Going camping for the first time is a big decision for many. While they completely lack the experience, the enthusiasm is not lacking in these people. And truth be told, it’s not difficult to be a happy camper, especially if some experts are willing to offer their expertise to you. Unsurprisingly, they have an anecdote or two they can share and sometimes, it’s funnier than you expect. Truth is, nobody truly knew from the beginning how camping works and most likely, some mistakes were made on the way. But below we have some expert tips and tricks which will help you have a decent first experience as a camper.
Make sure that you get to know your gear
Becoming familiar with your gear PREVIOUSLY to your first camping experience is incredibly important, as it will reduce the frustration and lack of knowledge when it comes to setting up your camp. Truth is, beginner campers will usually wait until they reach their camping site. However, testing and getting to know your camping gear before you leave is incredibly important. Practice makes it better, faster and easier. Make sure to practice in your backyard to get to know your gear better and find out how everything works together. Make sure that your lanterns and stoves are working, you want to make sure that you’ll be able to cook for yourself, but also that you’ll also be able to see at night – with functional lanterns.
Invest in the right supplies
Buying the essentials first is something all first-time campers should consider. A visit to the camping section will offer you a good start in terms of essentials. Avoid that kind of gear that is developed for experienced campers and backpackers. Basic gear should do the trick for your first experience.
- A decent tent;
- A cooler;
- Sleeping bags;
- A good lantern and batteries;
- Fire starters, and matches, obviously;
- A camping stove;
- Pots and pans, as well as silverware, specifically designed for camping;
- Rain ponchos;
- Some spare bags, to take with you the trash and laundry;
- Bug spray;
- A rack for rooftop cargo, to make everything easier to transport.
Besides these, you should carefully pick and choose your camping outfits, to make sure that no matter the weather conditions, you are fully prepared.
We just mentioned how important appropriate clothing is for a perfect camping experience. Camp grounds lack completely laundry spaces and this is why you want to make sure that you pack some extras, for a better experience. The type and amount of clothing that you pack also matters. For a simple experience, consider packing the following, as described in this comprehensive checklist for camping provided by skillful campers.
- Clothing appropriate for rain or damp weather conditions;
- Pack some warmer clothes for cooler weather – a hoodie or a jacket will do the trick;
- Plenty of socks. Those may get wet and everything might easily turn into a nightmare;
- A swimming suit or impermeable shoes are also important to bring with you, if you consider various activities.
If you neglect some of the above, you will see yourself forced to take multiple trips to the nearest town and purchase the things you didn’t bring with you.
Have a backup plan
Sometimes, things can simply go wrong without any warning. Having an emergency exit plan is just as important as bringing with you all the necessities. Ending up on a camping ground where you don’t feel comfortable or safe is something that can always happen. Also, thunderstorms may appear and if you camp in an open space, this might turn out to be dangerous. You might even come to realize that your tent is not that sturdy as you thought. In this case, having an emergency exit plan is a great idea. Get to know which the fastest way is to get down your gear, pack it, load it, get to know which the fastest ways are out of your location and so on. Take down the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the closest motels and hotels. This will assure you that you are sheltered, if necessary.
Camp near a water – This will help you enormously
Experienced campers will strongly advise you to go camping near a water source, if possible. This will not only open up plenty of entertainment possibilities, but it will also allow you to take some amazing pictures of your experience and if you go camping with small children, the advantages are even more numerous. As children can be quite restless, having such an entertainment option is amazing. However, make sure that you pack some essentials, if you manage this.
- Life jackets for everybody, children or adults;
- Fishing equipment, if you are passionate in this regard;
- A waterproof camera;
- Sunblock, mandatory, with high SPF.
Besides, make sure that you bring any toys that your children might enjoy, this will make them keep calm and entertained.
Pack the right type of food
Most likely, you won’t catch your own fish, and even if you do, the amount and size will be disappointing. Packing convenient food is a great idea. Also, consider bringing with you those types of products that will boost your camping experience.
- Peanut butter;
- Quick oats;
- Single serving coffee pouches;
- Some fruits;
- Canned tuna and even a chicken salad kit;
- Canned soup;
- Hot dogs, buns, to roast over the campfire;
- S’mores ingredients;
- Aluminum foil and some potatoes to roast over the fire;
Always be mindful of aliment safety. Your meats and milk, even chocolate, have to be kept in a cool space, preferably your cooler. If you think that something might have spoiled, throw it away, it’s not worth risking your and your family’s health over a product.
These are some simple-to-follow guidelines that will make your first camping experience a pleasurable and simple one. Always put your safety first and prepare for the worse, even if such scenarios are unlikely to occur.