The allure of the great out doors draws many a wanderer to it. A night under canvas, stories by the camp fire, the freedom of sleeping outdoors is something that simply can’t be beaten, and it’s a great activity for families, friends, or even solo adventurers. Often the reason people haven’t tried camping yet is that they think they won’t enjoy it, or they don’t know what to expect, so we’ve reached out to some seasoned campers who know the ins and outs of every aspect, from years of experience.
New campers sometimes learn things the hard way, and even experienced campers overlook things from time to time. Remember these common mistakes of new campers, and learn how to become a smart camper with the best advice and tips for your first time camping.
Become Familiar With Your Gear
New campers usually wait until they get to the campground before they try out new gear. It’s not uncommon to watch campers fumble for hours trying to figure out how to set up a tent. Practice really does make perfect. Set up tents in your backyard before taking them camping. Check the operation of lanterns and camp stoves to make sure they work properly. Try your sleeping bag one night on the living room floor to see how well you sleep in it. Be a smart camper, become familiar with your gear.
Buy a Tent That Is Big Enough
New campers frequently find themselves in a crowded tent. Make space and comfort a priority in your choice of tents (unless you’re backpacking). Most tents fit in a car trunk, so size and weight aren’t a major concern. For family camping get a tent with a capacity rated two higher than the number of campers that will use it. So for a family of two, get a 4-person tent, for a family of four a 6-person tent, and so on. Be a smart camper, buy a tent that is big enough.
Make (and Use) a Checklist
New campers often overlook a checklist. It’s no fun getting to the campground and finding out that you forgot something. Stay organized and make sure nothing is left behind by keeping a camping gear checklist. Use it while packing and check off each item. Update and revise the list as needed. If something breaks or wears out, replace it. If something really doesn’t get used, take it off the list. Be a smart camper, use a checklist.
Plan Your Meals
New campers don’t always put enough thought into meal planning. Figure out how many meals you’ll be making for how many people, and put together some menu ideas. Then do your grocery shopping a day or two before departure so that the food will be fresh. Avoid buying munchies. Don’t be one of those new campers that stops at the quick mart to buy food on the way to the campground. Be a smart camper, plan your meals.
Bring Sufficient Clothing
Camping is all about being prepared. New campers often neglect to bring enough clothes. Remember, there are no laundry facilities at the campground. Weather conditions can also demand different attire. You’ll like a rain suit in case it rains, a swimsuit for a dip, and maybe a sweater or jacket for those cool evenings. Be a smart camper, bring sufficient clothing.
Avoid Severe Weather
If you are a glutton for punishment, try putting up a tent in the rain. Camping is about relaxing outdoors, so don’t go camping if you know there is going to be foul weather. There is nothing more uncomfortable than sitting in your tent for two days while rain pounds your tent and the wind keeps laying it down on top of you. Right after a storm could be just as bad with rain-soaked campsites and mud. Be a smart camper, avoid severe weather.
Source material from: 10 Essential Tips for First Time Campers
BY DAVID SWEET