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March 2011

The Manual: Couples Camping 101

Use these proven methods to make sure your first romantic camping foray into the wilderness isn't your last.

Rein it in, Rambo

“You can’t just take your honey backpacking and expect her or him to have fun,” says Andy Blair, program manager for the Wilderness Medicine Institute. “You have to ease your S.O. into it slowly.” Plan the first date as carefully as you would an expedition:

>> Start with short dayhikes and car-camps.

>> When you go overnight, keep mileage low (say five miles round-trip) and terrain easy.

>> Eliminate guesswork: “Know where you’re going to camp, and plan a few alternatives in case it’s taken,” says Blair. And choose a site that offers, ahem, privacy.

>> Pick a showstopper endpoint (a waterfall, hot springs, a meteor shower that night).

>> Be flexible with the calendar so you can go when the weather is perfect.

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