Growing up, I never camped a lot; whom am I kidding, I never camped at all. For many reasons that I won’t go into details now, the idea of camping was always pushed under the rag before it was even explained. Before I went on my first camping trip, I always thought camping was just pitching your tent to the ground and done! But alas, there is more to camping that I have learned for the few times I’ve camped, from preparation, the actual tent pitching, what to do while camping to things to take camping. And as for camping beginners, I am here to show you all the camping tips for beginners to make your camping adventure, not just a success but also fun.
All can seem like endless hustles but if a frugal camper like me could do it for weeks, you too can. You just need to want to experience the camping life and willingness to stay away from the developed world for a little while.
Camping tips for beginners and seasoned campers
How to prepare yourself for a camping trip as a beginner!
1. Choose a location to camp
Most campers opt for remote areas, and national parks, I mean other than having fun, the other reason for camping would be to disconnect from the hustles of life to connect with your friends and nature. So the very first step to camping is to choose your ideal location. Some of the factors to consider when choosing a camping site are the facilities. Does the campsite have proper toilets and showers, electricity, how far away is it from the nearest town? This all goes back to you as an individual and how you would want your ideal campsite to be like.
Pro tip* If you choose a remote area or in the wild, chances are high that you’ll not have phone service or even internet, so before you go away, make sure you’ve handled any urgent issues that might need your attention.
2. Decide on the way you want to camp
There are different types of camping you can choose from. Either hiring a roof tented car, RV camping, and tent pitching which is the most common. As a camping beginner, choose the type of camping that you’ll be most comfortable with and one that suits your budget.
3. Practice how to pitch a tent
Before you go camping, learn how to pitch a tent to ensure that you know how to handle everything before you head out into the wild. If you opt for a roof tented car, the company you hire it from should teach you how to operate it, from erecting the tent to using all the facilities that come with it.
4. Get the essential camping gear
Before you go camping you need to have a camping checklist to make sure that you have all the things needed for camping. So here are the camping necessities you shouldn’t leave behind.
Camping tents come in different sizes and shapes, make sure you buy the tent that suits your needs as a person. The tent you choose should be able to accommodate the number of people that will sleep in it easily without squeezing each other. If you’re not sure about which tent to purchase, Amazon has a variety that you can choose from but if you want an easy setup and lightweight camping tent, this is what I recommend.
Whichever season of the year you choose to go camping, it’ll most definitely get cold at night. So a sleeping bag should be on your camping gear list. You can grab any cheap one on the market but I recommend investing in this really warm and good quality double sleeping bag for those really cold nights. If sleeping bags are not your thing, you can opt for a camping blanket or even take both in places with extreme coldness.
A sleeping mat should also be included on your camping packing list. Trust me sleeping on bare cold ground is not fun at all. So invest in a sleeping pad or even an Air mattress. I hate sleeping without a pillow and I don’t want to punish my neck just because of camping, so I also carry a camping pillow. Don’t carry a fancy one, a simple but comfortable inflatable camping pillow like this is ok.
If you want to be as comfortable as possible, carry camping chairs. Whether you just want to chill as you read a book or take a coffee in the evening, these camping chairs are just perfect for that.
Make your camping adventure more comfortable by carrying a foldable portable camping table. The best part about camping is when you can gather around the table during meal times.
By all means, you’ll need to prepare meals at one point and you can’t guarantee that the campsite will have campfires for grilling. So before you’re left wondering what to use for cooking, add this gas stove to what you need for camping.
Even though sometimes we choose to ignore this, but something can go wrong while you’re camping miles away in the wild. Although I hope it never happens, it’s better to be safe than sorry. So here are some of the survival gear you should add to your camping list.
Even though some people might want to forego a cooler, this is one camping gear that I urge you not to leave behind. It won’t just help to keep your beers cold but also keep all your foods fresh. So make sure you buy a high-quality cooler like this one for better results.
Camping in the wild is a bit different from camping at established campsites. Established campsites normally have water nearby but I can’t say the same for completely remote areas. Plan on how you’ll be able to cook, do dishes if you camp in an area without water. To be on a safer side, you can carry a large water tank.
Imagine reaching your campsite without any cups, plates or cutlery! It might sound like a small thing but it can be frustrating. I mean what will you use to eat? So pack all the relevant utensils you might need. Don’t forget to also carry Tupperware to keep leftovers.
If you plan on making a campfire, wood should be on your camping essentials checklist. You can either choose to go with it or buy it at the campsite if you’re sure you can get it from there.
What is camping without making a fire! To me, camping means a day or two of spending some time at a campfire just to get some warmth or catch up with people you might be camping with. But for most camping beginners, starting a fire is not a piece of cake, so grab these fire starters to avoid spending the entire night just trying to start a fire.
A lot can happen in the wild including emergencies which makes a first Aid kit one of the essential things to bring camping. Your medical kit should include things like painkillers, bandages and many others. If you don’t want to prepare your own first aid kit, you can just buy one with everything in it.
It’s important to keep the camping grounds as clean as you found them. So take a trash bag to keep all your trash.
Pro-tip*. Do not leave your trash bag outside when you go to sleep. I learned this the hard way when I had to pick up all the trash in the morning because an animal had littered it everywhere.
Other useful camping gear items
Baby wipes– These will be very useful especially if the campsite doesn’t have showers.
Insect repellant– This is a must-have for any outdoor camping adventure.
Power Bank– Running out of battery should be expected somehow, so a power bank will come in handy.
Duck Tape– Essential to have in case you need to fix something quickly.
Camping Hammock– I mean who doesn’t want to chill in a hammock after a long day of hiking.
5. Get your camping clothes ready
Pretty much all your casual clothes can work while camping but there are some other clothes you should add to your camping essentials list.
- Knit cap– Useful for those cold mornings.
- Socks– Don’t just take any socks, grab these socks that will keep you warm in the night.
- Raincoat– You never know when it might rain, so grab this lightweight rain jacket before you go.
- Sweat pants
6. Plan your meals before you go
Before you go camping, it’s important that you plan for your meals day by day. The worst would be running out of food and water when the campsite you’re at is so far away from a grocery store. What I normally do is to count the number of meals (from breakfast, lunch to dinner) that I will have while camping and buy food accordingly. Make sure you buy food for at least 2 extra meals just in case. It’s always better to have more than enough than not enough. The same applies to water and snacks.
Camping food ideas.
When you’re planning for the things you need for camping, food should be planned for aswell but not all foods are perfect for camping. Here are some of the camping food ideas to consider- bear in mind that the food you take should be easy and fast to cook.
- Instant noodles
- pork chops
- Cooking ingredients
- Any tinned foods
More camping tips for beginners.
Since I am also a frugal camper, there are some items that I had not packed during my camping trip because I hadn’t thought about them but I saw them with other campers and realized how useful they can be while camping. So I am adding them here so that you include them on your camping checklist.
I’m sure this is one of the camping items that most campers overlook. Let’s agree, if you don’t create a camping checklist, it’s so easy to overlook the drying rack or a hanging line. If you don’t have enough space or you just want to pack light, opt for a hanging line instead of this foldable drying rack.
I didn’t even know that a camping carpet is one of the essential camping equipment until I reached the campsite. The campsite was covered with sand- not your typical grass campsite. When I saw other campers set up their camping carpet, that’s when I became a little bit jealous and started regretting not taking one. The camping carpet is ideal to keep away dirt from the tent if the camping grounds are not covered with grass. Don’t know where to buy it from, buy it here on Amazon.
Hanging shoe organizer
Staying in the wild means that you can’t leave anything outside even shoes- or else take a chance of animals stealing them.
You can opt to buy a hanging shoe organizer or go the DIY route as I did. Hang a plastic bag onto the pins at the entrance of the tent. This way you can put your shoes in as you enter the tent and you won’t have to step down barefooted when coming out aswell.
After reading this beginner’s guide to camping, I am now sure that you’re ready to take on your camping adventure and that you know all the things to do while camping. Camping doesn’t have to be scary, if you follow these camping tips, you’ll be in for a fun camping trip of a lifetime. But as I said earlier, all camping sites are different, do your research before you go so that you know exactly what you need for camping.
Are there any first time camping tips and tricks that I’ve left behind but were helpful to you? Leave them in the comment section and I’ll surely add them.
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