Camping Tips for Beginners – a Complete Starter’s Guide

Beginners-Camping-Tips

There is really nothing like camping to build bonds among friends or family stronger. But if you have never gone camping before, planning to go camping can be honestly quite scary for the first time. 

The amount and variety of things that you feel you need to know to make your camping trip a success can get quite overwhelming too. But fear not.

To make it very easy for you, here we have divided all of our most favorite and useful camping tips for beginners into different parts, starting from the planning phase to wrapping everything up and coming back.

The Planning Phase

Here are some tips for the planning phase.

  • Start Small

One of our top camping tips for beginners is to plan small for the first time. If this is your first time camping, it’s better to plan for only a few days instead of a week or so

You can plan for longer camping trips as you gather more experience and get more confident about your camping related knowledge and skills.

  • Choose Somewhere Close to Home

Make sure to do enough research and pick the campsite in advance for your first camping trip. One of our most essential camping tips for beginners would be that you choose your campground somewhere close to the home.

This way, if you forget something or something goes unexpectedly wrong during your first camping trip, you will always have the option to go back home easily.

  • Research

research-before-camping

Do plenty of research before you choose which types of camping you want do and where you want to camp. Find out if the campground you want to go to has online reservation options. That can save you and your family or friends a lot of time searching around for hours to find the perfect spot when the day comes.

Before reserving, be sure to check if the spot is large enough to accommodate your tent size properly. If one of you can go and check in person, even better.

  • Campground Amenities

Yes, read the fine print. Does the campground allow making a fire? Are the bathrooms close by? And if you want to have access to electricity, look for that too.

  • Know Your Options

If you search around a little on the internet, you’ll see that most of the camping tips and tricks for beginners that are available out there mention tent camping only. But in reality, there are a lot of people nowadays who prefer RVs over tents for camping.

In addition to not having to get wet or grimy in case it ends up raining, an RV also provides you with air conditioning and an actual bed to sleep in at the end of the day.

So, if comfort is a big factor to you, don’t be hesitant to just rent an RV for your first camping trip. After all, how much you enjoy your trip also depends greatly on whether or not you are actually able to get a good night of sleep.

  • Check the Weather Forecast

check-weather-forecast

Before you set your dates, be sure to check the weather forecast. Of course, it may still rain even if the forecast showed otherwise, so it’s better to be prepared.

  • Plan Ahead for Activities

The most important camping tips for beginners is to Prepare a checklist of things that you are going to need while on your camping trip. Go over the activities you want to do while on your trip.

If there is a lake nearby and you want to go swimming, plan accordingly. The same applies if you want to go hiking or on a day trip to some nearby area. Plan ahead and pack accordingly.

  • Don’t Oversweat It

No matter how much you plan and prepare, there is always probably going to be something that you forget. So don’t think too much about every little thing. 

Keep your head cool, and just try doing your best without sweating yourself too much. If you want to go easy on your first time camping, all the power goes to you.

Also, don’t get overwhelmed seeing all the camping tips and tricks for beginners telling you to do this and do that for your first time camping. Keep in mind that camping is not about doing as much as you can on a fixed period of time. 

You set the rules for your own trip. If you would like to just sit under a tree reading your favorite book during the day, do just that.

Packing for the Trip

Packing-for-Camping

Below are some guidelines for packing.

  • Organize According to Categories

Get different bags or boxes for different categories of things to make it easier for all of you to find things quickly when you need them.

  • Pack in Order

While packing each category of things, pack so that the things you need during the last days stay at the bottom. This way, you do not have to mess things up when taking something out.

This tip is best for packing clothes and dry food items.

  • Take Extra Clothes

Extra-Clothes-For-Camping

Even if you are a firm believer in packing light, you might want to reconsider that for your camping trips. 

When you go camping, resources are obviously limited, and it helps to have extra clothes at hand. That way, you do not have to waste your time and water washing clothes. 

Just put the dirty clothes in a separate tote bag. You can always wash them once you come back home.

  • Pre-freeze the Meat and Milk

freeze-meat-and-milk

Freeze your meat and milk in your home freezer before putting it in the cooler. This way, they have less chance of going bad during the trip as there is no waiting time involved for them to get frozen during or on the way to the trip.

  • Repurpose

Before you go shopping for your camping trip, look around your own home for things that you already have that could be used during the trip. 

You might find spare blankets, pots, or cooking utensils that were lying around forgotten somewhere in your house that could come very useful for camping.

Setting It Up

setting-the-camp

In this section, we’ll talk about setting the camp.

  • Reach Early

On the day that your trip begins, start early. If you reach the campsite early, you are more likely to have the place to yourselves for longer, which can help you be more at ease and less self-conscious about your camp-setting chops.

Use the extra time to get acquainted with your surroundings too. Go check where the washrooms are if there is any water body nearby, or where the best place to make your campfire could be.

  • Storage Tent

In addition to your main tent that you are going to sleep in, consider taking an additional smaller one to store all your belongings in, especially if you are a large group.

  • Use a Broom to Keep the Dust Away

Broom

No matter what you do, the inside of your tent is bound to get dirty. It’s just a part of camping. Take a broom and a dustpan with you to easily keep your tent free of dirt.

  • Take a Paracord

Paracords

You are not going to have a dryer while you are camping, so the best course of action would be to dry your clothes out in the sun. 

Take some paracords with you so that you can use that as a clothesline and hang your wet towels, washcloths or swimsuits to dry.

Mealtimes

Here are some tips for camp meals.

  • Have a Meal Ready for the First Night

camp-meals

Maybe you do not like the idea of having a precooked meals during camping right now, however, on the first night after all the unpacking and setting things up, and you would be very thankful to have this first meal ready from beforehand. There will be plenty of time for you to cook later.

  • Plan Your Meals Beforehand

When you go camping, there is only so much you can take with you. And when it comes to food, it’s even more important to pack clever as they can go bad really easily if you are not careful enough.

That’s why it is wise to plan out your meals from beforehand and shop and pack accordingly.

  • Take Plenty of Water

Water

During camping, you are naturally more likely to get thirsty more often than usual. So take plenty of water with you.

Besides drinking, you are also going to need water for all kinds of things, including cooking, washing dishes, brushing your teeth, and so on. That’s why it’s important to pack more water than you think you are going to be needing.

Camp Nights

Things to do on camp nights.

  • Use Instant Light Coals

Having a pack of instant light coals will help you get the fire going in no time. Obviously, you are also going to be needing some matches or a stove lighter to light a fire, so pack those too.

  • Keep Your Food Protected

Keep-Food-Protected

Ever heard of wild animals coming uninvited to campsites asking for dinner? Yeah, that actually happens.

Keep your food locked before you go to sleep. Also, don’t leave trash strewn around your tent if you do not want unwanted attention.

  • Keep the Bugs Away

bug-spray

Take a Bug Zapper with you if you can. Pack regular bug repellent sprays to spray it from time to time along the edges of your tent to keep those pesky bugs away.

On top of that, make sure your tent is fully zipped up before you turn any light on in the inside of your tent. Remember, most insects are crazily attracted to light, and will find their way to the light source as soon as you turn it on. So beware.

Sleeping Arrangements

Let’s talk about the sleeping arrangements.

  • Inflatable Air Mattresses

Air-Mattresses

If you are going to be sleeping in a tent, take inflatable mattresses with you. They do not take much space during packing, and only takes minutes to be inflated with a pump.

  • Beddings

You can choose sleeping bags or regular bedding’s to make your bed on top of the inflatable mattresses. You can also make more layers using old blankets and sheets on top of the mattresses if you like your bed soft.

  • Have Spare Blankets

Spare blankets can come very handy on the nights when the temperature suddenly drops, or it becomes cooler due to rain.

  • Sleepwear

Besides your regular sleeping clothes, you might want to take a woolen hat and a fresh pair of socks to stay warm during the cold nights.

  • Take a Rechargeable Fan

Rechargeable-Fan

If the weather is going to be hot during your trip, make sure to take a rechargeable fan with you. The steady airflow will make you feel less suffocated and more at ease.

Emergency Supplies

Emergency supplies you should keep with you.

  • Don’t Forget Your Medications

Remember to take all of your medicine that you need to take daily. Don’t forget the epi-pen if any of you are allergic to anything. 

Remind everyone to check and recheck if they are bringing enough medicine for the number of days you are going to be on the trip. Also, don’t forget to pack plenty of mosquito repellent creams or patches for everyone.

  • First Aid Kit

first-aid-kit

Besides the regular supplies, have some antibiotic cream and a sunburn lotion ready in your first aid kit in case one of you end up needing some.

Also, remember to keep some cold and heat packs for emergencies. Don’t forget feminine hygiene supplies for the ladies, either.

  • Pack Batteries

You most probably will not have any access to electricity, unless you choose to camp at a site that provides it. Batteries are going to be your best friend to get all the flashlights, and other battery-operated electronics going. 

Also, pack spares

  • Power banks

electronic-battery-pack

This is a must need if you prefer to be using your phone or other devices during camping. When the charge runs out on your devices, power banks will come to your rescue.

Of course, make sure to charge the power banks fully before your trip, and don’t forget to take your device chargers with you either.

  • Sun Protection

Sure, the sun may feel nice when you are happily playing away during the day, remember it can also cause you burns. So take enough sun protection with you.

Hang a canopy over your picnic tables. Reapply the sunscreen every hour or every couple of hours, depending on how much time you spend directly under the sun. Also, put your sunglasses on.

  • Dry Shampoo

Dry-Shampoo

Ask any girl or woman who has ever been camping to give some camping tips for the first time female camper, they will most probably tell you to pack some dry shampoos with you.

With a can of dry shampoo in your stash, you can happily forego washing your hair for a few days while still smelling great.

Tent Camping Tips for Beginners

Here are a few tips, especially for those of you who are going to go tent camping for your first time. If you are not going to be staying in a tent during your camping trip, you can just skip this section altogether.

  • Go for the Big Ones

When buying a tent for your camping trips, always buy bigger than you think you need. That way, you are not going to be cramped for space when you go to sleep at night.

Of course, it is not the same if you are going to go backpack-camping and don’t know if you are going to have enough space to set up a big tent. In that case, buying smaller might be wiser.

Choose a tent that can protect you from air, rain, and snow, depending on the weather conditions of your camp region. Take extra protection if needed.

If you are not too sure whether you would like staying in a tent or not, try renting or borrowing a tent for your first time.

  • Do a Test Set-up

This one here is a very important camping tip for newbies, especially. Do a trial set-up of your tent in your backyard or some other place before your actual camping trip. That way, you can learn all the tricks to properly set it up beforehand.

In addition to that, it will take much less time on the day of your camping to set everything up as opposed to how much time it would otherwise have taken.

  • Find the Ideal Spot

Ideal-Spot-for-camping

A spot with a flat surface that does not have any rocks on is the best spot to pitch your tent. After you pick the spot, you might want to re-examine the area to see if there are any small rocks that could poke you on your back while you are sleeping.

Another thing to notice would be the slope of the land on which you are going to pitch your tent. If you do not want all the runoff water coming your way in the event that it rains, stay away from the bottom of a slope or a hill.

  • Put a Tarp Under Your Tent

Tarp-Under-Tent

A tarp under your tent will not only add an additional layer of protection under your tent,but it will also keep you from getting wet in case it rains. 

You will be happy that you cared to put something under the tent once you see the rips and nicks that other people who do not put it get on their tent floor.

Camping Tips for Beginners with Kids

Camping-Tips-for-Beginners-with-Kids

Here are some of our best camping tips and tricks for beginners who have kids. With these tips and tricks, you are very much likely to have some happy kids running around your campsite, as opposed to some grumpy kids crying inside the tent, wanting to just go home.

  • It’s All About Fun

Let the kids have as much fun as they want, as long as they are being safe and are not destroying everything in their path. After all, this is the perfect time and place for them to have some fun.

Take plenty of game equipment for the kids to play around with. Keep some options in hand for indoor playing too, just in case the weather goes moody.

  • The ‘No Shoe’ Rule

Don’t let your kids come inside the tent or camper wearing their grimy shoes, just don’t. This applies to both kids and adults. 

Keep a designated area to take off your shoes beside the door and make everyone leave their shoes there. This will help keep the space lot cleaner.

  • Marshmallows!

Marshmallows

Seriously, are you even camping if you are not making a fire and waving some kebab skewers with marshmallows and sausages on them?

Kids love marshmallows. A couple of bags is enough to keep the kids busy as you sit around watching the fire or making kebabs.

  • White Christmas Lights

White-Christmas-Light

Adding some white Christmas lights will not only add a soft glow to your campsite; it will bring this dreamy vibe to your camp nights.

White Christmas lights work great because they lighten up the surrounding without being too overpowering. Also, your kids will love it.

  • Clean Up After Yourselves

Here is a camping tip for beginners that not everyone cares to follow. Please clean up after yourselves

You don’t want to be one of those people that do not care about anything or anyone and shoves all of their rubbish into the nearby bushes. Don’t do that.

Take some garbage bags with you and tell everyone to throw their garbage to the designated corners. When it’s time to pack up, bring those garbage bags back with you to dispose of them properly.

Once you come back home, properly clean, or fold all your gears up before storing them away.

  • Most of All, Enjoy!

enjoy-camping

I am now going to give you my top and most favorite camping tip for beginners: E-N-J-O-Y. Yes, enjoy every moment!!! 

Amongst all the planning ahead and the hustle and bustle of setting up, cooking, and making sure everything is going right, do not forget to make memories.

Wake up early not only to get things going but also to hear the birds sing. Feel the soft breeze caressing over your face. See how red the sky gets when the sun is setting.

Go Make Those Memories Now 🙂

Camping is all about spending some quality time away from your hectic daily routine back home, which should be more refreshing than challenging, remember that.

So, go ahead and spend as much time as you can with your loved ones with our camping tips in mind and make some beautiful memories.

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