He doesn’t know how it happened. One minute he was talking about how refreshing non-city summer air must feel, and then next minute he’d agreed to a one-on-one camping date in the great outdoors.

Ahh, Basic Mitch. Just trying to get out of his comfort zone and meet a nice girl, and now this?? What does camping even mean?? Is it some sort of acronym?!

But Basic Mitch is no quitter.  He may be bland and non-adventurous, but he perseveres. Especially lately with the help of Vimbly! Surely he’ll make it out alive—and maybe maintain a shred of dignity.

So Basic Mitch sits down, stretches his arms, makes a few loud, angry grunts to get himself pumped up, and then types “Camping Tips” into The Internet Machine. Here’s what he finds.

Bring a Small Tent

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This tip, though it may seem otherwise, is not for cozy romantic purposes.  Although that $200.00 mega-tent with the screened-in living room might look great in the picture, it won’t look as hot after you wrestle with it for 4 hours trying to connect all the poles.  Why waste time pitching a tent when you could be impressing your girl with the knowledge of edible plants that you googled before departure?

Put your pride aside and just use the smaller shelter.  Plus, the small tent will make it look more like you frequent the woods by yourself to be immersed in the beauty of nature—which will probably score you bonus points based on your getting trapped into a camping date to begin with.

Bug Spray

It is vital. Not all heroes wear capes.  

Pack a Lantern

Camping is hard.  Camping at night with only the stars and the moon as your light source is harder.  Lanterns are your hands-free way to keep everything going smoothly.  

Camping is also your chance to bring back those childhood board games you love.  Now’s the time to admit you’re a baller at Candyland, or to argue that Sorry is not a game of the past.  A lantern is your key to convincing your date of these things and demonstrating how impressive you winning a game based entirely on luck can be.

Learn How To Make a Fire

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If you’ve made it to this point in the night, it means that thus far you have successfully pitched your tent and remembered to bring the vital things like a light source, bug spray, and that girl you’re trying to impress—yeah, don’t forget about her in your newfound camping glory.

But as the sun sets and the weather starts to cool, a daunting task presents itself.  It’s time for you to impress your date with some fire-building skills.  Unfortunately, instant-light Duraflame logs don’t really fly in the great outdoors.

This step could be the biggest embarrassment of them all, but you’ve got a lady to impress, dammit, so gather your supplies, repeat the mantra “If Jon Snow can come back from the dead, I can build this fire,” and start that fire the way WikiHow taught you!

P.S. Fire pits are a real thing.  So are forest fires.  Consider “starting a rampant forest fire” as the number one thing you want to avoid when trying to convince a girl you’re an outdoors guru.

Hang Your Food and Trash Up High

Nothing says buzz kill like a bear on your campsite or a raccoon in your food.  Learn from the pros and take the time to hang your trash and food high in the trees before bed.

If you’re not a frequenter of the outdoors, it’s safe to say you wouldn’t get a great first impression if your campsite is turned into a revival of the “I like to move it, move it” scene from Madagascar. Stash yo trash.

Know the Area

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Before setting off to be the Robinson Crusoe you have trained to be, make sure you’re headed to camp in an area conducive to the mood you want to set.  Situations you should avoid:

  • Camping in what seems like a remote area but turns out to be the post 11p.m. hub for high school students looking to disappoint their parents.
  • Camping at a site so full the only spot left is the one near the dumpsters, with that angry looking daytime skunk the forest rangers have named Pepé le Pew.

Time spent searching for a reputable, relaxing campsite is always time well spent.

After reading this, Basic Mitch feels ready.  He’s in it to win it, and the countdown until camping weekend is at 2 days.  Will he be able to swing it and win the heart of his potential bae? Stay tuned to find out…