There are many a camping story riddled with nuisances and some disasters. Here are some scenarios: campers caught in the rain without an appropriate tent and camping gear to guard against the wet and cold; medical emergencies that could have been minimized by following safety precautions or having a first aid kit on hand; a hiking trip that was a miserable experience because everyone forgot to bring snacks and water; or finally arriving at your beautiful and rustic Yellowstone park cabin which you’ve reserved for several days, only to realize you didn’t bring a single piece of kitchenware.
The best camping trips are the ones that are well prepared, so do not ruin your Yellowstone vacation with hasty packing. Take your time to investigate what you will need, make a checklist, gather the items carefully, and be prudent about the way you pack and transport them. In the meantime, here is a checklist that can help guide you:
- Health insurance cards and other medical necessities. Health insurance cards will save you plenty of heartache in the case of a medical emergency. If anyone in your family or group has a medical condition, be sure they have everything they need to carry on the trip, such as medications or special information cards that medical personnel may need to make certain choices (such as in the case of an elder with a pacemaker).
- A first aid kit. A basic first aid kit will contain some form of antiseptic or antibacterial for cleaning and treating wounds; ointments for insect bites or stings; gauze pads and bandages. This is all you will basically need, and you can always make your own first aid kit and add the personal items that you or members of your family may need during certain physical emergencies. If someone amongst you has asthma, for example – in the outdoors, you will need to be prepared for the possibility of dealing with an asthma attack.
- Food. Think hard about what you want to carry. Remember that fresh food will perish easily, so plan for tackling fresh food first, while saving the least perishable items for last. Food containers are very inexpensive and can offer a very convenient and safe way to store food while traveling. There are also the kitchen staples of every home: Ziploc bags, sandwich baggies, foil paper and saran wrap. Use them. Consider a cooler, and stock up on snacks. Small treats, snacks, beverages and other necessities can be purchased on the campground at Hebgen Lake.
- Cookware, Utensils, and Dinnerware. If you will be cooking at your Yellowstone cabin rental, be sure to carry the cookware you need. A hotplate or electric burner may be a sensible investment and easy to pack up and carry. Carry all the dinnerware and utensils your group will need to eat with. Consider disposable items which would make your load lighter in both directions of the journey and also make clean-up a breeze.
- Linens. The conveniences of bed linens are only provided at hotels! As a camper, you should know that taking full responsibility and care of yourself is your camper’s credo. Carry linens for your bed, as well as kitchen cloths for handling and cleaning up food items and areas.
- Hygiene. So, even though you’re supposed to be connecting with the wild outdoors, it does not mean you should become wild yourself! Carry everything you will need to brush your teeth and bathe, plus basic hygienic products like deodorant and toilet tissue. Each member of the family should pack several changes of appropriate clothes for a diversity of weather conditions. When going camping, it is best to wear layers that can be easily removed or placed on as you face the elements. Think of this as you pack.
- Electronics. Your Yellowstone camping trip is all about getting absorbed into the blisses of nature away from all the noise and machinery of modern life, but there are some electronics that you will find necessary such as your digital camera or computer. Yellowstone Holiday offers internet access for campers, so you will get to use the internet, if you absolutely need it. Even portable music or movie players may come in handy, especially for young children or long car trips.
- Prepare your home. Before you set to leave your home, make sure that it will be okay in your absence. Plug out any extra electronics. Make arrangements for the collection of mail or expected packages. If you are leaving pets behind, double-check with their caretakers to make sure all the things they will need are available. Ensure you have made necessary plans for any regular services. Put up a sensor light outdoors if possible – this is a great way to discourage burglars who think no one is home. Lamp timers placed indoors are also a great deterrent; set them to come on in the evening, and go out late in the night. If you have great neighbors, it is a good idea to let them know you will be gone, and they can keep an eye on things for you.
Most importantly, leave all other worries behind, and come prepared to have a rejuvenating, refreshing, and wonderful time!