Camping is a fun and worthwhile experience you should check off your bucket list. Experienced campers can easily pitch a tent, start a campfire, and roast marshmallows in a matter of minutes. What if you’re new to the camping experience or haven’t been outdoors in a while? It may be hard to get started if you’re new or rusty! Here are several easy tips to help new campers and those returning from a hiatus do well on the campgrounds.
1. Pack Useful Camping Gear
You can never be too prepared on your camping trip! It’s better to err on the side of caution because once you’re out in the wild, there won’t be any convenience stores or supermarkets around to run to for supplies. When it’s just you and Mother Nature, you want to ensure you’re ready to deal with anything she throws your way!
Here are some excellent examples of camping gear to pack in your bags:
- Sleeping bags
- Tent with applicable tools
- Foldable tables and chairs
- Broom, dustpan, and trash bags
- Lighting supplies (lanterns, flashlights, etc.)
- Water filtration systems
- Kitchen and dining supplies (stove, utensils, etc.)
Although there are plenty of things you could bring along on your camping trip, these are the basic supplies you should consider packing into the back of your pickup truck or RV. As you gain more experience down the road, you can add or remove items that will make your camping trip experience more enjoyable.
2. Determine Sleeping Conditions
There’s nothing worse than finding out there’s not enough sleeping space for all of your guests. Are you really going to ask someone in your party to sleep outside in the cold, bug-infested wilderness? Of course not! Let’s nip the problem in the bud by preparing sleeping accommodations ahead of time.
Start by counting the number of people you think will be attending your camping party. Mentally decide on sleeping arrangements for everyone, whether in a tent, RV, or elsewhere. Will there be enough room in your tent? Do you have enough sleeping bags? Weigh all the factors to construct a visual map of the imaginary sleeping area so you can bring the proper sleeping supplies.
3. Choose Your Campsite
It’s up to you to choose a campsite you would be comfortable staying at, with the right conditions for you and your party. A suitable campsite will allow your party to stretch their legs, enjoy the wonders of nature, and feel safe from harm. Choosing a decent campsite ahead of time means fewer headaches down the road and less confusion once you’re on your trip.
You can choose to spend your time at a designated campsite or embark on a dispersed camping expedition. Pick your choice at local parks, state parks, national parks, national forests, private properties, and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) areas. Designated campsites may cost a fee but come with amenities such as tables, toilets, and running water. You may opt for the dispersed camping route if you prefer to go off-grid.
4. Consider the Weather
It may not be the first thing on your mind, but the weather is one huge factor you should anticipate before booking your trip. Even if you consider yourself a survivalist who can surmount any level of harsh weather, the rest of your party may appreciate the luxurious warmth of a calm, sunny day. One visit to a weather service can save your trip from disaster.
Many families will want to partake in camping trips together during warm weather, but you can choose your preferred conditions by planning for them ahead of time. Spring weather is splendid for fly fishing and a generally peaceful camping experience. Rainy weather is better for sharpening your survival instincts. Snowy or icy weather is perfect for those looking for a more extreme adventure. Whatever weather condition you choose, please take measures to stay safe during your trip.
5. Bring Plenty of Food
You will be away from civilized society for a few days and may not want to spend that time feeling hungry. When you’re out in the wilderness, you want to ensure that everyone in your party has enough to eat and drink. Fatigue or nausea can emerge from a lack of food. Dehydration can occur from a lack of water. Either way, it’s just an overall sound idea to keep enough food and water within arm’s reach.
While sitting around the campfire, you are free to cook anything your heart desires. It’s easy with clean, packaged foods that need little extra preparation before hitting the grill. While on a hike or drifting downriver, dried snacks such as trail mix will do quite nicely. Although you don’t need to eat three square meals every day, you should still ensure that everyone has enough food so that no one feels hungry on the trip. Finally, if you don’t want to bring too much with you, just bring your archery equipment and get ready to cook!
6. Dress Appropriately
Clothing becomes very important during your camping trip because it is your only defense against the harsh elements of nature. There may be “wild people” who can brave the wilderness in nothing but loin cloths and boots, but the rest of society will need much more than the bare essentials! The right set of clothing and accessories will keep you warm and dry during any camping trip.
If you already have suitable clothes that can do well outdoors, great! If you don’t have anything that can withstand harsh conditions, then consider purchasing clothing with higher durability. You can aim to bring the standard set of shirts, pants, underwear, shoes, and socks. Additionally, you can allocate space in your pack for hats, scarves, vests, jackets, gloves, and fanny packs.
While it may be tempting to hit the road on a whim, it is a much better idea to take some time to plan out your camping trip. A little extra effort toward making big decisions about the trip can save you time, reduce frustration, and help keep money in your pocket. These are a few handy tips that can help make your camping trip much easier and more enjoyable.