Your first camping trip will always be the most memorable. Whether you’re backpacking or camping with your family, you will have the experience of a lifetime. However, there are some things you really need to know when you go camping, especially if it’s your first time. We have rounded up the most significant camping prep essentials so you can enjoy a stress-free trip. Read more below and make sure you check them all off before hitting the road.
All You Need to Know before Going Camping
You shouldn’t be afraid to explore the wonderful world of camping. You should, nonetheless, be well-prepared. Check out the 7 things you really need to know when you go camping so you can wisely make the most of your adventure in nature.
1. Choose the Best Spot
As they say in real estate – location, location, location. When camping for the first time, we strongly encourage you to choose a campsite instead of a random picturesque spot. You have an abundance of campgrounds nationwide to choose from, including state or national parks. Pick a fair season, check the weather forecast, and make reservations to book your spot. On the day of your trip, get to the campsite early to become familiar with rules and install your tent.
2. Buy, Practice, and Test out Gear
One of the most important things you really need to know when you go camping is picking the right tent. After you find out what to know before buying a tent, practice setting it up in your house or backyard. Choose an instant tent to make your first trip less stressful. Prepare and test the gear you’ll bring along, whether it’s a lantern (with extra batteries), a utility knife or a camp stove.
3. Prepare Bedding
When venturing into nature for camping, you’ll most likely want to explore your surroundings. Well, long hiking trips require plenty of quality sleep. You obviously won’t enjoy hotel-like comfort in your tent, but you can ensure a good night’s rest by preparing your bedding:
- Sleeping bag
- Inflatable mattress (optional, typically used when traveling to campgrounds by car)
- Sleeping pad (for extra cushion)
4. Be Ready for Any Weather
We all know how unpredictable the weather can be. Consequently, another one of the things you really need to know when you go camping is to prepare for the worst. In addition to ensuring that you have a quality rainfly for your tent, you need to pack the right clothes and accessories for rain or shine:
- Clothing with moisture-wicking fabrics
- Rain gear
- Thick socks (wool or synthetic)
- Hiking boots
- Head protection (cap, sun hat, etc.)
- Swimsuit (for fair-weather camping near lakes/ rivers)
Create a checklist so you don’t forget anything.
5. Stock up on Snacks
With all the hiking and exploring you’ll be doing, you’re going to need a good stash of snacks. Regardless of how tempting it may be, stay away from junk food. Instead, pack healthy snacks that will give you a boost of energy throughout the day:
- Trail mix
- Granola bars
- Beef jerky
- Dried fruits
* For fun around the campfire, pack marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers for s’mores!
6. Plan All Meals
In order to save time and on-site distress, plan all of your meals well beforehand. Think about how many campers will be in your group and the number of days you’ll be camping. After that, put together meal ideas and shop for groceries the day before you leave for your trip. Also, make sure that you have all the essentials for campfires:
- Camping stove
- Outdoor cooking utensils
7. Ensure Hygiene and Safety
Finally, your safety and hygiene are some of the most significant things you really need to know when you go camping. A fully-stocked first-aid kit is a must, but so are the following:
- Baby wipes
- Insect repellent
- Hand sanitizer
- Blister cream
- Personal hygiene items (soap, toilet paper, toothpaste and toothbrush, etc.)
Overall, camping is an incredible experience that you should have fun preparing for. As long as you keep these 7 things you really need to know when you go camping, you shouldn’t have any major issues. For even more helpful info, we recommend scanning through the best outdoor and camping blogs too. When you’ve checked off your first camping trip, share your story and any other tips you discovered in the comments below.