Introduction: Camping for College Students on a Budget

Created by: Abigail Altman, Joyce Muema, Rian Fleming, Justin Linfield, and Kyle Espenshade

These instructions will provide students an affordable alternative to the normal college life. These instructions are a variation of steps that will allow college students to carry out a successful camping trip from beginning to end.

Table of Contents:

Step 1: Find Campsite

Step 2: Plan Camping Trip

Step 3: Gather Camping Gear

Step 4: Pack Gear and Go to Campsite

Step 5: Evaluate Campsite

Step 6: Set Up Campsite

Step 7: Cook and Eat

Step 8: Relax and Enjoy Yourself

Step 9: Clean Up Campsite

Step 10: Return Home and Return Gear

Step 11: Safety Hazards and Warnings

Step 12:Attributions

Thank you for reading and please be sure to click "I made it" (located on the comment box at the bottom of these instruction). If you have any feedback, please comment below.

Step 1: Find a Campsite

(Click photos above to enlarge)

Using these steps below and Google search engine:

  1. Type hyperlink (www.freecampsites.net) into Google search bar
  2. Once webpage loads, in the top, right corner there is an "Enter a Location--Search bar". There you will type in your desired zip code of where you want to camp
  3. There will be green, red, and blue tents scattered throughout the map on the right of the webpage. Choose desired campsite location from whats available.
  4. Get directions to campsite location

Meaning of colored tents:

Green Tent- Free Campsites

Red Tent- Pay Campsites

Blue Tent- Permit required Campsites

Step 2: Plan Camping Trip

Questions to ask yourself before going camping:

1. Where am I going? Can I camp there safely? Do I need a camping permit? Do they allow fires?

2. Am I prepared for the weather? Will it be cold? Is it supposed to rain? Will I need extra gear due to the weather?

3. How long am I staying? Do I have enough food, water, wood, and clothing for however long I will be staying?

4. How am I going to cook? Am I going to bring stove? Or am I going to cook over the camp fire?

Step 3: Gather Camping Gear

Most major colleges/institutions have recreational centers and outdoor clubs with available gear to rent.

For example: Towson University has an "Adventure Center" (Towson.edu/adventure) that has a wide selection of rent-able camping gear for a refundable $20.00 deposit.

Gear to rent from university:

  • two or four person tent
  • tarps for tent
  • 0-25 degree sleeping bag
  • sleeping pad
  • pack (specific camping backpack)
  • pack cover
  • compression sack
  • headlamp
  • pots and pans (only one member of camping group needs to provide these items)

Clothing/cold weather gear:

  • Lightweight, breathable shirts and pants
  • Insulating layer (down, synthetic, "puffy" jacket)
  • Beanie or Hoodie
  • Gloves
  • Socks (thick wool socks, for cold weather)
  • Base Layer (underarmor, merino wool)
  • Rain Jacket (with hood)
  • Good shoes/ boots/ hiking shoes

-Standard clothing with spares (extras: socks are a MUST)

Safety gear:

  • Water purification if needed (tablets, filter, UV pen)
  • Basic information about hazardous plant life and wild life (poison ivy, ticks)
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • First-aid kit
  • Sunglasses
  • Rescue whistle and mirror

Cooking

  • ENOUGH FOOD (allergies?)
  • Eating and cooking utensils
  • Stove
  • Fuel
  • Pots and pans
  • Bowls and plates
  • Dish Detergent


To Build a Fire (if allowed):

  • Dry wood
  • Lighter/ matches
  • fire starter kit


Miscellaneous:

  • Toiletries: toilet paper, paper towels, tooth brush, tooth paste and deodorant
  • Extra Blanket
  • Flashlight
  • Appropriate entertainment
  • Water Bladders/jugs (bring a lot of water)
  • Pocket or fixed blade knives (optional)

Step 4: Pack Gear and Go to Campsite

Once all gear is gathered, pack up your cars and get going!

Step 5: Evaluate Campsite

    • Find flat surface to set up campsite
    • Establish designated waste areas
    • Review permit and other campsite guidelines for area

    Step 6: Set Up Campsite

    Step 7: Cook and Eat

    Be sure to pack enough food for your time spent camping. Bring plenty of water. Here are some recipes.

    Step 8: Relax and Enjoy Yourself

    Step 9: Clean Up Campsite

    Be sure to remove all items from campsite including gear and trash. Leave no trace!

    Step 10: Return Home and Return Gear

    • Return home safely.
    • Return rented gear to designated area and collect any deposit placed for the rented gear.

    Step 11: Safety Hazards and Warnings

    Safety:

    • Before the camping trip, research all dangerous wildlife and plant species in your chosen camping area.
    • Because of bears, keep all food in a car, bear box, or bear canister.
    • Before the camping trip, ask about food allergies among your group.
    • Keep meat and other perishable foods on ice in a cooler to avoid spoilage and bacteria.
    • To stay clean and healthy bring hand sanitizer and dish soap
    • If the weather seems too extreme, or if you don’t have the appropriate gear, don’t be afraid to postpone the trip.
    • Incase of emergencies, one person should keep their phone fully charged and turned off or on “Airplane” mode to conserve battery power.
    • Before the camping trip, know the way to the closest, local Hospital incase of an emergency.
    • Prepare or purchase a well-stocked first-aid kit.
    • Any use of knives, axes, hatchets, saws, or other cutting tools is dangerous and should be handled with extreme caution.
    • If using a gas stove, keep the flames at a manageable level.
    • Keep spare gas canisters away from open flame and excessive heat.
    • If a grease fire starts while you are cooking, DO NOT attempt to put it out with water. Turn off the stove. If the fire is in a pot, carefully put a lid, pan, or cooking sheet on top to cut off the oxygen supply. If you have no cover to use, you can either add baking soda, use a fire extinguisher if you have one, or you can back off and let it burn out. Use caution, watch for loose or dangling clothing/hair, and above all, do not take unnecessary risks.
    • Use sunscreen, including on a cloudy day.
    • Drink plenty of water and eat hearty, as you’ll be using more energy than normal. Doing so will also help keep you warm in colder weather.
    • When traveling away from your group’s campsite, never go alone. As childish as it might sound, use the buddy system.
    • Stay safe in all activities in which your group chooses to participate in.

    Warnings:

    • Fires should only be constructed in a dug out fire pit or fire circle made of stone or metal. To prevent accidental spread of fire the area should be cleared of all flammable materials (leaves, twigs, paper, etc…).
    • Water should be kept on hand to handle accidental spread of fire.
    • If you choose to cut your own wood for a fire, ensure the campground will allow it, also be sure to wear proper eye protection to avoid injury.
    • If using a gas stove, keep the flames at a manageable level.
    • Keep spare gas canisters away from open flame and excessive heat.
    • If a grease fire starts while you are cooking, DO NOT attempt to put it out with water. Turn off the stove. If the fire is in a pot, carefully put a lid, pan, or cooking sheet on top to cut off the oxygen supply. If you have no cover to use, you can either: add baking soda, use a fire extinguisher if you have one, or you can back off and let it burn out. Use caution, watch for loose or dangling clothing/hair, and above all, do not take unnecessary risks.

    Step 12: Attributions

    • (marshmallow pic_under step 7):

    "Roasting Marshmallow" by Nina Hale - Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:RoastingMa...

    • (campsite pic_under intro):

    By Mwanner at en.wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons

    • (gear pic_under step 3):

    By cdamian- "gear shot summer 2011"-flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

    • (packed car pic_under step 4):

    http://www.almightydad.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/packed-car.jpg

    Comments

    author
    dr_peru (author)2014-12-11

    I like camping, too :)

    My tip for advanced free camping: take much less stuff and go by bike/hitchhike (inform yourself about the legality and safety of the latter in your region before!). Its cheaper and more climate-friendly than going by car. Also this style of travelling is more spontaneous and you might get to know some nice people on the way. When you pack less stuff, you´ll have to improvise more and you might have to ask some locals or fellow-travellers to help you out sometimes, getting to know even more nice people :)

    author
    aaltma2 (author)dr_peru2014-12-11

    Before writing these instructions, a few fellow students and I took a camping trip. We called it our "Pilot Test Trip" (a test it was). We learned a lot, mostly what not to do, but very educational and helpful! Do you think we should add a section for tips? Thanks for your feedback!

    author
    peppypickle (author)2014-12-10

    yay - and thank you for including step 9!

    author
    aaltma2 (author)peppypickle2014-12-10

    Your Welcome! Cleaning up and keeping nature beautiful is essential!

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