How to get started with camping.
Having been on countless camps growing up, I have gathered enough knowledge and tips to pass down to beginner campers. After making a good amount of mistakes over the years, the majority of them I look back on fondly and laugh at, I can safely say I know more or less what works and what doesn’t.
The ultimate tip for camping is to not worry so much about minor mishaps. Mistakes will be made. You should have a rough plan, but don’t overthink it. Having categorized tote bags for packing and making lists will help tons! As a beginner, you won’t be needing a lot of equipment as you will probably amass all that stuff as time goes by. But, the most basic item you’ll probably need is a tent. If you don’t think you’re going to go camping frequently, you can always borrow one from friends or family. But, if you’re looking to buy one, check out this link for the best six person tent to get for your next camping trip. With the basics out of the way, let’s delve deeper into more tips that’ll ensure a smooth and eventful campaign experience!
Bring sufficient cleaning tools
Getting some dirt on you is part and parcel of being out in nature, and that is fine! But you can always bring along tools to make things easier for you, such as a doormat to step on, a broom and a dustpan so that you can clean up the space during your stay.
There’s no dryer in the woods, so all you get is the sun – thus, a clothesline will help loads. Paracord seems to work best when drying my clothes but you can always try other types of strings such as twine or even rope. It always helps to pack extra if you’re bringing children along.
Create a meal plan
A few days is optimal for a first time experience at camping. You will need an icebox to keep your food cold and don’t forget to make sure you seal the food well in bags or containers or it will start to get soggy. You should always plan ahead so that you can maximise the space and pack the food that you’ll need.
Make do with what you have
You don’t always have to go by the book with most things. For example, I opted for a mini-fridge instead of a cooler because I found that it was more effective in storing our food. I owned one when I was in college and it worked the same. I even brought utensils from my own kitchen, such as a spatula that I kept as spare and other tools. Some people even reuse their Christmas lights (white ones, of course) as a light course for their campsite.
Decide where you want to camp ahead of your trip
Choose your campsite when planning your trip. One good thing about most campsites is that you can make online reservations. Because pictures can be rather deceiving, you can always go on what we call scouting runs. On scouring runs, we measure our tent dimensions against the campsite area and find a nice area where the ground is flat and dry for us to lay our tent on. By reserving the space, you get to have a much more peaceful trip without having the hassle of wasting precious time on finding a spot. Remember to find a campsite with sufficient amenities and always be mindful of where the toilets and shower stalls are located.
Prepare for potential wet weather
Rain is almost never fun on a camping trip. Puddles are formed everywhere and you might get caught in the rain if you don’t have sufficient shelter. Having a sheltered tent helps, but the water might pool at the top of the shelter and one slip might result in you being soaked by the rainwater. Beware of any electrical cords going into any puddles or getting wet because the consequences might be dire. But remember, you don’t have to be miserable and stay in the wet tent if you don’t want to. It’s okay to cut the trip short and go home. But just to be safe, always check the weather forecast before you go on your camping trip.
Pack additional clothing
Contrary to what a lot of travel websites tell you, I think it’s important to always pack extra because you never know when you might need an extra change of clothes, especially for children if you’re bringing them along.
Don’t worry about minor details
You’re supposed to be unwinding and relaxing on your trip, so it won’t be a big deal if you miss out on a tube of toothpaste. If you forget something, you can always go and get it at the store. Your mistakes may just turn out to be one of your craziest stories that you can look back on and laugh at.
Start practicing mindfulness
Camping can be a start to practicing mindfulness. Being in nature means you can take in your surroundings fully with your five senses. What do you hear, smell, see, feel? It could be the crash of the waves or the summer breeze. The best way to utilize a getaway like this is to let go of the things you cannot control and to simply be.
Use a lock for storing food items
Unless you want to end up losing your food to bears or monkeys, remember to keep your food safe! I tend to secure my food boxes with a lock even when I’m camping in countries that are not known for having many wild animals. This means you have to dispose of your trash as well.
Accumulate your inventory
You don’t need to splurge on your inventory and go on your first camping trip in a barren land far away. Start off small and borrow tents from people around you, or get a second-hand tent. Try out camping for a night to test the waters. RVs are a good option if you don’t want to stay in a tent as you actually get to sleep on a bed and have an air conditioner. You don’t have to go big or go home.
Dealing with pesky insects
I’ve camped in many hot and humid conditions over the years, which means I’ve faced tons of bugs during my time camping. Thankfully, you can prevent them through different means. I have a bug zapper and I plug it in at night. It really does help reduce the mosquitoes in my area by a substantial amount. Insect sprays are great for getting rid of any pests around the tent so they do not enter your sleeping place. Zip up your tent before you turn on your lights in the tent because it will definitely attract bugs. And don’t forget to bring along some itch soothing cream!
There’s no one size fits all way to camp. People do things differently when they go camping. Some have a larger camper and stay indoors the whole trip, some spend their time in the waters, some spend it in the wilderness. It’s all about what works best for you and what you enjoy the most. The best thing about going on camping trips is that you’re free to do what you wish and the activities you enjoy. So let loose and enjoy your time camping!