When it comes to camping, there are some distinct differences in experiences. Backcountry hikers tend to only make camp for the night when it gets dark, while long-haulers will pick a good location and stay there for several nights. Either way, it can be difficult to adjust to such surroundings, especially when it comes to maintaining a semblance of gear organization. Today, I’ve provided you with a few tips that will hopefully help make your campsites more manageable and organized.

Unlike the comfort and familiarity of our homes or workplaces, things in the outdoors aren’t necessarily accommodating, and can change unexpectedly. Your surroundings are new and your normal routine goes right out the window. The bathroom is no longer a just few steps away, but rather a few campsites down or back at the park offices or whichever tree looks appealing. Night brings a swift cold and a new shade of darkness you’re not used to. Animals scurry in and out of the campsite to investigate visitors. The key is to stay positive amidst all of this. Living life on nature’s terms is part of what makes camping so enjoyable. Besides, everything gets easier after the first night, and a little pre-trip preparation never can help make things easier.

It may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how many campers commit this faux pas. Keep things clean. Make a point to sweep debris out of your tent whenever the opportunity arises. Also, taking your shoes off before entering the tent will help keep things clean, too. Doing so minimizes abrasion on your tent floor and will increase comfort levels by reducing the mess. Also, having something to do will keep you occupied during down times.

In the campsite kitchen, it’s helpful to use separate coolers for beverages and food, since the beverage cooler gets opened more often. Bring well-organized meal plans from home, too, as this will reduce any unnecessary stress associated with cooking or preparing food and allow you more time to actually enjoy it. This will also reduce the time you spend cleaning up dishes or trash.

Planning ahead for various instances that may occur during your trip can solve potential mini-crises before they happen. For instance, leaving a pair of flip flops for each camper outside the tent, along with a flashlight, will make late night bathroom trips a lot easier. Also, hanging glow sticks near your tents will help guide nighttime campers back to the site.

I know the tips outlined above seem like Day One stuff, but these little practices can save you from inconvenience and allow you more time to actually enjoy the trip, as well as your company. I encourage you to implement them into your normal camping routine the next time you hit the wilderness.