I've been camping for as long as I can remember. As a child, my parents took my siblings and me on numerous camping trips in state parks all around the country. Since then, whether I'm alone or with friends, I love to spend the occasional weekend camping (or even just going glamping!) whenever I can get away from work and responsibilities. But trust me: it hasn't always been easy.
Plan your trip wisely.
When planning a camping trip, it's important to consider your needs and priorities. Are you looking for a relaxing getaway or an adrenaline-boosting adventure? Do your friends want to spend their time hiking, biking or kayaking? Will there be kids in tow who are not yet comfortable with being outdoors overnight?
Think about what kind of campsite would best fit your group's style and interests:
If you'd like some peace and quiet after long days exploring the area around the campground, look for a less populated site.
If you're looking for something more active, book at one with lots of nearby activities such as hiking trails or canoe rentals nearby.
A family-friendly campground is great if you're traveling with children or teens who are new to camping; however, if they're older (and especially if they're teenagers), try booking at one closer to town so that they have more options when it comes time to have fun offsite during daylight hours.
Know where you’re going.
The first thing you need to know about camping is that it's not only about sleeping in a tent. You also have to choose where you want to go, and this can be tricky if you're new at the game.
It's important to do some research before leaving your home base. First, find out where the nearest park ranger station or police department is located. For example, if there were a fire nearby and they were evacuating people from their homes, would they tell them which way is best for them? What will happen if someone gets lost on their way back home?
Next comes knowing what facilities are available at that particular campsite—are there restrooms nearby so we don't have to walk too far after dinner? Is there water available so we don't have to carry with us our entire supply from home? How far away from civilization is this place anyway? And finally: Is there cell service here (or Wi-Fi)?
Stay safe on the road.
While you're driving on a secluded road, it is important to stay alert. You don't want to be the person responsible for causing an accident that ruins your trip or someone else's. Here are a few tips:
Drive slowly. Many people drive too fast when they are on deserted roads because they think no one will see them doing so; however, speeding can cause accidents just as easily as driving too slow can. It's best to keep your speed at around 25 mph and make sure there is ample room between cars before passing other vehicles.
Pay attention when changing lanes and making turns. Driving distracted causes more accidents than anything else does, so don't text or talk on the phone during this time period! Also be sure not to get lost while navigating unfamiliar territory; make sure you have all necessary maps with you at all times (as well as emergency contact information) in case something goes wrong along the way!
Leave an itinerary with a friend or family member.
It's a good idea to leave an itinerary with someone you trust, such as a friend or family member. In the event that you don't return, the person whom you've left in charge will be able to get help for your children and pets.
The first thing your trusted loved one should know is where you're going and when they can expect to hear from you again (for example: "We'll be camping at Grosvenor State Park until Monday morning."). They need to know who else is participating in this trip so they can contact them if necessary (for example: "We're camping with our friends John Smith and Jane Doe.") And finally, give them an update on what kind of supplies each person has brought along so they can alert first responders of any allergies or medical conditions that may require attention upon discovery (for example: "Sarah has some medical conditions which require daily medication; please check her backpack for any medications she might need.")
Get familiar with your camping gear.
In order to be a successful camper, you must understand how to use all of your gear. The last thing you want is for the rain to start pouring down and for your tarp to be billowing in the wind while you’re trying to put it up. It’s best that you practice using all of this equipment before going on a search for firewood or finding yourself lost in an unknown forest surrounded by bears, wolves and other dangerous animals.
The best way to do so is by getting familiar with all of your camping gear during daylight hours. If there is something specific about each item (like how many stakes are needed) then consider practicing this during a sunny day as well!
Bring enough food and water for everyone.
When you are camping, it is important to bring enough food and water for everyone. If you are in a group, pack food that can be shared. You don't want to have to worry about running out of food or water while on your trip. Make sure that you bring enough water so that everyone has adequate amounts of clean drinking water and enough water for cooking and cleaning purposes as well.
Make sure you have enough fuel for your stove.
It's important to have enough fuel for your stove. If you don't, you may find yourself without dinner—and that can be a real buzzkill if you're camping out in the woods with just your car as transportation. If you've forgotten to bring along extra fuel, it's a good idea to go ahead and ask someone who is camping nearby if they have any extra propane left over from their own grills or stoves (which are usually smaller than those used by RV travelers). This is not only polite but also helpful: most people won't mind sharing a little bit of their own supply with another camper who is having an emergency situation like running out of gas or cooking oil!
If all else fails, there are always those old-fashioned methods: build a fire and cook on hot rocks! Just make sure that before doing so your site has been preapproved by park officials first so as not too upset any wildlife living nearby (or other campers who might be trying desperately not think about how hungry they are while watching others enjoy delicious grilled chicken).
Keep a clean campsite.
A clean campsite is an inviting campsite. If you don't want to attract bears and other wildlife, don’t leave your food out! Don't leave scraps of food on the ground around your campfire—either eat it or pack it away.
Don't leave litter behind; take any trash with you when you leave. The same goes for cigarette butts, which can be toxic to animals if they chew them up or accidentally eat them (the latter being especially common with small children).
Have plenty of flashlights and lanterns (and extra batteries!).
Every camper should always have more than one flashlight or lantern on hand. If you use a headlamp, you don't need to bring a separate light source for each person. However, if you don't have headlamps, then make sure to bring something for everyone in your group.
Also remember that any vehicle that is going to be used in the nighttime will need additional flashlights and lanterns as well (and extra batteries). For example: if there are 3 people in your tent and 2 vehicles being used at night while camping, then plan on bringing 6 flashlights/lanterns (1 per person plus 1 per vehicle).
Pack a first-aid kit with all the essentials.
A first-aid kit is an essential item to have in your pack, especially if you’re staying overnight on the trail. It should contain anything you might need in case of an emergency, including bandages, antiseptics and painkillers.
To find a good first-aid kit:
Go online and search for “first aid kits”. There are lots of different options available so it should be easy for you to find one that suits your needs.
Make sure the kit contains everything you will need for minor injuries such as cuts and grazes or burns from cooking over a fire – this includes plasters, antiseptics such as Betadine (powdered iodine) and dressings/bandages – preferably sterile; gauze pads; scissors; tweezers; cotton wool balls or tissues; needles (disposable); safety pins/indelible marker pen; scissors or sharp knife - non-sterile (leatherman preferred). If possible add some larger items like wound closure strips or butterfly closures plus some antibiotic cream which can relieve itching associated with bites etc..
Camping can be fun, as long as you plan ahead!
It's important to plan ahead and be prepared. Make sure you know where you are going and what you will do there. Also, know what kind of camping gear you have, how to use it, and whether or not you have enough food and water. You should also bring a first aid kit.
Before leaving home, make sure that your campsite is clean; otherwise, other people will think poorly of your character upon seeing the mess left behind by your party (or family). Finally, make sure that everybody in the group has flashlights or lanterns so they can find their way around at night!
Now we’ve shared our top 10 tips for beginners, and you should be more prepared than ever to go on your next camping trip. We always say that the best way to learn is from experience, so get out there and hit the trails!