Tips And Tricks For The Novice Camper

Smores by the campfire

Whether you are a first-time camper flying solo, or you have an experienced outdoorsy friend to go on adventures with, we have formulated some great tips on how to make your first camping trip one to remember! Follow these guided tips and tricks from Camping for Beginners.

Important Camping Gear

First and foremost, it is important to keep in mind that camping is very primitive. You won’t have the things you are typically used to having at your fingertips, like a stove, shower, furniture, electricity, etc. This is where camping gear will come into play. To keep a budget, ask friends or family if they have any gear you can borrow, or find a local sporting goods store that will rent anything you cannot borrow.

There are seven key pieces of camping gear you will need to have an authentic camping experience! These items include a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad/air mattress, lighting, a stove, cooler, kitchen utensils, and camping chairs.

What to Wear

When camping, you have to pack smart! Pack your clothing in a plastic container or tub that you can use to do dishes later! Make sure you pack a warm coat (even if the weather is warmer), thermals, a warm hat and socks for nighttime, a raincoat to be safe, and of course some sturdy, hiking boots! Need some examples? Check out this  What to Wear Hiking article!

Camping Toiletries

It is so important to bring the proper toiletries. That includes a first aid kit. In addition, no matter what the weatherman says, always prepare for sun and bugs with sunscreen and lots of bug repellant. Keep in mind campsites can sometimes run out of supplies, so bring an extra roll or two of toilet paper, a bar of soap, and a towel. Hand sanitizer is also great, just in case.

Camping Meals

Planning out your meals in advance is an important aspect of camping! You want to make sure you don’t run out of food or go hungry. A good mix of both fresh and canned food is always nice. Make sure to pack lots of snacks and ingredients for s’mores. After all, who goes camping without s’mores?

Be sure to check out Food Storage and Handling for Campers and Backpackers. This will help you pack away food and garbage in a safe way so you don’t attract rodents or bears. Do not overlook this important step, as it is for your safety.

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Where to Go

Wherever you choose to adventure, make your campsite reservations well in advance. You can google local campsites, or use Recreation.gov to look for public lands to set up camps. For your first time camping, it is best to use a site with facilities (restrooms, running water, etc.) to avoid any mishaps or discomfort.

Here is a condensed Camping Checklist to stay organized!