Perfect time hit the road and spend some quality time with family. Camping is the perfect activity! But wait .... you've never camped in your life?
No fear, we got the perfect beginner's guide to camping.
There is a first time for everything. We are all beginners when we try a new hobby, and camping happens to be such a hobby that requires a fair deal of preparation. Because camping also involves specialized tools and equipment, you’ll really need to know what to bring and how to use it before heading into the wilderness. Fear not as we will give you a great starter list of the things you should consider before you pack up and hit the open road.
Do Your Research On Where To Go
Sure, it may be a lot of fun to just throw a dart at a map and determine your camping destination based on luck, but to us, that’s not really a good idea.
Designated campgrounds offer the resources that make camping easier and safer. Yes, you could get away with just pitching a tent on the side of the road, but if this is your first venture into the woods, it’s better to stick to the well-known trail.
The most important thing to look for online is where the campgrounds are in and around your destination. Once you find that information, you will want to know fees and what all is included, and if reservations are required.
Test Drive Your Gear Before Your Outdoor Adventure
Even if all you have are the basics, you need to know how to use them.
Before your first camping trip, why not host a rehearsal in your backyard? It will simulate the approximate conditions you will face on the campsite and give you a safe place, near home, to work out the kinks in your tent set up and anything else you intend to pack on your adventure. If there happens to be a problem with your gear you’ll have the time to fix it before your campout. Having tent trouble on your camping trip may mean sleeping in your car.
Don’t Rely On A Campfire For Everything
Buy Quality Supplies
Yes, you can probably save a few bucks hitting yard sales and picking up some of the camping basics. However, for the items that you will rely on most – like your tent – it is always wise to buy good quality. You won’t truly understand the reasons until you find yourself in a downpour of rain or in the midst of a snow storm. A good quality tent will withstand most any weather conditions and stay put.
Also, although it may be tempting to save money by picking up boxes of plastic utensils, seek camping style gear that is made from materials that can take the abuse they may be subjected to on an average camping trip.
Resist Buying Too Many Gizmos
Your local hardware/outdoor supply store will be a good place to visit when it comes time to stock up on tools and supplies for your camping trip. However, try to avoid buying everything in sight. There are tons of new gimmicks on the market designed to make your experience “trouble-free”. Sure, you may find one or two time-saving devices but if your goal of camping is to ‘rough it’; you probably don’t need a foldable satellite dish for wifi. However, you may need some form of technology to fight off mosquitoes.
Stay Warm Day to Night
Plan Enough Time For Travel
No matter how prepared you may be for your first camping trip, you still need to get to your campsite with enough time to unload, set up camp, and get a fire going. If the site you have chosen is for just one night, you really want to get there early enough to soak up as much of the experience as possible. Plus, arriving late may cost you extra or you may even lose your chosen site, so being time conscious is an important trait to have. If you are trying to squeeze a camping trip into a single day, load your vehicle the day before so that all you need to do after work is grab some essentials and hit the road. This will save you time and allow you to pack anything extra you may have forgotten.
Don’t Forget To Bring Proper Lighting
The point here is that unless you plan to camp with the headlights of your vehicle keeping your campsite lit, you can remedy this situation in many different – and better – ways so you can enjoy your getaway.
Secure Your Food And Garbage
This is probably the second most important thing to remember next to knowing how to set up your tent. The last thing you need on your first camping trip is to have an uninvited guest in your campsite.
We’re not talking about the noisy guy two stalls over with the loud music and howling dog. We are talking about the critters that come out of the woods when they can smell your food and garbage. That means raccoons, skunks, and in some cases, bears. If you thought ants were a problem at a picnic, you don’t want to have the experience of a bear or two rooting through your campsite just because you neglected to stash away your food and dispose of garbage properly.
Don’t Forget To Have Fun
Remember when you wanted to try camping because it sounded like such a fun hobby? Well, it is, and once you get past all of the tedious preparation and you fall into a routine where packing and unpacking becomes second nature, you’ll actually enjoy it.
The whole idea behind getting away for a weekend with a tent and additional camping gear is to enjoy being somewhere relaxing. It is a great hobby and you will meet some incredibly nice people wherever you pitch your tent. However, roughing it is not for everyone. If you have family members who do not enjoy the experience try finding friends who share similar interests.
Despite all of the preparation, getting outdoors and sleeping under a blanket of stars may be just what you need to recharge. Just remember to be prepared with the proper tools and enough time to enjoy each and every moment spent in the great outdoors. Hopefully this article has provided you with an outline of what to do to truly enjoy camping.
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