13 Basic Camping Skills You Should Have for Camping

In movies, camping looks easy. People sit under the stars, roast marshmallows in the campfire, tell each other horror stories, and sleep in tents. 

However, in reality, you will need to acquire some basic camping skills before you can embark on embracing nature for the weekend or holiday. 

And to save you from the hassle of going through multitudes of articles to find the most needed skills, we have listed 13 most basic skills in camping that will make camping a stress-free and relaxing experience for you.


1. Planning


This is actually one of the most important skills you need to improve before you go camping. 

It is one of the basic camping skills for beginner campers, and if you do not plan ahead, your camping trip is guaranteed to be a disaster. Before you start packing, you need to consider the following:

  • The location and activities you plan on doing there
  • Duration of your stay
  • Weather forecast
  • Camping gears necessary (including food and medicine)

The location and activities you plan on doing there will determine what sort of camping gear you need to take with you. Also, if necessary, reserve your camping site prior to going there. 

Everything, from food to backup batteries, needs to be taken according to the duration of the time you are planning on camping in order to avoid running out of things in the middle of nowhere. 

It is very important for you to check the weather forecast beforehand, so you do not get caught up in any natural disaster. 

For further safety, find out the location of inns, hotels, or motels located in the region you are visiting so you can stay there in case anything goes wrong. 

2. Packing


Camping skills for Beginners:

Try to pack as light as possible. If you are going to carry your backpack, try not to pack more than 25 pounds, including food for a weekend camping trip. 

It is difficult for beginner campers to pack lightly, and to avoid that, you can use a checklist [To find a perfect camping checklist, click here].

Fill your backpack with lighter items at the bottom and put heavier items at the top for easy carry. Remember to pack essentials and be wary of taking things that will become cumbersome later for you.

3. Setting up Tents


It will not do you any good if you put off learning how to pitch or set up a tent till you reach your camping site. 

And it is very important to find the perfect site to set up your tent; the location has to be near a body of potable water, near outhouses, under a shade but not directly under any tree. 

Also, the ground has to be as flat as possible without any pebble, rocks or sticks lying around

If you do not own a tent, you can borrow or hire it, however, make sure you do some practice on how to set up a tent and get clear instructions on tent size and how to set up a tent.

4. Learn CPR and First Aid

Camping Skills for Adults:

Life is full of unexpected events, and even the best of plans can be foiled, so you need to be cautious and learn CPR as well as first aid.

Make sure you take sufficient bandages, band-aids, ointments, simple pain medicines as well as know how to use them. You can take a first aid class or learn it online from the Red Cross website.

5. Wear Layers of Clothes


Unlike indoors, you cannot control the temperature, and so you need to wear multiple layers of clothes in order to be comfortable. Wear clothes that are breathable so moisture can be avoided and you will not be cold at night. 

And wear basic clothing such as underwear and then your regular attire and on top of it, wear warm or waterproof clothes.

6. Making a Campfire


Not for only tasting marshmallows in the evening, you need to learn how to make a campfire in order to cook food and for warmth. This is an essential yet basic camping skill everyone should know. 

Also, you need to learn how to light a fire in different conditions such as snow, wind, or rain. 

Do not make the common mistake of trying to light big pieces of wood at the very beginning; it will not burn strongly to build a strong fire. 

First, you need to find a clean surface and gather some fire starter or tinder such as dry leaves or grass and twigs as kindling. Gather dry twigs that are the size of toothpicks and pencils. 

Place the small twigs at the bottom and place the bigger ones on top (whether the ground is dry or wet) and light the fire from the bottom and slowly add wood and increase the diameter to build a strong fire.

7. Tying Knots

This is one of the most important basic skills in camping

Whether you need to tie your bags, secure a tent, or equipment, you need to know how to tie a rope. 

This is because you can secure the tent or equipment the best in any conditions with ropes if you know how to tie a variety of knots. 

For the purpose of camping, learn how to tie knots tightly and to learn them watch YouTube tutorials and practice beforehand.

8. Purify Water


Water is essential, whether you are indoors or outdoors. It is also very important to drink water that is safe for you, and even if you find it in nature, do not assume that it is safe to drink. 

You need to purify the water before you consume or use it. Now you can take bottled water with you, but it is going to increase your load, and you may run out of it. 

You can use iodine tablets to purify water found in streams to purify them, but it is quite a time-consuming process. 

Boiling the water is another way to ensure that it is safe for consumption. Personal water filters are also available, and you can use them to filter water and get rid of contamination.

9. Cooking


While you can’t expect Michelin star meals at a camping site does not mean you cannot eat a hot and proper meal. 

Learn some simple recipes that can be made using a few ingredients and utensils and practice making it at home. 

It is true that you cannot bring many time-saving appliances from your kitchen, but there are many kitchen appliances available made specifically for camping purposes. 

You can use a campfire for cooking, but if you want more convenience, use a camp stove. It will allow you to use different types of cooking pots and pans for different types of meals.

10. Using and Cleaning Knives


Camping without having a knife is just ridiculous. 

You need a knife to cut ropes, packages of food, cutting and shaping sticks for roasting marshmallows, for hunting or preparing meals, etc. 

Using a knife is one of the basic camping skills in outdoor camping, and it is essential for you to be comfortable using a knife while you are camping. 

Not only do you need one to cut things, but you also need to learn how to clean it safely and keep it sharp for further use.

11. Reading Maps


Even though the invention of GPS has made movements easier, it does not work everywhere in every condition, the battery may die, or it might not get a signal. 

Hence, it is important for you to learn how to read a map in order to find your way around the camping site.

12. Telling Stories


By now, you have seen countless movies where people recount stories while holding a flashlight and sitting around a campfire. Camping allows you to connect with people, interact, and form a better relationship with others. 

So, work on improving your way of storytelling as it is how you will connect with other campers. 

This will help you bond with fellow campers, make camping an exceptional experience for you, get advice, and more stories for you to utilize in your next camping trip.

13. Leaving Camp


One of the most basic camping skills everyone should know is that you should leave the camping site in a better state than when you came in. 

Collect all the litter, trash, scraps of food you have made during your stay and dispose of them responsibly

Make sure there is no fire hazard or any flammable materials being left behind by you or other campers. Remember to extinguish all fires and clean the sites before you leave the camp.


To ensure that you can camp like a pro, you need to acquire the basic camping skills that everyone should know.

Some of these basic outdoor camping skills need to be practiced before going to the camp in order to avoid risks and have a better camping experience. All of these skills will ensure that your camping experience will be stress and disaster-free. 

Even though you might not need all of them while camping, there is no harm in being prepared for anything. 

So, let us know in the comments how much you liked our article. And if you need any further help, don’t forget to mail us. 

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