, roll your clothes into tight cylinders so that everything can fit in a single backpack or suitcase.
Map out your menu.
Trying to decide what you’re going to eat during your trip? Put together a menu in advance so that you know exactly which foods you’ll need to bring. This way, you can consolidate all your food in one place and avoid having to pick up odds and ends along the way.
Bring plenty of plastic bags.
Camping can be a messy enterprise, and it’s always nice to have a place to store dirty clothes and other belongings. Plastic grocery bags can be used to safely store a wide variety of items during your camping trip, from muddy shoes to empty snack wrappers. Just be sure to take any plastic bags you bring home with you at the end of your trip.
Remember a first-aid kit.
Finally, it’s important to be prepared for any scrapes, bruises and bug bites you might sustain along the way. A simple first aid kit is an essential camping accessory that won’t take up much room in your vehicle. Keep your camping first aid kit in an easily-accessible place where you can always find it such as a glove box or map pocket.
Has your family’s old tent seen better days? If so, you should consider replacing it with a new tent that will get you excited about camping again. Today’s tents are lighter, more durable and easier to set up than ever.
Check out a few tips for finding a tent that’s right for you below!
Look for a tent that’s large enough to meet your needs.
Are you looking for a tent that’s just large enough for you, or will your entire family be sleeping inside the tent with you? Tent manufacturers tend to be pretty conservative in their capacity estimates, so it’s typically best to err on the side of caution and choose a tent that’s slightly larger than what you think you need. This is especially true for tall people.
If it’s just going to be you and one other person in the tent, for example, consider shopping for a three-person tent to make sure you have enough room for you and all your gear.
Consider the materials and construction.
A tent’s construction will affect its waterproofing and its ability to protect you in extreme weather conditions. In general, it’s a good idea to look for a tent that has a combination of double stitching and folded seems. A tent with these two features will be far less prone to tearing and leaking during rainstorms.
You should also pay close attention to the seasons that the tent is rated for. Three-season tents—which are designed for use in the spring, summer and fall—are probably the most popular and cost-effective option for most campers. Four-season tents are ideal for camping in cold climates, but they are heavier and more expensive than what most weekend campers need, especially here in Florida.
Make sure the zippers are built to last.
During a camping trip, you’ll probably be moving in and out of your tent quite a bit. With this in mind, you should look for a tent that has rugged, heavy-duty zippers that won’t break after just a few camping trips. There’s nothing worse than trying to fix a broken tent zipper in the middle of a camping trip.
Ready to put your new tent to good use? We’d love to have you join us here on the beautiful Suwannee River! Just give us a call or contact us online to reserve your campsite today!
Is there someone in your life who loves to go camping? If so, there are plenty of great gifts to consider this holiday season. To help get you started, we put together a few of our favorite gifts for camping enthusiasts. Check them out below.
Cooking on a campfire certainly has its charms, but it’s not always a practical option. That’s why a good camping stove is nearly essential for overnight backpacking trips. This compact stove from MSR, for example, is small enough to fit in a cargo pocket, but powerful enough to boil water in under 4 minutes.
It’s not always easy to find a comfortable place to rest when you’re out in the wilderness, so a camping hammock is a great accessory to keep in your pack. Just anchor one of these lightweight, portable hammocks to two trees and you’ve got a comfortable place to take a nap and watch the world go by.
It’s always a good idea to have one of these on hand when camping in remote areas. In the past, you may have had to purchase water purification tablets. Nowadays, however, you can find hand-operated pumps that filter water without chemicals. With one of these handy tools, you can always find potable water at the nearest stream.