For beginners, camping can be a daunting prospect.
Deciding what to bring camping, what the essentials are, what gear to pack, and what food to cook...can be enough to put most beginner campers off for good.
But don't fret!
ZipOutdoors is here to help you on your merry way. In this post you'll learn the best camping tips for beginners, including our special camping for beginners checklist, and a whole array of camping tips and hacks to make your first camping trip one to remember.
Related Post: How To Stay Cool While Camping
Your preparations can make a huge difference between a comfortable camping trip and a miserable one. It's wise to plan the trip thoughtfully, pack for it carefully and make backup plans in case something unexpected happens.
You can simplify your packing, campsite setup and teardown by differentiating between luxury items and essential camping supplies. It's up to you to decide what's a luxury versus what's a necessity for the trip you have in mind. Consider the following items as essentials you'll want to take with you on any camping trip:
You'll usually want to dress in layers when you go camping. Your choice of clothing will depend largely on the destination, time of year and local climate.
If it's a summertime beach camping trip; shorts, t-shirts, sandals and swimsuits are probably what you want to pack.
If you'll be trekking through the snow in a winter camping trip, you'll need multiple layers of clothing including a base layer, a middle layer that acts as an insulator and a waterproof outer layer. Waterproof mountaineering boots are a good investment. So are heavyweight merino wool mountaineering socks. Additional necessities to complete the outfit include mittens and a hat.
Campsite cooking is easier if you prep your meals in the kitchen at home before you arrive. Make a meal plan with a checklist and run through the checklist as you pack each item. Pack ingredients in clear plastic when possible so you can see the contents of each container. Organize your food in the cooler beforehand and label your containers if it isn't immediately obvious what's in them from the outside.
If carrying a cooler is out of the question because of the campsite's remote location, freeze-dried meals are a popular solution. In that case, your cooking gear can consist primarily of a teapot or other dish for boiling water. You would then use the water to reconstitute each freeze-dried meal.
When camping in bear country, there are a few things you need to know before you head out. You should never leave your food locked in your car. Bears often break into cars in search of a meal. Instead, you'll want to pack your food inside a bear bag that you can tie high up in a tree out of their reach. Use a reflective cord to tie the bag with so you can easily see it in case you need to access your food any time between sunset and sunrise.
Further Reading: Bear Safety (How To Stay Alive)
If rain is forecast, you may want to add some waterproof gear to your list of things to pack. A few extra tarps, a raincoat, rain pants and waterproof boots are all useful items to have when camping in the rain. Don’t let rain put you off – a little bit of preparation will allow you to embrace the elements and have a fantastic time whatever the weather!
It's important to learn how to tie knots such as two half hitches.
Pick level ground that's free of rocks, sticks and debris. When pitching your tent under trees, do a careful check for dead branches to avoid camping underneath tree limbs that could fall and injure you. You especially want to beware of limbs that don't have any leaves if the rest of the tree is vibrant and blooming.
You can use a mixture of water and ordinary tea tree oil to keep bugs away while camping. Sage is an excellent mosquito repellent that can be tossed in your campfire instead of using toxic chemical repellents. You can light citronella candles to repel flies. There are many other botanical oils such as mint and eucalyptus that repel bugs.
While camping might seem like harmless activity to enjoy with friends and family - and it is - there's still quite a few things that can go wrong. And they often do when you least expect it. A little bit of preparation and brushing up on your survival skills will give you peace of mind to relax and enjoy your camping trip.
And if you're camping in the wintertime, you'll want to be alert to the possibility that avalanches could occur. Avoid venturing up any slope that is steeper than 20 degrees unless you have been formally trained in avalanche rescue.
Planning to tell some ghost stories? It can be fun to have a member of your group sneak off into the woods to provide a scary soundtrack to accompany your tales of terror. Have a friend bring a guitar or compact keyboard along to accompany the songs your group will sing around the campfire.
Here’s some awesome camping tips for beginner (from some well-known pros):
Method #1 (Sewmanyways): Fill each cubicle in a cardboard egg carton with a charcoal briquette of the variety that can be easily lit on fire with matches. Prep and pack one of these for each night you plan to light a fire in your campsite.
Method #2 (Reddit): Stuff an old toilet paper roll with dryer lint from your latest laundry session.
You can have flavourful food in your campsite without bringing all your seasonings along for the trip. Instead of packing all those heavy jars, make a tasty mix of your favourite seasonings. Then place the mixture in a lightweight, easily packable breath mint container.
Duct tape is helpful to have on hand for making emergency repairs to just about anything. Since an entire roll of duct tape is heavy, you definitely don't want to bring it all with you. Instead, you can wrap a short length of duct tape around your water bottle. That way the tape will be available if you need it, but it won't add a lot of extra weight to your bag.
We hope these camping tips for beginners - thee little tricks and hacks will help you plan and execute the best camping trip ever! What are your favourite camping tips and activities? Let us know in the comments. =ZIP=