Top 5 First Time Camping Tips for Newbies

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So you’re looking to leave behind the city life and trek into the outdoors?

Good for you! Camping is the first step toward getting in touch with your wild side, and the health benefits are the cherry on top.

But there’s a lot of information out there, so where to start?

Luckily, these five tips will walk you through your first time camping, whether you’re taking the family or going it solo.

Get the gear

If you’ve spent ten minutes reading about camping equipment, you know how complex discussions can get.

Don’t let it overwhelm you. We’re here to keep it simple.

Let’s cover the absolute basics:

  • Tent: As a first-time camper, you’ll want to keep it simple. First, determine what size tent you’ll need, and then aim for something mid-range to purchase. Checkout our extensive list of tent reviews.
  • Footprint: This waterproof panel provides a buffer between your tent and the wet ground. Your tent will likely have a footprint built in, but an additional footprint will save you mess, wear and tear.
  • Sleeping bag and pad: Go for a mid-range sleeping bag suitable for the expected temperature. An air-filled sleeping pad will keep you comfortable overnight.

Research and plan

The internet is a great resource for finding campsites, but be thorough. A miserable campsite means a miserable experience. These are some top notch sites to visit across the US.

Understand the facilities, expected climate, and time of sunset. The fewer surprises, the better. Aim to arrive early to find a good spot and pitch while it’s still light.

Pack right

You have the gear, but what about the tools? Here’s a list of tools we consider must-haves for your first time camping.

  • Flashlights and lanterns
  • Freshwater
  • Hiking boots
  • Maps and a compass
  • First aid kit
  • Rope
  • Weatherproof gear
  • Pocket knife

Test your equipment

You have everything, but does your tent have a tear in it? Are your flashlight batteries flat? Don’t wait until you’re in the wilderness and miles from anywhere to find out.

Avoid first time camping mistakes

You know what to bring, you’re planning to test it all, and you know where you’re going. What could possibly go wrong? Finding out is one of the joys of camping, but you can minimize disasters by following these pointers.

  • Buy quality: You get what you pay for. A good purchase will last years. Buy rubbish and it’ll last you one miserable trip before you throw it out forever.
  • Protect your food (and your garbage!):  Leave food where animals can reach it and they’ll eat your buffet without stopping to tip you, leaving you with no choice but to traipse home. Garbage is likely to attract pests. Besides, you should leave the camp site as you found it and the same if you’re boondocking.
  • Bring lighting: Unless you want all activity to cease as soon as the sun goes down, you’ll want ample lighting.
  • Prep for the weather – any weather: Don’t assume the weather forecast is on your side if you want to enjoy the experience. Be prepared and ensure you understand all about waterproofing a tent.

That’s it! Run through this list a few times and you’ll soon be a happy (first time) camper! What’s more go on a few camping trips and you might be ready to contribute to our growing list of camping tips for beginners.

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