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Summer Camping Secrets: In Camp

From picking the right campsite to stargazing like a pro, these summer camping tips will ensure a restful overnight.

Work the fabric out by pulling it gently parallel to the slider. No luck? Try to move the slider up and down over the snagged area. If damaged zipper coils are the culprit, carefully bend the coils back into shape with the sharp end of a safety pin from your first-aid kit.

Hang a space blanket from two trees or trekking poles behind one side of the blaze. It will reflect heat back. Keep the blanket a few feet away from flames to prevent its catching fire.

You can’t stop breathing, so reduce moisture buildup by maximizing airflow: Crack open one door or window at the top and another at the bottom. Hot air will rise out of the upper vent, and cool air will be drawn into the lower one, explains Nick Cross, a NOLS guide out of Tucson, Arizona. You also can reduce drips by skipping the rainfly on clear-sky nights.

Freak weather can wreak havoc on your vacation. Research backup options—e.g. trails in a peak’s rain shadow in case of a weeklong storm. Also, a few days before your trip, ask rangers about current conditions, such as snow levels or water availability.

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