So there you are. Your tent is up. Your car is unpacked. The chairs are already sitting by the fire area and marshmallow sticks have already been chosen. So what’s next?
Many times when we find ourselves in a situation like this there is a real temptation to just sit and do nothing. While this temptation is a very real one and can offer you some serious advantages when it comes to enjoying yourself, it may not be your best option right away.
Once you have everything set up, do yourself a favor and take care of your needs for tomorrow. Now I know what you are saying, “I’ve been driving for hours and have been busting my hump trying to get this site ready to enjoy. I’ve earned a few minutes time sitting around doing nothing!”
If you find yourself saying this, know that I agree with you. You have earned the chance to sit and relax…. just not yet.
There are certain things you are still going to need. So as much as you don’t want to do it, you need to jump back in your car and head back out. Take a drive to familiarize yourself with your surroundings and get to know the area. This immediate scouting trip can help you locate any local stores, restaurants, or drinking establishments that may be a necessity later on.
One other thing that you may find as you take this initial drive is any locations that offer local excursions or rental options. Perhaps you love canoeing but were unable to haul your canoe all the way to the campground. Many times, there is a local purveyor of such watercrafts who would be happy to rent one to you for a nominal fee.
Many times, when I find myself deep in uncharted areas of my home state, I get the greatest joy from walking where the locals walk. Many of the smaller towns and hamlets that can be found in close proximity to a campground have a color all their own. It can be a thrill to see what the locals see and how they live. Other benefits to this early scouting mission is you can get all the things you may need that you realize you have forgotten or were unable to pack along. Things like firewood and ice are two of the most common necessities every camper will eventually need. If you can supply yourself with what you need early on, you won’t run into problems later on.
Believe me when I say that I am not exploring these areas as if I were discovering an alien race. In reality, I simply find it fascinating to check out these quiet towns. It is in such stark contrast to many of the places I spend a majority of my time, so I find it quite refreshing.
Just picture the peacefulness you may find while sipping coffee in a town where no one knows your name or expects you to do much more than pay your bill and be on your way. Never fear the adventure!