Camping Advice For Beginners
If you click and purchase with one of our links, we earn a commission. Thanks.
Camping is a great way to spend time with friends and family, but it can be hard to know what you need to bring.
We’ve all been there - the excitement of camping quickly fades when you realize that your tent isn’t waterproof or you don’t have enough food for everyone.
Check out these first-time camping tips so you’re prepared for anything!
Every month my friend Randall hosts a group campout at his house. This sounds odd, except he lives on 30 acres of pristine wods. And he prepared his land for group campouts complete with a swimming pond, fire pits, and a hiking trail.
It’s about the perfect place for first-time campers and as a result, we have plenty of first-timers come out.
Let’s look at our tips.
Go To A Place Close To Home
Camping is meant to be fun and not to prove that you are the next Daniel Boone or Bear Grylls.
If you are taking your kids camping for the first time then you might want to go camping somewhere close. It’s too much work hauling all your gear and tents, etc, etc for you to drive several hours to get there.
You will be exhausted when you reach your destination and then need to pitch the tent and unload the car. A local campground is a better option.
Most Americans live within an hour of a campground. I am blessed because the town I live on is home to the largest lake shoreline in the entire state of Texas.
My nearest campground is 20 minutes from my driveway and that’s if I hit traffic!
Another benefit of going to a place close to your home is that if you forget something you can go get it.
Go To A State Park
State parks are great for first-time camping. They offer a wide variety of camping options from primitive tent camping to RV hookups. You can choose based on what you feel most comfortable with and they are usually cheap!
If possible go during the off-season. The cost is cheaper but it’s still fun.
The best part is that most of the time they have bathhouses (showers and toilets) in them too! Thus you don’t have to worry about having to poop in the woods.
And if you feel yucky of a day out in the dirt, you can always take a shower.
However, I’m a dude. I have yet to use a shower at a state park. This means when I come home after a weekend of camping, my dog loves me because I smell good and my wife won’t even kiss me until I take a shower at home.
Go In Spring Or Fall With Good Weather
Weather ruins camping trips. If it is hot, you will be miserable. If it’s cold and rainy, you don’t want to be camping at all!
Camping in spring allows you to enjoy the weather when it’s cool but not so cold that everything is frozen too much. It also means that the bugs aren’t a problem.
Camping in the fall, you avoid most insects and don’t have to worry about the temperature dropping too much.
While eventually, you can learn how to camp in colder weather or even enjoy the rain, for your first time camping it’s best to go when the weather is just perfect.
And here’s another secret about the weather. If the weather turns sour unexpectedly, it is ok to pack up and home early.
Get The Right Gear For Camping
A great quality tent is essential for camping. You will also need a sleeping pad or air mattress plus a sleeping bag.
A camping stove is great to have too. It’s much easier to heat up a can of chili than it is to cook over an open fire. But if you do want to use an open fire, make sure you know what you are doing!
A flashlight or headlamp is great for at night when the sun goes down. If there’s no moon out then you need the flashlight.
Plan For Fun Activities
Pack cards and board games. Also, bring a bunch of videos to watch at night before you go to bed or during the day when it rains.
Bring a cooler for drinks and snacks too! You don’t need to spend $10 for a soda from the camp store if you have your own cooler with drinks.
You can also plan a hike. Most campgrounds have a hiking trail. Use the AllTrails app to judge the difficulty of the trail because, for the first time, you want to stick to easy trails.
If you want to spend a day fishing then throw some gear in too. If you don’t know how to fish, buy a few different lures and try them out on your first time to see what works best for you. Then take your time and learn the best way to fish.
It's Ok To Glamp
Here’s a bonus tip: glamp! Glamping is a combination of camping and glamour.
You can still do a bunch of the normal camping activities but instead of pitching a tent, rent an RV or even just bring along your campervan or trailer so you have some creature comforts like running water!
Glamping can be a great way to ease into camping.
You’re nervous about going camping for the first time. You’ve heard horror stories of people getting eaten by bears or being attacked by a swarm of mosquitos!
Camping is fun and easy to do, even for beginners. If you prepare properly and go with friends then your first time camping will be an enjoyable experience that you’ll look forward to doing again!
Going on your first camping trip can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to expect.
This is why we created an essential outdoor skills course.
If you’re nervous about going camping for the first time, don’t worry. Camping is a great way to enjoy nature and connect with friends in a new environment without having to spend money on expensive hotel rooms or restaurants. With some basic preparation, you’ll be able to have an enjoyable experience that will make your next trip even better!
To learn more outdoor skills including how to choose the right gear, plan fun activities and go glamping if that’s what suits your needs best–check out our essential outdoor skills course today!