by Elisabeth Brown
First things first: You’ll need a place to sleep. Tent selection can be overwhelming. Here are a few things to consider. First, how many people will be sleeping in the tent? A four-person tent fits four people, but you will be snuggled close with zero extra room in the tent for anything else.
Second is set-up time. Want your tent up and ready in less than 5 minutes, or are you OK with a 20-minute set up? Finally, it comes down to details. Consider tent height, ventilation, and vestibule size.
Sleeping bags are just as important as the tent, if not more so. Check temperature ratings to ensure a warm night’s sleep. Down bags tend to be lighter and more compact but can lose their insulating ability if they get wet.
Synthetic bags are larger and heavier, but cost less and can keep you warm even if they get wet. Invest in a nice sleeping pad. It will make sleeping on the ground warmer and much more comfortable. You’ll thank me in the morning.
Next, it’s time to meal plan. Don’t let this overwhelm you. Keep it simple until you know your way around the camp kitchen: Oatmeal or cereal for breakfast, sandwiches and fruit for lunch, hot dogs and beans for dinner.
Once you have the basics down, get adventurous. Not much beats a fabulous meal in the great outdoors.
Elisabeth Brown is an Eau Claire native with a biology/environmental science degree from UW-Eau Claire. She spent several year working as a wildlife technician in central Idaho, where she spent countless days backpacking and camping in the wilderness. She currently manages the camping department at Scheels.
Brunet Island State Park
23125 255th St., Cornell
Chippewa Moraine State Rec. Area
The Interpretive Center is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
13394 Cty Hwy M, New Auburn
Coon Fork Lake County Park
Augusta, WI 54722
Country Villa Motel and Country Camping
10765 County Hwy Q, Chippewa Falls
(715) 288-6376 or (877) 459-3263
Duncan Creek Campground
12528 102nd Ave., Chippewa Falls
8027 Hwy 12, Fall Creek
Harstad County Park
County Road HHH, Augusta
E4176 Ct. Rd.D, Menomonie
(715) 235-2267 or (715) 505-5202
Lake Wissota State Park - Camping
18127 County Highway O, Chippewa Falls
Loon Lake Campgrounds
10279 280th Ave., New Auburn
NCN North Campground
N8390 Hwy 12, Black River Falls
(888) 345-CAMP or (715) 299-7138
14912 105th Ave., Chippewa Falls
Pine Harbor Campground
7181 185th St., Chippewa Falls
Rock Lake Lodge & Campground
23015 153rd St., Bloomer
Sandy Hill Campground
E21100 ND Road, Augusta
Stoney Creek RV Resort
50483 Oak Grove Road, Osseo
(715) 597-2102 and 1 (888) 349-6399
Sunshine Valley Campground
E18250 Buse Road, Augusta
(715) 286-4222 •
Twin Springs Resort Campground
N6572 530th St., Menomonie
Willow River State Park
1034 County Highway A, Hudson