Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Camping: An Underrated Pastime?

Could camping out be your next hobby?

Growing up, one of my favorite childhood pastimes was camping out with friends and family. When the weather got colder and the nights got longer, it was always an option to take a break from the phones and the TV and go sleep under the stars for a night or two. Some of my best memories are of my friends coming over and camping out around a bonfire while music played from a portable speaker. I feel like everyone should enjoy a good camping trip at least once in their life, and I’m going to give you some do’s and do not’s of camping and some of the better camping spots around the lovely city of Charleston.

Car Camping

Camping is not always for everyone. Some people might prefer to stay inside and enjoy the comfort of sleeping in their own bed. But if you want to try camping then it is always important to know what you are doing. The biggest thing when first going camping is knowing what to bring. The essentials include a tent, sleeping bag, pillow, and chairs for everyone coming. There are always moments when everyone wants to sit around the campfire but when there are not enough chairs for everyone it quickly becomes a problem. One thing to note is there is not one definite way to camp. Tents are not required as you can also sleep in a hammock or, if you do not like the idea of sleeping out in the open, there are certain cars that can be outfitted to sleep in as a camping vehicle. I can personally recommend finding a good camping car as it can be much more comfortable than a tent or hammock. One big thing to remember when camping is to know your gear. If you bring a tent, do you know how to set it up? Do you know how to build a campfire? Do you know how to use a grill or cook on a campfire? You do not want to plan a big camping trip with your friends and then show up and not know what to do. If you do not know anything about camping, expect to have a miserable experience. Make sure to plan for the weather as well. I have gone camping too many times where it has rained either for a moment or for the entire trip and I can promise you it is not enjoyable.

Dressing the part is also important when camping. Typically, you will not wear shorts and Crocs when going into the woods. So, why would you do it when you are camping? Wear boots or tennis shoes as you never know what you will find when camping. Depending on the weather I’d recommend wearing pants, especially in the winter. It might not seem ideal for sleeping but it can get really cold at night, especially when the campfire is put out. Long sleeve shirts are much more helpful than they seem as they not only provide warmth but they can also help protect against mosquitos and gnats that might be out and about. For sleeping, a pair of Long Johns or any item of clothing that is made of wool or fleece material is very helpful in keeping you warm at night on those cold nights. Depending on where you camp, bring a swimsuit. Many campsites are near a lake or pond that is meant for swimming, so you might as well take advantage of it. It is also a good idea to bring moisture wicking clothing, especially when it is humid. This will keep you cool and your clothes from getting too damp.

Places to camp:

Francis Marion National Forest

While there are many different campsites around Charleston, I would recommend just making the short trip up to Francis Marion Forest, where there is an abundance of camping sites for renting. You can also bring many different items with you to entertain yourself, including but not limited to a fishing rod, football, or other different recreational activities. It is all up to you.

Below are some tips I’ve picked up and I hope that you will be able to enjoy camping out as much as I do.

– If you are staying at a rented campsite, do NOT go simply to cause trouble. Respect the other people who might be nearby.

– Do NOT go messing with any wildlife you encounter.

Meals Ready to Eat

– Go to any sporting goods store and invest in some MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat). I know they do not sound appealing but Adventure Meals, which are sold in almost any sporting goods store, are actually rather tasty. Just boil water, add to the meal, stir, and enjoy.

– Make sure to bring a charging pack if you plan on being on your phone. These can be a little expensive but they are very useful.

– Try and be as helpful as possible, especially when setting up. Make an effort to help set up and clean up your site.

– If you plan on camping in the winter, especially on a colder night, it is important to remember blankets. Do not just bring a sleeping bag- layering up is more valuable than you think.

– When building a fire, be smart with what you burn. Try and find dead sticks or tree limbs instead of burning live plants. They will not burn as easily and sometimes burning certain things can be harmful to yourself and the environment.

– If you plan on sleeping in a hammock bring a mesh fly tarp, especially in the spring when the gnats are out. Spend at most $20 and get a much better night’s sleep

– If you are sleeping in a tent, I can recommend bringing either an air mattress for the glamper or a small pad to put under your sleeping bag. Sleeping on the ground is not as comfortable as you think.

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