When it comes to camping, there is one group that has it down to an art with more than 108 years of experience: the Boy Scouts of America.
“There is something magical about being around a campfire and being under the stars, and you may not be into astronomy per say, but a beautiful clear night in West Texas, it’s pretty cool,” said Nathan Baie, scout executive at Boy Scouts of America South Plains Council.
It’s also a “cool” experience you can have without traveling across the country.
“It’s the outdoor adventure and opportunity to get outside with your friends and sleep outside with your friends maybe and learn some things that you otherwise wouldn’t have an opportunity to do,” said Baie.
But, there are a couple tips to make sure your adventure doesn’t turn into a nightmare.
“Sit down and put a little thought and planning, go through the basics: Where am I going, how am I going to get there, what am I going to need, as well as do I own an tent, do I own a sleeping bag? Do you own a stove that you can cook meals on?” Baie said.
It’s because of all the loose ends you can encounter if you’re not experienced that Baie recommends camping at a state park to start.
“You also have access to things that you might not think about like restroom facilities, and clean drinking water and perhaps shelter in the event of inclement weather,” said Baie.
It’s also a good idea to test your gear out before you even leave home.
“Learn how to set up your tent, set it up in your back yard, why not,” explained Baie.
If you do plan to take the family out, the best advice from the group based on outdoor activity is be prepared.
“One of the biggest issues is having access to water and making sure that you drink a lot of water,” Baie said. “Certainly be aware of the wildlife, we have rattlesnakes, we have tarantulas.”
Those are rules that apply everywhere, not just West Texas.
“Whether you’re in West Texas or anywhere else, you’ll have rain, wind, heat, so being prepared for the climate that you’re going into is important,” said Baie.