Learn the Land
One of the great joys of going camping is experiencing
nature. For this reason, it pays to have a good working knowledge of the area you are
camping. This knowledge will become invaluable to you if you are able to name trees, rocks, gems,
plants, and wildlife while camping.
Not only will this make your camping experience richer, it gives you the
opportunity to share what you have
Here, are some tips on how to gain knowledge of the different plants,
trees, and wildlife in your camping area.
- Purchase a good book on each subject.
Find books on plants, trees, rocks, gems, wildlife that are focused on the part of the
- The book
should have a lot of pictures in it for easier comparison in the
- You can
usually find some good cheap books in this area at half price bookstores or even garage
- Find a guide.
Determine if there is someone in that part of the country who could teach some of these differences prior
to going on the camping trip. Then, you can
teach them to your kids. Or you can use the
books in the field and see if you guys can figure them out.
- Make a game of
it, by having you take back the leaves of these plants to a local expert and see how you guys
guides could be game wardens, local scout masters, park rangers and locales in the
- Talk to a Professor . Go to the Local University and talk with professors in the botany and geology departments. They will most likely be more than happy to share with
you what they know about the local plants, rocks and wildlife.
- As a bargaining chip, offer to buy them
lunch. The knowledge you could receive will be well
worth the extra $10.00.
- Take home samples.
After camping, take home samples of leaves, rocks, gems and plants. Follow-up with the guide and the professors to see if
your identification is correct.
If you follow this method and have several consecutive camping trips in
the area, there is no reason why you shouldn’t become relatively skilled in identifying the plants, trees,
rocks, and wildlife in the area. Once you do learn this skill, be sure
you pass it on to someone else. If you have kids, this is a good way
to bond with them. If you don’t have kids, volunteer your services to
scout groups in the area. It will give you a chance to show off what
you learned and is an excellent way of showing appreciation for those who helped you. Sadly, this type of information rarely seems to be passed on to future
generations. This is unfortunate because it only lengthens the
disconnect between humans and nature. Just think your efforts to
educate yourself could actually help reduce that disconnect and encourage others to go
*To find out how to use your GPS while camping, take a look
at GPS For