Enjoy Camping in Idaho


Camping is a relatively easy thing to do. All you need is a place outside to sleep that is not your home and to stick with it and try to go the whole night without giving up. Camping comfortable on the other hand can be a little bit more of a challenge. Before I personally really knew what needed to be done to actually enjoy my experiences camping, there were many nights where I was miserable and unable to sleep, either because I was too lazy or just did not know what I needed to do to have a nice night under a clear or cloudy sky. I eventually figured things out, but it would have been better without the trial and error. I want to help you get through what I had to go through without so much trouble and difficulty, and I want to help you in particular to enjoy the camping experience in Idaho. There are some unique qualities of Idaho that can make it a bit harsher on the typical camper looking for a good night of sleep in the wild. Idaho is a wonderful place, but it is certainly not perfect and there are some things you are going to want to know to make sure you stay warm and happy. Obviously, camping is too large of an activity to get into all of its little details here today, but I can get you started and cover the main points of interest that may be added to your plan.

Idaho can be a very cold place. The roads ice up, the snow comes down in massive quantities, cutting you off from certain parts of the state, and the wind cuts through the thickest warm clothing. Unless you plan on only doing your camping during the warmest parts of summer (A perfectly reasonable thing to do if you want to avoid the more uncomfortable parts of the activity), you are going to need to learn how to stay safe and happy when camping in the cold. The simple answer to the problem of winter camping is to make sure you have the necessary equipment to keep warm. As long as you bring the correct clothing, a sleeping bag that works for the correct temperatures, and something that will keep you off the hard and cold ground (Something like a cot or an inflatable sleeping pad), you will be fine. Snow camping, depending on how much snow is on the ground, can be a dangerous and complex thing. It is not something you should do if you are inexperienced with camping in general and inexperienced with camping in cold, especially in wet cold, because that is what snow is: wet cold.

Animals can also pose a problem if you are camping in the right areas for it. Some parts of the country and even some parts of the state of Idaho are so populated with human civilization that animals tend not to come close enough to be a bother. However, there is a large part of the state where animals will either be pests are actively dangerous. The best-case scenario for encountering an inconvenient animal while you are camping is that a raccoon steals some of your food and contaminates the rest. The worst case is that a bear sniffs out that you have food and wanders into your camp. The direct solution for animal problems related to food is to either put everything that might smell in your car or, if you do not have your car nearby because you have been doing some backpacking, string your food up in a bag and hand it from a tree. Also, moose can be particularly dangerous, both because they are massive and strong creatures and partly because humans sometimes do not take moose seriously. Moose tend not to like humans and they tend to trample the things they do not like. If you see a moose while you are camping, steer clear and do not provoke it.

In general, camping requires three things. You need food, water, and shelter to have a successful camping experience. Now, you can have a successful camping experience without any of these but only if you are away from home for a short while and do not care about being comfortable. If you do not have food, you will be cold, unhappy, and hungry until you lose all your energy and cannot do anything. Depending on the time of year, you might be able to get by without shelter for a long time. However, if it is deep winter, you can only bet on a few hours if you are really in the cold. So, bring something for several meals and snacks while you are camping. Cooking can be a little dicey when you are out in the wild but there are meals and methods that can give you a full stomach for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Bring more water than you think you will need and consider bringing a way to turn unclean water into clean water. All humans need water all the time to survive. We can go without other things for a little while but not water. For shelter, get a tent that fits the number of people you want while also staying warm and keeping rain off. But really, warmth is going to be handled by your sleeping bag. A tent can keep the wind away and help insulate you a little bit your sleeping bag is going to do most of the work keeping you warm.

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