Camping is exciting, but it’s a bit intimidating at first. However, doing some research can go a long way. And we’ve already made that more accessible by putting our research and experience into these tips. So, tag along for a unique first experience!
12 Things Beginner Campers Should Know First
1. Test Your Gear
Setting up a tent is a bit of a challenge, especially when it’s your first time. We’ve seen campers spend hours figuring out how it works and wasting most of their first day on such a simple task.
This is why we recommend setting the tent at home first. So, go through the manual if there’s one, and figure out where everything goes before you actually have to do it.
Although setting up the tent needs the most practice, it’s best to check up on other gear. For instance, you need to check how the stove works and learn how to change the lantern or torch batteries just in case. This will save you a lot of time and ensure a trouble-free camping experience.
2. Choose a Big Tent
Many new campers don’t know how to estimate the tent capacity accurately, but we can’t entirely blame it on them because it’s truly deceiving. Manufacturers usually decide the capacity of the tent according to the average size of occupants. In other words, they don’t consider their essentials or gear, so campers end up getting the wrong-sized tents.
In our experience, it’s best to get a tent that’s rated for 2 more occupants than the actual number of campers, although you can get away with only one extra space if you have a child.
3. Make a Checklist
Staying organized is crucial not only for beginner campers but for all campers. The thing about camping is that there’s a lot of packing, so you can easily forget something crucial.
Furthermore, making a checklist won’t only help you take all the necessary items, but it’ll stop you from forgetting any of them at the campsite because you can cross them off as you’re packing to go back home.
Additionally, you can update your checklist for future camping trips. And you’ll have a chance to take note of things that break or wear out so that you can replace them before you go on your next trip.
4. Check the Forecast
Weather is pretty unpredictable, and even though you should always be prepared for the worst, it helps to know if the worst is more likely. That being said, new campers are advised to plan their trips around summertime.
5. Plan Your Meals
Planning your meals makes shopping much more manageable. And don’t just go to the market and pick whatever seems easy to cook because you might end up not taking enough food. Also, some meals are better pre-cooked.
6. Choose a Campsite With Phone Coverage
Camping is a great way to escape our busy lives. But if you’re a new camper, we suggest you pick a site with service coverage for a handful of reasons.
First of all, having coverage gives you access to the internet, so if you’re having any trouble setting the tent, starting the campfire, or anything like that, you can easily find out how to do it. Second of all, you can view maps on your phone, which gives you some freedom of motion. And lastly, you can always get help if you get lost or in case of an emergency.
7. Stay Close to Home
There’s a lot to learn on your camping trips, and you may decide to quit! But, if not, many circumstances can still force you to call off the entire trip, such as breaking the tent, forgetting an essential piece of equipment, abrupt weather changes, and otherwise.
So, it’d be wise to stay close to your home on the very first few trips. This way, you can head back in no time if anything goes wrong until you get the hang of it and learn to cope with different situations.
8. Review the Campground Rules
Campgrounds have different rules, and it’s necessary to be aware of them. Accordingly, you get to avoid getting a warning, putting your life on the line without knowing it, and paying an expensive fine.
To elaborate, there are specific regulations when it comes to noise levels, campfires, off-limit areas, garbage disposal, and more, so be sure to check them out before settling in.
9. Practice Parking and Reversing the RV
Reversing an RV is tricky, which is why many new campers struggle with it. To save yourself the trouble, you can hire an instructor to help you park an RV if you don’t have experience with it. Otherwise, you can read or even watch some videos to get all the necessary information and practice on your own.
10. Arrive at the Campsite Early
When it’s your first time visiting a campsite, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the amenities and the rules. That’s why it helps to arrive early. Moreover, it allows you to choose better grounds, and you’ll have plenty of time to set up the tent and organize your equipment without wasting the day.
11. Bring Enough Clothing
As surprising as it may sound, you won’t have access to a laundry facility at the camp, so don’t count on it. Instead, bring extra clothing, and keep in mind that the weather might change, so you should always have a jacket and a rain suit if possible.
12. Don’t Go Solo
As appealing as solo camping may seem, it’s better to have company on your first trip so that they help you with cooking, collecting firewood, and other tasks that can get pretty boring if you’re doing them alone. Ultimately, it helps to have someone to hang out and make memories with; it’s arguably the best part about camping.