Parents and child camping

A Beginner's Guide to Camping

Going for a trip to the great outdoors can be both a relaxing and exciting experience at the same time. But what if you are not a seasoned camper? What if you have no idea what to do while out there?

Not to worry. There is a first time for everything. The lack of experience should not discourage anyone from pursuing an adventure outdoors. To help you out, here are our five top tips to keep in mind.


1) Practice Pitching the Tent First

Imagine driving to a campsite, with all the necessary gear packed, and then realizing you do not know how to pitch a tent. Disaster, right? How can any camper enjoy the experience without a safe place to sleep?

If you are new to camping and adventuring outdoors, at least practice doing the basics first. Borrow a tent from a friend, or if you have your own already, try pitching it in your backyard. We have a guide on how to properly set up a tent.

Practice pitching the tent as many times as you need to get the hang of it. That way, once you are at the actual campsite, you will have no problems.


2) Choose a Campsite that is Close to Home

You never know; how circumstances may force you to bug out and go back to the safety of home. Especially for beginners, it can be quite unsettling to be caught in the wilderness unprepared. Your own life and others can be at stake here, so it is only wise to have a plan to bail out easily.

If you really do not think you are ready for an actual campsite yet, your backyard is a great place to start. You can schedule a night this way right next to your home. Pitch a tent, grill some food, and set up some chairs and a table for a simple picnic and campout. You can even do it with the whole family for more fun.

It is still going to be an awesome experience, nonetheless. Plus, your mind will be at ease, knowing that you are at home. It will take the worry out of being in the middle of nowhere. For a more in depth, guide check out nationalgeographic.com for some great tips.


3) Borrow or Rent Gear

Camping requires a lot of different stuff. Even the most basic essentials, like a tent, sleeping bags, lighting, and stove, can cost a few hundred dollars. So if you would rather not spend that much money, you can always rent or borrow from friends. craigslist.org is a great place to find secondhand tents.

Renting or borrowing is also a lot more practical if you do not camp out regularly. The extra money you save means you can safely buy better equipment later, for example, and truly enjoy your outdoor adventure. REI has created a great video below, that will help you create a campinng checklist.

4) Bring Clothes that are Okay to get dirty

When you are camping outdoors, you can not help avoid getting some dirt on your clothes. And if the weather is rainy, chances are you will also get wet. In this sort of environment, rule out cotton right away. It will leave you feeling cold and soggy. Instead, choose clothes that are water-repellent and quick-drying. As for colors, whites are a no-no. Darker colors would be more appropriate.

muddy hiking boots

5) Bring lots of food

All the trekking around and exploring you will do will surely make you hungry. Since grilling outdoors is part and parcel of the fun of camping, all the more that you should expect to eat a lot. So bring plenty of food to satisfy your hunger. You may not be eating like a bear. You will probably be eating more than you think. The outdoors can give everyone a huge appetite.

bbq with lots of sausages and bacon

While you are preparing for your first ever campout, also check out our camping checklist. Better to have everything you need than realize later on that you forgot something.

Happy adventuring and enjoy the outdoors!

Next up >> Camping with Kids