First Time Camping Tips

So you’re preparing for your first ever camping trip into the great outdoors. You might be excited, agitated, and intimidated, all at the same time. The amazing bonfire, the cold breeze pressing on your cheeks.

This Article Was Last Updated On December 24, 2020

The rejuvenating nature – you can’t just wait for it! But there are also factors like tight spaces, bugs, and possibly rain that need to be considered. 

Looking for first time camping tips? Let’s get rid of your newbie jitters with the essential tips that you should know about camping for the first time!

Be Familiar With Your Gear

Don’t get too overwhelmed wanting to jump in your car for the trip if you’re not yet familiar with your gear. You don’t want to fumble for hours in the camping area trying to figure out how to use a hammock or set up a tent.

Practice using your gear at home. Check the manual of your camp stoves or lanterns if you’re bringing any. Be familiar with all your gear and accessories, it always pays off to become a smart camper. 

Make a Checklist

Many people hate to make or use a checklist. That’s fine, but if you are a first-time camper, an organized checklist can really be helpful. It’s not uncommon to hear that a new camper has forgotten a very basic needful item.

Make sure that nothing is left behind and stay organized. You may need to revise and update your checklist as needed. By doing this, deciding which items to bring or not to bring can become easy and accurate.

people sitting in front of a fire

Choose or Buy a Good Quality Tent

Make space and comfort a priority in your first camping by using a good quality tent. It is a base for having a successful adventure. Buy a tent that is big enough and a tent that suits a variety of weather. It doesn’t mean you have to hurt your pocket spending a fortune.

There are lots of affordable tent choices out there with good and durable quality. You also have to consider who’s coming with you on a trip and save some extra space for your bags and gears. So if there are 3 of you, use a tent that can accommodate at least 4 persons.

Choose Your Campsite Wisely

The site you choose will have so much influence on how you would enjoy the entirety of your trip. For a beginner, you don’t want to choose an extreme and wild campsite so choose the site wisely. This is one of the most important first time camping tips that you should consider.

You also have to know the factors of what constitutes a good campsite. You should choose a site that is well-drained, sheltered, and with a flat surface.

When choosing a campsite, safety should be your top priority. Avoid camping near the water sources and on exposed ridges. And don’t camp under a lone tree. Lone trees can attract a lightning strike. Be wise at all times and don’t do anything that can possible injure you.

Here are some of the most common safety tips that you should consider:

  • Be careful with water activities. If you’ve chosen a campsite that includes water activities. Never swim alone.
  • Protect yourself from bugs and ticks. Even on established and sheltered campsites, bugs are common. If the area has bugs, protect yourselves by wearing pants, long sleeves, and other light-colored clothing. Apply insect repellent especially to your exposed skin such as your neck.
  • Don’t use fuel-burning equipment inside your tent. Many campers, including the seasoned ones, tend to take this safety rule for granted. At all times, don’t put any flammable equipment in your tent.
  • Protect yourself from the sun. When your campsite area is under the intense heat of the sun, you can get a sunburn. Protect yourself from it. Wear your sunscreen and sunglasses whenever possible. Stay hydrated. 

Arrive Early At The Campsite

If you’re a new camper, chances are you’re still unfamiliar with some campground rules and amenities. Be early and give yourself some time to explore the campground layout. Of course, you’ve probably already searched it over the internet.

But seeing the physical layout in person is different from seeing them over a computer screen. It’s also recommended to start setting up your tent during daylight hours. 

Observe Campsite Rules

Respect other campers in the area and observe all campsite rules. If there’s anything that you aren’t certain about a specific rule, clarify it with the campsite manager. The rules for camping are there for your own and everyone’s safety.

You may also not realize that there is no real privacy in most camp areas. So observe quiet hours. One noisy camper can keep dozens of others from a good night’s sleep. Avoid walking through another campsite and always be nice at them.

a caravan parked with open windows

Below are some of the most basic camp rules:

  • Observing Quiet Hours – In most cases, quiet hours refer to sleeping hours usually from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am.
  • Don’t leave your food out – clean up after yourself everywhere
  • Be considerate to other campers
  • No Littering – especially if you’re a smoker, don’t litter your butts
  • Keep control of your pets
  • Supervise children
  • Safeguard your valuables
  • Put your fire out before bed
  • Use low lights

If you’re a newbie, bringing a pet with you may not be a good idea, unless your pet is trained and can easily follow your commands. But if you really decide to bring your pet, be informed that there are also camping etiquette and rules specific to it. Follow them, and don’t let your dog bark at every stranger she meets.

Plan Your Meals

Surprisingly, many new campers tend to overlook this area. They bring their food, but they’re not planning for it very well. Make your meals as simple as possible. You should be able to know the following:

  • How many people you need to have meals for
  • How many meals you will need for the whole trip
  • How much food you need to bring with you

Then it is suggested to do your grocery shopping at least a day before your trip so that the food will still be fresh. Know that putting enough thought into meal planning is a trait of a smart camper. And if possible, aim for healthy meals. You will need a lot of fuel to sustain your families energy.

One very important piece of equipment is a good stove on which to cook these meals, so if you are a family or group of 6 people or more you will need a capable gas stove to be able to handle it.

If you are a couple or small family there are many small cooking stoves that will come in handy for small tasks such as boiling a pint of water or heating some milk.

Pack The Right Clothes and Pack Sufficiently

Successful camping is all about being prepared. Pack the right clothes and bring more than you think you’ll need. Especially during cooler months, it’s better to have many layers than not having enough.

Keep in mind that there are no laundry facilities in most campgrounds. You don’t want to utilize the same dirty clothes on the 3rd day of your camp.

You also have to consider the possibility of experiencing rain. The weather predictions won’t be entirely accurate. Bring something to prepare for it like a rain coat, wet weather gear, a sweater.

Camp Close To Your Home

Remember that it’s going to be your first time and you are not so sure if this adventure is for you or not. Other newbies find out after a night of sleeping in a tent that they are not cut out to be campers.

You may experience gear trouble, or experience unexpected severe weather, or perhaps you run out of supply of your food. Don’t risk going out too far because if things like these happen, going home early may not be an easy option.

Trust us, especially if it’s your first time and you lack some surviving skills, you don’t like to continue your camping in these inconvenient situations.

Enjoy Your First Camping

Camping is a lot of fun and a wonderful, relaxing time to commune with nature. Don’t let all the stresses ruin your trip.

Just do your homework keep it simple and with this little consideration, you are on your way to having a rewarding camping trip that will create memories for years.

Leave a Comment