Enjoying the great outdoors is exciting, but it also comes with feelings of worry or uncertainty. This feeling is particularly true if you’re a first-time camper with little to no experience when it comes to outdoor adventures.
Whether you’re going with a group, solo, or with a trusty four-legged friend, there are a lot of things that you need to prepare when camping. You can read guides, pack an emergency kit, and even get a Dachshund Harness from collarandharness.com for your dog. However, there will always be things that you won’t expect.
It’s not hard to be a happy camper. Everyone was a beginner once, and even the most experienced campers probably had a rough start too. To help you get started on the right foot, we listed down the eight essential tips for first-time campers!
1. Break-in your gear before using them outdoors
A lot of beginners tend to leave their gear untouched until they’re actually at the campsite. This is a big rookie mistake. Leaving it until the last minute will have you fumbling around, trying to figure out how actually to use your equipment.
One of the most common examples of this is a tent. Have you ever seen someone try to pitch a brand-new tent for the first time? It’s like watching a car crash unfold. You can’t take your eyes off of it.
Practice makes perfect. Try setting up your tents in the backyard or garage. Check on the battery life of your lamps, lanterns, or any other electrical equipment. If you’re planning to bring a portable stove, you must check if it still works.
2. Leave home early and arrive at the camping site early
Beginners are likely to be unaware of what the layout of the place is. Some rules and regulations may be unfamiliar as well, which is why it’s essential to make time to get to know these.
We recommend arriving early to familiarize yourself with the surroundings. It would also be best to set up your tent as early as you can. This will avoid disrupting other campers at night.
3. Meal planning is essential
Sure, it’s easier to bring a lot of food that you think will be enough to last you the whole camping trip. However, you have to remember that food won’t be as accessible. Thus, it’s vital that you carefully plan for your meals.
Take into account how many times you will eat and how many people need to be fed. Make your grocery list as early as possible, but only buy the goods a day or two before the trip. This ensures that your food will still be fresh and in good condition.
Avoid buying munchies and snacks that do not offer nutritional value. It would also be ideal to avoid stopping over at rest stops to purchase food on the way to the campsite.
Being a smart and prepared camper pays off, and one of the ways to be one is by carefully planning your meals.
4. Remember that privacy is virtually nonexistent in campgrounds
Yes, you might be able to shower and heed the call of nature in peace. However, new campers are unaware of the fact that there is no real privacy in campgrounds.
We highly recommend being mindful of your surroundings. This means minimizing noise, even if you’re inside a tent or a minivan. Remember: one noisy campsite will prevent a lot of campers from getting good sleep. Some people go camping to relax and find peace, so it’s essential to be mindful of your surroundings.
Respect is fundamental, whether it is towards your fellow campers or for the camping grounds.
5. Pack enough clothing
We can’t stress enough just how vital being well-prepared is when it comes to camping. You will be away from the comfort of your home and any other forms of convenience. One of the biggest rookie mistakes you can make is failing to bring enough clothes.
Another problem is that you may bring enough clothes, but did you back the right ones? The weather conditions play a massive role in what the proper attire is. The last thing you would want is to be wearing thin, flimsy clothing when there’s a chance of a rain shower.
6. Find a camping ground near your home
The safest thing to do is find a camping ground only about an hour away from home. We don’t recommend traveling for your first ever camping trip, as you may not know what to expect yet fully. It’s better to dip your toe into camping and find out if it works for you.
All of the common problems we mentioned earlier may happen. You may run out of food. You may have difficulty fixing up your tent. The weather may be too harsh for first-time campers.
Various possibilities may happen, so it’s best to have your home close by to act as a safety net. You don’t need to get overzealous with your first camping trip, as you can go farther next time when you’ve found your bearings.
7. Be wise with your money
First-time campers don’t need to go all out for their first-ever trip. This means that you don’t need to spend so much on fancy gear. If you’re not sure yet if camping is for you, then it’s unnecessary to invest in equipment you may not use in the future.
The bargain sales for camping equipment may be tempting, but it will most likely be a waste of money. You can borrow camping equipment such as a tent from a friend, or you may even opt for packaged trips that offer equipment as well.
8. Plan for all types of weather
The weather report may promise sunny skies all week long, but we all know that’s not always accurate. The weather can be unpredictable, and it’s crucial to be prepared for all types of conditions.
Being well-prepared and having the right mindset will be two of the most potent weapons in your camping arsenal. Roll with the punches, and don’t let a few hiccups ruin your camping trip!