Camping Tips for Seniors

For lovers of the great outdoors, camping trips are a quintessential summer activity. You may have gotten a thrill out of “roughing it” in your younger years, but the older you get, the less feasible it is to sleep on the ground. That being said, having physical or medical concerns doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t enjoy one of your favorite activities anymore. You may just have to make some alternations to how you camp.

By following camping tips for seniors, you can enjoy the great outdoors without having to sacrifice comfort or your greater needs. Take all the necessary preparations ahead of time so you don’t have to worry before your next trip.

Camping Tips for Seniors

Find a senior-friendly campsite

While you likely aren’t going to find an extensive list of campgrounds specifically marked “senior-friendly,” what you can find is campgrounds easily accessible to bathrooms, showers, and potable water. These campgrounds usually have plenty of shade and access to seating, in addition to well-maintained paths with minimal elevation changes.

Another great feature to look for in senior-friendly campsites is close proximity to a park ranger station. These professionals are fantastic resources should anything go wrong, or should you have questions.

Purchase a raised cot or air mattress

For most seniors, it isn’t as easy to get down to the ground and then back up again. Sleeping on the ground in a sleeping bag isn’t really an option for these individuals. Thankfully, there are relatively inexpensive options to get you off the ground while sleeping outdoors. Camping cots and air mattresses will make sleeping outdoors much easier.

These products come in a diverse array of options. If budget is a concern, you can spend under $50 on cots that easily unfold or air mattresses with battery-operated pumps. If comfort is your priority, you can spend more money on something plush for a good night’s sleep.

Be mindful of the weather

While you can generally anticipate what the weather will be like based on the time of year, you never know when a cold front or storm system is going to move through. When your camping trip approaches, keep a close eye on the weather predictions so you can pack accordingly. Depending on the forecast, you may have to pack extra blankets for sleeping, or you may need to bring water-resistant items.

A good rule of thumb is to bring items that you can easily layer. If you only bring heavy clothes, you may be comfortable in the morning but hot in the afternoon. Alternatively, you don’t want to be cold at night! So, bring a variety of jackets and shirts to keep you warm (or cool), and consider a pair of waterproof boots as well.

Update your camping gear

If you’ve had the same camping gear for a while, it may be time to replace it. Certain things, like camping backpacks and old grills, can wear with age and can pose a serious problem if they break. So, get ahead of any potential problems and purchase replacements. They should be lighter and easier to use.

At the very least, you may want to replace any battery-operate products ahead of time. This way, you won’t have to worry about it going out when you are trying to use it. Even if you replace these batteries it is still a good idea to bring extra in case of an emergency.

You can enjoy camping as a senior

Make a packing list of essential items

While you may have enjoyed it at a younger age, your camping trips can’t be quite as spontaneous as they used to be. Once you evaluate what you need to replace, you can then make an efficient list outlining everything you’ll need.

This should include everything you’d expect to need while camping—such as hand sanitizer, sunscreen, first-aid kits, and non-perishable snacks—but it should also include extra medication. Even if your trip is just for a few days, you should always bring additional medication in case of emergency. If you have a certain prescription that needs to stay cold, you will have to do research about quality coolers.

Consider RV camping

As an older adult, you may want to enjoy camping but don’t want to deal with the myriad of preparations that come along with it. Even still, you don’t have to give up this hobby. Instead of sleeping in a camp or under the stars, you can try RV camping.

With this vehicle, you don’t have to worry about keeping food cold, staying warm at night, or where to relieve yourself. When you have an RV, you essentially have all the amenities of your home on a smaller scale. RVs can be driven to most campsites (though this is partially dependent on the size of your vehicles) and utilized in place of tent camping.

If purchasing an RV is out of the question for you, that’s no problem—you can actually rent RVs from a few different sources. This allows you to enjoy the convenience of an RV without the hefty price tag.

For support at home, consider home care

The older you get, the more difficult certain activities of daily living grow to be. Tasks like cooking, cleaning, and running errands are exhausting and at times strenuous activities that leave many individuals thinking they can’t age in place anymore. With the support of a caregiver, however, you can.

Since 1993, Home Care Powered by AUAF has offered seniors in the greater Chicago area the support they need to age in place. Our caregivers offer dignified, compassionate aid no matter your needs, because above all else, it’s your comfort that matters most.

If you think you would benefit from the assistance of a caregiver, give us a call at 773-274-9262. We would be happy to help.

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