10 Camping Mistakes to Avoid

Our experts give their top tips for your next outdoor adventure

Many campers are generous enough to share their blunders so that others won’t make the same mistake of committing them. Some say that experience will teach you how to be a good camper, but if you are new to camping, you shouldn’t need to wait years to learn the mistakes to be avoided.

Here are the top 10 common camping mistakes that you should avoid:

  1. Bringing the whole house with you. Many inexperienced campers tend to bring so many items that they end up being overloaded and tired because of the heavy loads to carry around. This is why it’s so important that you are able to distinguish what’s essential from not.Create a checklist of things to bring and compare it with online checklists so you will have an idea. The basic camping checklist should compose of camping tentssleeping bags, lanterns, flashlight, outdoor cookware, cooking and eating utensils, coolers, stove, tables and chair, first aid kit, food and water, clothing and personal toiletries.
  2. Leaving the campsite dirty. No camper in his right mind would trash a campsite and leave it knowing how frustrating it is for the next campers to arrive at a dirty camping spot. You should always follow the “leave no trace” camping policy which entails proper disposable of garbage and keeping the campsite clean.
  3. Being noisy. Most campsites assign quiet hours during the night so that campers will have a peaceful sleep. It sure is fun to do some night partying but you should be considerate to other campers and observe these quiet hours.
  4. Cooking elaborate meals. Outdoor cooking is indeed a lot more difficult than cooking at home. Don’t make the mistake of attempting to prepare an overly complicated dish that would take a whole day of preparation. Simple, easy-to-cook but sumptuous meals are ideal for camping trips.
  5. Leaving food unattended. Once finished, it’s best to put away food and store them in the trunk of your car or other secure spot so as not to attract bears or any other animals who are craving to steal your picnic basket.
  6. Not looking after the kids. Tend to the kids at all times. It’s easy for them to get lost or encounter a mishap so it’s best that you always keep a keen eye on them. If you should be busy doing something, be sure to leave the kids under the supervision of another adult (but never with a stranger of course).
  7. Eating, cooking or lighting up a lantern inside a tent. The tent is a sleeping area. Cooking and lighting up lanterns inside it are extremely dangerous and will attract critters and ants.
  8. Collecting firewood at the campsite. If you intend to have a campfire, it’s a good idea to bring your own firewood or buy from a store. It’s never okay to gather firewood at the local area because if everybody did that, the forest will soon be denuded.
  9. Letting pets loose. Always keep pets under control under any circumstance.
  10. Forgetting to completely put out the campfire. When you leave the camp or before you go to sleep, be sure you’ve completely extinguished the campfire and that there’s no chance for it to re-ignite.

Mistakes are not something we should regret, they are something we should learn from. And while it’s good to learn from our own mistakes, nobody said we cannot learn from others. So on your next camping trip, always keep these common mistakes in mind and try your best to avoid them.