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Camping Tips for Beginners

Tent camping provides a relaxing escape from our normal chaotic lives, allowing us to spend time away from home, simply enjoying nature. However, in order to make your next camping trip enjoyable, you need to bring along the right gear, otherwise, you may find yourself stuck in the middle of the backcountry, totally unprepared.

Practice Assembling Your Tent

Heading out to the backcountry and enjoying a week of roughing it in nature can be a relaxing experience for the whole family until it’s not. If you’re a beginner, you should head out for your trip feeling confident that you know how to use and set up all of your camping gear, including your tent.  

But for many beginners, setting up a tent can be one of the biggest challenges, especially when it comes to large tents that sleep four or more.

Because of this, we recommend practicing assembling the tent at home, often enough that you’ll leave the house feeling confident that you can set up your tent in just fifteen to twenty minutes.

You don’t want to end up in the middle of the backcountry with ten minutes of daylight left trying to set up a new tent. Otherwise, you may be forced to spend the night sleeping under the stars. Begin practicing a week or two before your big trip and go through each of the steps until you’re able to set the tent up without relying on the instructions.

Plan Where You’ll Camp

Whether you’re camping at a campsite or in the backcountry, know exactly where you’re headed before you leave the house. Nothing is more stressful than driving around at the end of the day, in a hurry to find a spot to set up your camp before you lose light. Most campsites these days will allow you to reserve a campsite online. In terms of backcountry camping, scope out the perfect spot to camp, before your trip.

Make Meals Ahead of Time

Just because you’re camping out and won’t have access to your kitchen appliances doesn’t mean you should have to suffer in terms of food quality. If you’re not someone who enjoys eating beans out of a can and hotdogs, then plan your meals ahead of time. These should be meals that are easy to cook over a fire. You can make simple dishes, such as chicken kabobs and peppers, prep the meal and package it, and you’ll enjoy a delicious dinner of freshly roasted chicken in a matter of minutes. If you’re new to camping, make sure you check out camping forums for easy, fast meal ideas.

The Best Time-Saving Camping Hacks

A camping trip can help you to connect with nature and give you the time you need to relax with friends and family and just recharge your batteries. And for some, roughing it in the backcountry is a big part of the fun. But there’s also nothing wrong with bringing along supplies and gear that can make your next camping trip much easier on you and the whole family.

We’ve included some great camping hacks that you can use on your next outdoor adventure, for a trip that includes some of the best comforts of home.

Make Your Own Lantern

If you want to make a lantern on the fly, all you’ll need is a jug of water and a headlamp. You can use any type of translucent bottle for a great lighting effect that will brighten your campsite at night, instantly. Once it gets dark, grab a headlamp, strap it to the bottle so the light is placed inward and the water bottle will instantly transform into a bright glowing orb for the perfect ambient lighting.

Use Sandpaper for Your Matches

On any camping trip, your box of matches will be indispensable. But life happens and the strike pad wears down too quickly or the matches get left out at night so you’re left with soggy matches in the morning. To prevent this, take a piece of sandpaper that has adhesive on one side and stick it to your matchbox. The sandpaper should be placed on the inside of the lid, which will waterproof the interior of the box.

Protect Your Backpack from the Elements

When you’re camping, whether it’s morning dew or a spring shower, the weather can be very unpredictable at times. If you want to avoid your gear getting soaked during the night before you fall asleep store your bags in large lawn trash bags. This is a cool trick and one that won’t cost you much, unlike expensive fancy backpack covers.

Silica Gel Packets will Come in Handy

Silica gel packets come with most products these days, and instead of tossing them out, you can put them to use on your next camping trip. Store these packets with your cast iron skillets in order to prevent moisture rusting them between use.

Always Be Prepared

Make an extensive checklist when you’re preparing your trip to make sure no important supplies or gear gets left behind. Be sure to include the supplies you’ll need for these simple hacks and always remember to prepare for the worst in terms of weather. This means bring along plenty of tarps and trash bags to protect your tent and supplies in the event of an unexpected shower.

Camping Gear and Supplies Checklist

While it can be a nice escape for you and the whole family, there’s no doubt that camping can be hard work. Making a reservation, organization your gear, and making final preparations can make life hectic, despite the fact that you’re supposed to be going on a vacation. But even though preparing for your trip can feel overwhelming at times, it’s definitely worth all the work. On your trip you’ll enjoy exploring nature, making lasting family memories, and spending quality time away from your busy life. Which is why it’s so important that you ensure you bring along all of the camping gear you and your family will need.

Camping Out with the Family

The first thing you should do is pick the dates for your camping trip. Keep in mind that many campgrounds can fill up very quickly, so be prepared to make reservations several weeks ahead of time.

Camping with just the family can be great, but inviting another family to join you can essentially help to cut your work in half, can save you on expenses, and can give the kids some friends to interact with.

Preparing Your Gear

You may think you brought along all the gear and supplies you need, until you’re at the campsite and realize you forgot the propane and marshmallows. So, play it safe and create a camping checklist. This list should include camping gear and supplies for the entire family, including the dog, if you plan on bringing him or her along.

The average camping checklist looks something like this:

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bags
  • Camping lantern
  • Camping stove
  • Flashlights
  • First aid kit
  • Tarp
  • Sleeping pads
  • Pillows and blankets
  • Camping chairs
  • Extra batteries for lantern and flashlights
  • Radio
  • Fuel for stove
  • Cookware and dishware
  • Firewood
  • Lighters
  • Portable coffeemaker
  • Cooler
  • Trash bags
  • Ice
  • Insect repellent

Preparing Food

You should also create a separate checklist for food. Plan out each meal ahead of time. This will ensure that you have all of the supplies and ingredients for every meal, based on the length of your trip. Don’t forget to include snacks and extra drinking water. Additionally, if you plan on making anything fancy, make sure you prepare these dishes ahead of time, store them in Tupperware containers, and label them so you can easily find them when you’re searching through the cooler.

Personal Items Checklist

So, you have a food checklist and a camping gear checklist. Now, each member that’s going camping should create a list that includes all of the personal supplies they’ll need. Make each person responsible for packing their gear, unless it’s a young child, in which case mom or dad will need to take care of writing the checklist and making sure everything is in order.