Take a good look at what you have, what you need, and what you want for your adventures. Check things like work tables, utensils, pots and pans, mess kits, shelters. Is it all in good shape or does something need to be repaired or replaced? Is it time for a new set of tent stakes? Now’s the time to replenish those non-perishable supplies.
While you’re checking your tents and sleeping bags for broken zippers, split seams, etc., remember to check your cook shelter, dish towels, wash cloths, and oven mitts. Check for rodent damage. Mice just love fabrics for cozy winter nests. It’s not a pleasant discovery but it’s better to find out now than when you’re ready to leave for that long awaited camping trip.
Fire up your camp stove, lanterns, BBQ, etc. to be sure that insects haven’t decided to make a home in the tubes or burners over the winter. Check your propane and charcoal supplies. Inspect all your cast iron. If you didn’t use it over the winter, did it winter okay? Is the seasoning still good?
This is also a good time to check all your flashlights, lanterns, etc. to be sure they’re in good working order and that you have a good supply of mantles, replacement batteries, etc. Have you ever arrived at a campsite after dark only to discover that your lantern batteries are dead? I also like to make sure I have a good supply of citronella candles to keep bugs out of my camp kitchen.
Take a look at your calendar. Are there any trips that you’re taking where you might need some special equipment? A backpacking trip? Bike trip? Fishing trip? Plan and shop ahead. Take your time and make pre-season planning an enjoyable part of your camping experience.
Now let’s get outside!