Best Camping Tips and Tricks for Beginners
Camping as a beginner can be overwhelming. But, it is one of the easiest ways to escape your routine and explore nature.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many are preferring to camp as it is one of the safest ways to camp. Even government organizations have shared safe tips to camp during COVID-19. Camping will make things “normal” and will be a fresh change after months of being cooped up and craving for an escape.
If you want to go on a camping trip and want to be aware of camping gear, and other camping safety basics, this article is for you. By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to conquer your first camping trip! Without further ado, let’s dive into the best camping tips for beginners.
The Best Camping Tips for Beginners
How to Find a Campsite?
As a camping newbie, the best option is to find a developed campground as opposed to primitive camping. Such types of sites will have amenities such as potable water, restroom, picnic tables, and fire rings.
Government organizations operate campgrounds based on city, state or province, and federal jurisdictions. There are even private organizations that run campgrounds for profit.
One of the best ways to find campground locations is to do a quick search on the internet. From national parks to RV parks, your possibilities will be endless. When choosing a campground, you must check the following,
- Site is best suited for RVs or tents
- Water availability and bathroom accommodations
- Note any local rules and regulations
- Check for reservations if the campground is popular
What Are the Best Camping Gears for Beginners?
For a successful camping trip, you require some basic items. But, you need not go on a splurge camping shopping online or offline to buy the top-of-the-line equipment. The brands and logos will be tempting, but there are plenty of other options. These days even established brands are selling affordable gear that performs just well.
Camping shopping online or offline can be broken down into two categories - must-haves and nice-to-haves.
Here are some of the camping must-haves.
Tent : A critical part of camping as it’ll protect you from elements and keep you warm and comfortable. Take a look at our tent buying guide to learn more about how to choose the best tent for different scenarios.
Sleeping bag : A good sleeping bag is important because if you don’t sleep properly, you’ll not be able to enjoy your trip. Choose one with good temperature ratings based on whether you plan to sleep in hot or cold weather.
Sleeping pad/mattress : This will give you an extra layer of cushioning and insulating air between your body and the hard ground. Choose one which has a good level of comfort, insulated pads, and weighs less.
Cooking supplies : It is crucial if you plan to cook tasty meals and it’ll also help to purify water. Invest in a good stove that will cook well in moderate conditions such as a canister stove. You also need to take cooking utensils such as plates, bowls, knives, and matches. Take some biodegradable soap and a sponge to clean stuff.
Headlamp/lantern and flashlight : Light will help you move around safely in the dark and will also be valuable during emergencies. When buying a headlamp or lantern, try to pick ones that are battery-powered and lightweight.
Water bottle : You need to carry something that will hold water and other drinks while camping. Either carry lightweight bottles or a hydration reservoir as it is convenient and you don’t have to stop each time to sip some water.
Camp chair : After sitting on a bench or hard ground you’d really wish that you had brought a camp chair with you. Depending on the type of camping you plan to go to, you need to purchase the chair.
First-aid supplies : Getting cuts and stings while camping is common. So, always pack a first-aid kit. Buy a preassembled kit as it’ll come with helpful tips. Most of the outdoor
What Are Some Essentials Tips That First Time Campers Must Know?
Here are some advice/tips you must know as a first-time camper.
Become familiar with your gear : Don’t try your camping gear when you get to the campground. Practice setting your tent in your backyard. Also, check if the other camping stuff like sleeping bags is working properly.
Purchase big tent : Many new campers always have a cramped 1st-time experience. Space and comfort should be your top priority unless you’re going backpacking. For a family of 2, buy a 4-person tent; for a family of 4, buy a 6-person tent; if it’s more than 4 you can buy a 10-person tent and so on.
Make a checklist : Keep a gaming gear checklist so you can stay organized and you’ll leave nothing behind. Be s smart camper and use a checklist and check off each item while packing.
Camp toiletries : Buy sunscreen, bug repellent, and bathroom supplies such as soap, toilet paper, and a small towel. You also need to buy hand sanitizer.
Arrive early : You’d probably be unfamiliar with the campground amenities and rules. So, arrive early and learn about the campground layout.
Plan your meals : Figure out the number of meals you’ll be making and for how many people. Do your grocery shopping a day before your trip so the items will be fresh.
What to Wear During Camping?
Apart from a tent, sleeping bag, eats, liquids, you have to dress properly for success. First off, comfort should be of utmost importance. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, here are some basic rules you have to follow.
- Check the weather forecast for days you’ll be camping
- Carry extra headgear, gloves, and socks
- Layer up before you get cold
- Do not underestimate how quickly the weather can change
- Avoid wearing cotton as they take longer to dry if you get wet
Now that we have covered the basics, here are the types of clothing you need to purchase according to the seasons.
Summer : Long-sleeved shirts, sun hats, neck buffs, and Kool Ties. The fabrics must be lightweight, with vents to allow for cooling and breathability. Also, check for UPF ratings and the level of UV radiation the fabric will allow. For footwear, you can select shoes with good ventilation and breathable sock. Sandals models with trail-ready treads are also an excellent choice.
Spring/Fall : Combo of husky insulating layers with cozy under-layers, tops, socks, and mid-layers that the ones recommend for summer. Ideally, the clothes you choose must protect you from both the sun and cold.
Winter : Wool fabrics for base layer; for mid-layers down, synthetic downs, or fleece; for feet, hiking boots, and heavyweight woolen socks. You also need to get a warm beanie, gloves, and a pair of gaiters for your hands and to keep your feet dry.
All Seasons : No matter the season, waterproofs clothes must be in your bag as the weather predictions might change and you’ll be glad that you brought them along.
Shoes : Closed-toed shoes with good ventilation and breathable socks is a must. Boots, trail runners, and running shoes are good choices too. Carry more than one pair of shoes so you’ll be prepared for unforeseen camping situations.
How To Choose the Perfect Tent Spot to Pitch your Tent?
Here are some tips that’ll help you find the perfect place to pitch your tent.
Avoid windy areas : Check for hedges, bushes, or trees that’ll act as a good shelter. A sheltered place is usually a good spot to camp. However, make sure the area is not windy as it’ll ruin your trip.
Rain : This depends on the direction of the wind. You don’t want to camp in an area where the rain will enter your tent.
Pitching near the play area : It could be fun to pitch near one if you plan to take kids along. However, other kids will be playing and there’ll be a lot of noise.
Flat ground : Choose a pitch that has flat ground otherwise it’ll ruin your sleeping experience.
Clean the pitch : Remove ticks, stones, bricks, and debris before you pitch your tent.
Check for water : Pitching near a water source can be fun if you want to have a quick dip. You can even fish. But, watch out for midges, mosquitoes, and bugs. Also, even if you have a waterproof tent, the excess water must drain somewhere and a place near a water source will be a good option.
Soft ground : If possible find a soft ground that’ll get your tent pegs in and not too soft where it is marshy and muddy.
Other tips : Do not camp close by to other campers and pitch far away from fires and barbecue pits.
How to Purify Water in the Outdoors?
Understanding how to use outdoor water sources in a safe manner is crucial for your camping trip. Generally, there are 3 ways to make outdoor water safe to drink. Let’s take a look at each one of them.
Boiling : Bringing water to a rapid boil for ten minutes will kill little critters. Even though it is a little more work, it requires no extra gear. The water must completely cool down and then you can start drinking.
Filtering/Purifying : One of the fast and safe ways to clean water. Purifying is a step ahead of filtering and kill off things like viruses.
Chemicals : You can dissolve iodine tablets in the water. They are extremely effective in killing off little bugs. You can consume the water only after 30 mins, so you need to be patient.
What Are Some Camp Cooking Tips you Should Know?
Cooking is one of the most enjoyable parts of camping. From ready-made meals, outdoor fire pits, to outdoor pizza ovens there are options that will suit every taste. Remember to always carry extra matches and a lighter.
Here are some points that will help you choose the style of cooking.
Type of stove
Best suitable for
Small portable gas stoves
One-pot cooking and can be carried in a backpack.
Portable liquid or solid fuel stoves
One-pot cooking and can be carried in a backpack.
Open fire cooking
Campsites with fire pit. You can roast vegetables, meat, stews, and even soups. If weight is not a concern, you can also carry a cast-iron skillet to make breakfast.
Grilling meat if there are a large number of campers. Many campsites offer communal grills as well.
Here are some additional tips to keep in mind.
- Chop vegetables and other items and store them in a zip-lock bag
- Carry aluminum foil to bake food directly in the fire
- Take small amounts of salt, pepper, and dried herbs
- Carry a cooler if you go on car camping trips
- Pack plenty of dried foods such as pasta and packet soups
- Carry some sweet snacks like marshmallows
- Take fillings like tuna, sliced onions, and nut butter to make wraps or tortillas
You Are Now Ready for Your First Camping Trip
We hope that the tips in our article will help you enjoy your first camping trip as a total newbie. You must feel confident enough to enjoy your trip. Remember, you will not be an expert overnight, only practice makes perfect.