What you need to know before going camping for the first time

Whether you are planning on camping by yourself or with some friends and family, it can be a great way to escape city life and bond in the serenity of mother nature. Before heading out into the wilderness, there are a few tricks of the trade you need to know before becoming an experienced camper. Being smart about what you pack can make all the difference when it comes to living outdoors for a few nights. Here are a few important things all first campers should know to make your first camp a success.

Don’t stray too far from home

If this is your first time camping, it may be best to choose a destination that is close to home. We don’t mean the park down the road either, but rather a camp resort that is within a reasonable distance to drive back home if you run into any trouble. It is not uncommon for some of us to discover that we don’t particularly enjoy sleeping in a tent on the ground. Some of us just aren’t built for camping and that is ok. By spending your first camp trip close to home, it is easier to pack up and go without the lengthy road trip.

What you need to know before going camping for the first time


Use a checklist

Before heading off, make sure everything needed to make the trip more comfortable is packed and ready to be used. A few basic items include insect repellent, raincoats, toilet paper, flashlights, a first aid kit, cooking utensils, and a lighter to get the fire going. Take some time to research a few nifty tools that will make the camping experience a whole lot easier. If you have chosen a vacation campsite or lodge instead of wild camping in the woods, be sure to check what amenities they have available so you are prepared. Once all the research has been done, compile a checklist and use it to stay organized.

Plan each meal

There are no fridges or canteens in the wild so preparing each meal is crucial to making the first camp a comfortable one. The best way to do this is to figure out how many days you will be camping and how many people would need to be fed during that time. This also helps when it comes to packing cooking and eating utensils. Be sure to choose easy meals that don’t require too many ingredients. A dairy-based meal may also not work in your favor because of the heat, the milk or cream may spoil. Add the ingredients for your pre-planned meals to the checklist and buy them a day or two before departure to ensure it stays fresh.

What you need to know before going camping for the first time

Test out the gear

One common mistake most novice campers are guilty of is not testing the gear out before getting to the campsite. If you are not familiar with camping gear it could take hours to set up a tent or figure out how the camp stove works. Practice always makes perfect so be sure to practice setting up the tent and gazebos in the backyard first. Getting familiar with the gear before leaving also helps to detect any problems with the equipment.

With the proper gear and planning, your first camping trip is guaranteed to be a success. And in time, you will become the camp master in no time!