Camp Counselor

Camp Counselors

Experts offer tricks on conquering the outdoors.

"If you want to make a fire and can't find any dry wood, peel the bark off a tree and strip off a couple of the outer layers. You will find dry wood and you won't be harming the tree. The inner layers of the bark are protected from the rain."

"It's risky to keep your food inside the tent, even if it's in a cooler. If you're near the woods, bury your cooler under some leaves farther away from your tent. I'm also a big believer in double Ziploc bags for storing food. Bears, foxes and raccoons will all go after food. On Survivor, we wrapped food in palm fronds and buried it in the ground."

Caryn Groedel, Survivor season 10 contestant

"With the constant changes in Northeast Ohio's weather, I would recommend that people who are camping not leave the house without some kind of waterproof bag. This is especially important if you are kayaking or doing anything near the water. You want to keep your clothes as dry as possible. You should also cover your sleeping bag with plastic."

"A lot of people don't remember to bring first-aid kits. They're important, not just for first aid, but they also contain a lot of things you can use if something breaks or tears. You can use tape from the kit for repairing damaged gear or patching holes in a tent and you can also use rolls of gauze to make repairs."

Matthew Hogrefe, Eagle Scout from Troop 333 in Avon

"Plan ahead and prepare to make sure your camping experience is positive. Have a map and know the regulations of the area you are camping in. Some places don't allow fires or only allow them in certain areas. Leave a copy of your plan at home, including when you intend to return."

"Always bring three layers of clothing — a wicking layer, a warmth layer and a weather layer. The wicking layer is for moisture protection, the warmth layer for staying warm and the weather layer is for protection against the elements. Ideally, you should use noncotton, synthetic materials such as fleece. Cotton doesn't dry quickly and loses its warmth when wet."

Rachel Nagel, Cleveland Metroparks outdoor recreation manager

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