Unexpected Stuff Happens When Camping

Now that you're high on venturing into the great outdoors, there is the chance that nature won't cooperate.

Now that you're high on venturing into the great outdoors, there is the chance that nature won't cooperate. Your weekend may be ruined by showers and temperatures may plummet to ungodly lows. The best thing you can do about it is to be prepared; the next best thing is not to get mad if these things happen. Anticipate the worst by including foul-weather camping gear in your backpack or trunk. There are worse ways to relax than spending a day snuggled inside a tent reading a book as the rain pitter-patters against the rain fly. Cold weather is more of a problem, so carry warm clothing when there is a chance of cool weather.

If you do venture out, dressing for the weather ensures that you'll manage any potential discomfort. A rain poncho is a must-have, as is a good tent. Check out weather advisories before heading off. A weekend postponed is a weekend gained some other time. With any kind of outdoor event, plan for contingencies; get hiking and camping partners to agree on a rain date for another trip.

When the weather agrees, sometimes the people in your group won't. While a course on diplomacy isn't appropriate here, experience teaches that a group leader, self-appointed or otherwise, who acts in good faith by making decisions for others is always welcome. Empowering the unhappy person in a group can also help smooth things over. Be prepared to forgive bad decisions and remain unfazed in the face of other people's mood swings.

Hiking and camping isn't for everyone. The naked outdoors can be overwhelming for some people until they learn to chill out and accept the pleasures of the camping experience.