In my opinion, Ft. Wilderness is THE place to have your first camping experience, especially if you’re spoiled and urbanized like I am. I used to live in a tiny rural town, with white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and coyotes passing through my backyard. That was nearly ten years ago, and save for a year living with my grandparents while I went to college near my hometown, I’ve been living in cities ever since.
Camp setup wasn’t too hard. My tent (Texsport’s Hayden Square Dome Tent, $49.99) was up in nearly a heartbeat. My Coleman air mattress however…I bought it last year so my boyfriend could use it on the trip then. Apparently a piece went missing, so the air pump didn’t fit with the mattress. Good thing someone else had a pump that fit! The nice thing was, even at about 75% air capacity, it was really comfortable to sleep on!
My sleeping bag was also made by Coleman. It’s rated for 40°F-60°F, and the first night got down to 44°F! I didn’t pack thermals, so I was very cold, and ended up with a sinus infection later last week that laid me out for the whole weekend (I slept about 30 of those 48 hours). Moral of the story: Always check the weather forecast and pack accordingly! It was so cold, I almost took my sleeping bag into the bathroom (even though Disney keeps the lights on all night)! Yep, real hardcore camping.
The second night was so much nicer than the first night, temperature-wise. It got into the mid-50’s, so it wasn’t too cold. People slept a lot better this time around. I decided I didn’t want to go back to my tent since the fire was so nice and cozy, so I got my pillow and sleeping bag, moved the bench a bit closer to the fire, and just slept there. Every few hours, I’d wake up, put a few more logs on what was left of the fire, and go back to sleep.
- Check all the pieces before and after you let someone borrow camping equipment, and again before you use it.
- Check the weather forecast and pack your clothing accordingly.
- Disney had electrical outlets near the bathrooms, but in the event you’re nowhere near electricity, solar chargers are the way to go.