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Your great outdoor adventure starts inside

Ah, summer in the great outdoors. It's that time of year to bust out the tent, fishing poles, s'mores supplies, and more and motor toward the campground. For an outing to remember, what you do before you shove off matters most.

Spontaneity has its place in many trips — maybe not so much in camping prep.

Packing what you need, from a worthy tent to mission-critical cooking utensils relieves the pressure. The fun at your next excursion starts in the planning stages!

1. THE PITCH FOR A TENT
Hard-core survivalists can skip this step. The rest of you, read on: You'll need a tent for shelter and home base. But what kind? For solo camping, a small, simple design is fine. But if you’re sharing a tent, what if your campmate tosses and turns? Is taller than you? And what about your dog?

Be sure you have enough space for everyone to be able to rest — and all the accessories that can help make that happen.

PRO TIP: Do a dry run at home if you're in a new tent. Get familiar with setup in the light of day. Speaking of daylight: Arrive at your spot while there’s still plenty of daylight; first-time tent setup is not the kind of challenge that bonds a family in most cases.

2. A GOOD NIGHT’S REST, IN THE BAG
Unless you don't care about sleeping warm, dry, and comfortable, you'll want to zip up in a good sleeping bag. (Or for the most adventuresome, a hammock!)

PRO TIP: A bottle of warm water tucked in the bottom of your sleeping bag can keep your feet toasty all night. You could also stuff the bottom of the bag with clothing for a similar effect.

3. IT'S NOT BAD TO BRING A PAD
Depending on your surroundings and comfort tolerance, a sleeping pad could be your favorite find. Even with a tent and sleeping bag, a pad can deliver good comfort. Plus, sleeping on hard ground can wrench your back and make tomorrow's hike a practice in pain management.

PRO TIP: A cot will get you up off the ground if you have room in the tent for one. That's especially good for camping in rainy conditions.

4. BE KEEN ON CAMPFIRE CUISINE
Camping food prep is a whole thing. In a warm environment, cool food such as sandwiches will be a hit. If you’re facing chilly nights, a warm dinner (and dessert) can induce happiness.

Cook what you can beforehand. Easy-to-reheat meals are best because you can’t bring the kitchen with you. A portable stovetop is all you need, plus a portable table for meal prep. Just keep things … portable.

PRO TIP: Don't feed animals, especially on accident. Know what critters inhabit your campground. Keep food at a safe distance from where you sleep. Scavengers don't ask first — they just help themselves!

5. SIT A SPELL
No one talks about standing around the campfire. A picnic table nearby is nice, but your own camping chair can be like a royal throne of comfort. Shouldn't camping be comfortable?

PRO TIP: Hammocks are perfect, especially for an afternoon nap.

6. BEWARE THE BUGS
They're not called pests for nothing. Bugs love camping as much as we do, especially in humid conditions. Safeguard against stings and bites: use both individual bug spray and repellent to cover the camp.

PRO TIP: Bugs hate the smell of certain foods. Citrus (lemon and orange especially), garlic, and onion bother the winged nuisances. Keep them around. (The foods, not the bugs.)

7. PACK LIGHT(S)
Even your scout training gets tested when you have to navigate the woods under the cover of night. Whether it's to find your way back to civilization or to the bathhouse, shed a little light on the matter. Flashlights and lanterns become your beacons when the campfire dies out.

PRO TIP: Place a translucent full water bottle on a flashlight or headlamp, and you've got a nifty lantern in a pinch.

8. CONSIDER THE BARE NECESSITIES
No one wants to get caught out on a camping trip without their toothbrush. Or toilet paper. Be prepared by checking this list:

  • Deodorant
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lotion
  • Shampoo
  • Shower gel or soap
  • Sunscreen
  • Toilet paper
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste

(Those last three. Ever important! You just don’t want to forget these. Or the stories you’ll have to tell afterward won’t be the fun variety.)

To wrap things up ...
Have fun in the great outdoors this summer and make great family memories to boot. From camping and fishing to outdoor furniture, Agri Supply has everything you need. Agri Supply: It's what's inside.

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