Your only real obstacle to a memorable outdoor venture is careful preparation and planning.
PHOTO: FPG/LAURANCE B. AIUPPY
Culinary training is significantly easier in the wild. If you can boil water, a hundred delicious campfire meals are waiting to be prepared.
Map your hiking route carefully. Going the extra mile should be a matter of choice, not necessity. A fun five miles is always preferable to a fit-to-be-tied 10.
MASTERFILE/J. A. KRAULIS
If a top-of-the-line tent is beyond your budget, you can make your own from polyethylene, duct tape, nylone line, and a grommet kit.
It's convenient to camp near a water source, but be sure to find out if the river or stream has a tendency to flood. A washed-out camp is sure to dampen the fun.
MASTERFILE/EDWARD M. GIFFORD
A good rule for fires is: If it doesn't snap, don't burn it. There's nothing as dispiriting as watching a fire smoldering under green and rotting wood.