Camping is an incredible experience to change the environment, breathe fresh air and get closer to nature. If you like adventure and want something new, you should know these tips so that your first time camping is a success.
I don’t know where it came from, but there is a feeling, a kind of secret myth that says that to go camping for the first time you have to be under 12 or 13 years old, be a Boy Scout, be on a vacation colony or come from a family of adventurers.
If that is not the case, if you grew up in a city and the only tent you saw was, hopefully, that of a traveling circus, then you are lost: you don’t learn to camp when you grow up.
But since in this blog we believe that it is never too late for the first few times (and that we have to take the time to encourage ourselves to do those things we always wanted), today I bring a list of tips to go camping for the first time.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a weekend if you’re not sure you’re going to like it if you’ve never slept in a tent. I also “learned” when I was growing up, and with time and travel, I discovered that the carp can be a great ally. Therefore, here is a list of all those things you have to consider to go camping for the first time:
How To Go Camping For The First Time: Proper Guides & Useful Tips
1. He prefers to go to a camp
Although our world is full of spectacular camping sites, if it is your first experience it is better to do it in a camp. The main reason is, of course, security, but doing it in this type of space gives you other advantages as a help, in case you need it; facilities, in case going to the open-air bathroom, is not your thing or you just want a place to bathe; and secure parking.
There are all kinds of camps, from those equipped with a pool and electrical outlets to those with jobs that have showers. Think carefully about which is the best for you and your travel companions (especially if you are traveling with children), thus ensuring the best possible experience when camping for the first time.
Of course, make sure that the place you choose is taking the necessary precautions against the coronavirus, such as keeping enough distance between the tents and disinfecting the surfaces of common areas such as bathrooms
2. Get the basic equipment
Although the list of camping essentials depends on several factors, such as location and weather, there are some fundamental things that you will always need. What you do or do need to camp for the first time is:
- Tent (with all its accessories, such as rods, stakes, and a hammer)
- Sleeping bag suitable for the temperature (plus pillow and blanket set. You can also add a mat to be more comfortable)
- Lamp or flashlight (with extra batteries)
- Folding chairs and tables
- Gaffer tape
- Insect repellent
- Personal hygiene products
- Kitchen accessories (if applicable, such as a portable gas stove, a lighter, a shovel, a frying pan, plates, and cutlery. Don’t forget the detergent to wash everything and a can opener)
- Water bottle
- Swiss army knife or multi-tools
- Accessories for making a campfire (such as solid alcohol and a lighter)
- Travel medical kit, a must for camping for the first time!
- Food and water (more details in point 6)
- Portable battery
- Garbage bags
- Masks, antibacterial gel, and disinfectant towels
- Entertainment (board games, books, balls, etc.).
Tip: Experts recommend that you choose a tent that can accommodate at least two more people than those who will stay. That is, for a family of four, you have to choose a tent with capacity for six. This to ensure that everyone is comfortable, with everything and luggage.
3. Test your equipment before traveling
Especially if you have no idea, it is wise to take some time before camping for the first time to learn the basics like setting up the tent and testing how comfortable or uncomfortable it is to sleep in it. The same goes for the gas stove and even folding chairs and tables.
This way, you don’t waste your precious time trying to figure out how everything works and you can immediately relax. If you don’t understand the instructions or have questions, look up tutorials on sites like YouTube.
4. Choose a good place to put your tent
You have already arrived at camp or wherever you are going to camp. Now is the time to choose the best place to put your tent. Here, there are several factors that must be taken into account, but in general, the rule is that you look for a flat and clean place. If you are going to build a fire, make sure the wind doesn’t blow into your tent or it will fill with smoke.
Avoid doing it under trees, as not only is there the risk of branches falling, but it can get dirty with bird waste, fill with sap, and more.
Don’t forget some good shoes that can get dirty and some slippers, just in case.
Tip: If you go to a place where you are going to get wet, pack a long rope to tie between the trees and create a makeshift clothesline.
5. Pack smart, essential for first-time camping
About what to pack to wear, it all depends on the climate of the place you go. Of course, it is not the same to stay on the beach than in the mountains, so you will need radically different things.
However, a great first-time camping tip is to remember that layers are your friend. Wear different clothes for different climates, and make sure you are comfortable at all times. Also, make the effort to only pack things that you are going to wear so as not to overload.
Tip: bring extra socks; for some reason, they are always needed
6. Take practical, simple, and healthy food
While spending three days eating potatoes, bars, cookies, and apples (or half of one, once) is tempting, your experience doesn’t have to be this way. What to bring depends on whether you have a stove, you know how to cook over the campfire or how hard you want to work, but in general, you can opt for canned or dehydrated food (like instant noodles), as well as foods that keep well without refrigeration (unless you take a freezer), such as pasta, rice, and vegetables.
A very good option is to plan your menu before packing, to ensure that you have everything you need. Remember to pack spices to give your food something extra!
7. Check the weather forecast
Although it is very obvious, many people forget to check the weather forecast before going out, especially when they go camping for the first time. This is especially important because rain can make things very difficult, requiring you to bring more gear and accessories to keep you dry and comfortable.
8. Store and dispose of properly, essential for camping for the first time
No matter where you are, it is very important that you store your food well, whether it is because it is at risk of being eaten by bears, dogs or even ants, the last thing you want is to run out of dinner.
So bring airtight containers or, if applicable, look for bear shelters (especially in the United States).
In the waste area, the phrase “When you travel, do not leave more than your footprint, do not take anything but photos and do not take with you more than the memory.” Make sure you don’t leave any trash or debris before you go. Take care of nature!
9. Don’t stay more than a few days
Unless you are 100% sure that camping is for you, away from technology and comforts, it is a good idea to limit yourself to two or three days on your first experience. You can also choose places near the city or your home, in case you have to return for some reason.
10. Arrive as early as possible
This way you will have the opportunity to get to know the place where you are going to camp well, build your tent in advance, locate yourself, and have enough time to relax.
Where should I camp?
If you’re planning to camp for the weekend, plan your itinerary and destination from the comfort of your home. You can advise beforehand if there are camping areas, usually, these places have a minimum cost in relation to accommodation and have bathrooms, kitchen, and a safe space to place your tent.
But if your desire is to forget about people and lose yourself in nature, somewhere far from being touristy, you can do free camping. Camping in total privacy under the stars and breathtaking scenery. The best? It’s free, and it’s where you decide where to camp.
You have to bear in mind that this type of adventure carries out an adaptation to the environment you want to camp, for example: If you want to go to the bathroom, you will have to relieve yourself on the sand if you are on a beach, or on the rocks if you are in the mountains, or in any improvised place that the earth offers you and you can baptize it as a bathroom. In addition, you will be more exposed to insecurity. It is not the same as camping in a quiet forest in a town in the mountains, than doing it in the hills of Guayaquil.
I am going to take some tips that I found very useful when doing free camping:
- Use a tent or tent that is inconspicuous. Red or orange is fine to go to Everest. For free-form camping, a color that does not attract attention and blends with the landscape, for example, green, is better.
- Rivers and lakes are good places to bathe but at night they attract a lot of humidity and also animals. Don’t camp near them. They can also have unexpected floods.
- Examine the type of soil. Dried dirt can become a trap if it rains. Consider where you will go the next morning if it rains heavily at night.
- Please do not immediately put up the tent or tent. When you get to a place you like, sit down and take a look. You may discover that he was not that good or someone you have not seen comes to greet you or invite you to his house.
- If a dog has seen you and starts barking, it is better to leave. They can be very insistent.
- Leave everything ready to leave soon if necessary. Once it gets dark, it will take more time to find and pack your supplies.
- Don’t camp in the dark if you don’t have to. You may end up sleeping in a place full of thorns.
- Leave the place as you found it. If someone comes later, they can benefit.
- If you need to use the toilet, move it away from the tent site and make a hole in the ground, even with your foot, and cover your excrement.
- Look for high places, above roads or towns. This will make it harder for them to find you because people don’t usually lookup. Also, you have better views.
- Try to find a place that receives the sun in the morning. It’s nice to wake up with the sun.
- If someone sees you and approaches your campsite, go ahead and don’t let them get to you. Greet him. It’s good that he doesn’t see your technique. Curiosity killed the cat.
- If you cannot find a good place it is better to approach a neighbor and ask, or in another case, you can ask to camp in their garden. Many times you have been invited inside.
- If you can remove one or two open spots from your camping area by placing the tent or tent in front of something that covers it, for example, a tree, then you have fewer places to control.
- Animals do not sleep at night and do not know that you are there. Place rubbish high up in a tree or away from the campsite.
Other camping tips to consider
- In case you do not have thermal insulation for cold and humid places, you can use cardboard as a replacement.
- Before sleeping, look inside your tent for mosquitoes. They can cause headaches at night.
- When camping, it is necessary to take into account the place chosen for making a fire, which should be where the wind does not cover the tent with smoke.
- Try to reduce the washing of dishes and cutlery as much as possible, the ideal is to think of foods in which they do not need to be used, such as ham and cheese sandwiches, or hamburgers.
- Never forget your first aid kit, even if it’s only one night in the camp.
- All biting insects breed in the water, therefore, it is recommended to set up the camp about 100 meters from the water, be it a river, lagoon, stream, or lake.
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