BOISE – As the weather improves and the school year draws to a close, many Idaho families are thinking about taking a tent or an RV out for some summer fun.  AAA reminds travelers to plan ahead for a safe outdoor adventure.

“The secret is out – Idaho’s state parks and backcountry are a popular destination, both for Idahoans and for those visiting from out of state,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “Reservations for some of the best camping spots are filling up fast, but if you have some availability mid-week, you may have more options.  And many locations set aside walk-in space for the early birds who can take advantage of them.”

AAA camping and RV tips

  • Select a campsite that matches your preferences, such as hiking and trail opportunities, kid and pet-friendly, proximity to a lake or river, shower and restroom facilities, or a more rustic environment.
  • Bring layers of clothing, including for wind and weather, as temperatures and conditions may change throughout the day.
  • Practice setting up your tent, air mattress, water purification system, camp stove, and building a fire before you go.  You’ll be more effective at your campsite and ensure you have all the pieces to everything.
  • Use plastic bins to store food, and wet or dirty clothes.  Keep food, including trash and scraps, away from wildlife.
  • Purchase firewood near your campsite to prevent spread of insects and tree disease.
  • Plan easy meals and prep as much as you can before you go.
  • Leave your campsite as you found it.  Completely extinguish fires and remove trash.
  • Camping essentials may include a first aid kit, compass, flashlight, maps, a hatchet, sunscreen, and in some cases, a satellite phone.  Use dryer lint or even Doritos to help start a fire.
  • If you go on a hike, heavy items should sit between your shoulder blades and close to your back.
  • Please celebrate and recreate responsibly.
  • Keep safety top of mind.  If you hike or camp in a remote area, share your location with friends and family.  Remember that even a small injury in an urban environment can become much more serious in the backcountry – plan accordingly, including water use.

“Crisscross two trailer safety chains to ensure that the trailer will be cradled if it detaches from the ball hitch, but don’t twist them to shorten their length, as water and debris could accumulate in those areas and create rust that weakens the chain,” Conde said.  “Watch for anything dragging on the road that could spark a wildfire, and please never drive or park in tall grass for the same reason.  We want everyone to have a safe time enjoying the great outdoors.”