Now that the big yellow ball in the sky has started to make its presence felt in the form of more pleasant weather, naturally a young man’s (and woman’s) fancy lightly turns to thoughts of nature and sleeping out-of-doors. And thankfully, we’re in luck here in Oklahoma City, with fantastic camping opportunities within easy driving distance (more on that below in locations both in and out of the city). But you may be thinking, “I can’t go camping—I don’t know what I’m doing, and I don’t have any camping stuff!” Well, even the gear-less shouldn’t fear: The Better Life has you covered.
What do you need to go camping? Not much, really. A tent, a sleeping bag and some camp-friendly cuisine is really all you need. Apart from that, anything else you might want to take depends on your pick of location and what else you’d like to do on your trip.
We here at TBL HQ enjoy going for a simple overnight excursion near a lake or stream at one of our nearby state parks. We suggest taking:
- a tarp for ground cover;
- a tent;
- sleeping bags and some sleeping mats;
- a cooler with ice, water, drinks and any foods you might like to have along; some matches to get a fire started;
- and something fun to do in the forest, like a telescope for stargazing, a guitar for (literally) singing “Kumbaya” around the campfire, fishing gear (and a fishing license), a cornhole set (or “bean bag toss,” if you prefer) or a pair of hiking boots or a mountain bike to check out those park trails.
It’s not a bad idea to take some extra layers for that morning chill, and some first-aid, toiletry items, bug spray and sunscreen, just in case. Some parks even have coin-op showers if you want to smooth out the experience of roughing it.
Notice that we didn’t mention firewood. When camping at state parks, depending on the location you can either gather firewood from the forest floor or simply purchase some from the park office (they discourage bringing in outside wood for fear of strange bugs or tree diseases, so keep those dirty timbers at home!). Another important note – before you strike, be sure to make sure there’s not a burn ban in your area.
Our friends over at the state Tourism & Recreation Department provide a great primer on camping for beginners that can demystify the camping experience and give you some other great pointers – check it out.
Read our other posts this week for tips on places to camp both inside and outside the city.