5 Tips for First Time Campers
Lets make one thing clear...camping is a ton of fun. Sure, you have to deal with bugs, the occasional wildlife, and not taking a shower but the fact of the matter is that we belong outside. You may or may not agree with that statement but here are five tips you can agree with when you are a first time camper.
Take what you need not what you want
So many times you'll see the casual camper that seems to bring everything including the kitchen sink...literally. There's nothing wrong with but in reality you often times are creating more work for you than what you should be. Camping is a time to relax and enjoy the outdoors not spending your time setting up, taking care of, and then tearing down. What fun is that!
So for first time campers, what do you bring? The items you'll want to bring include a comfortable backpack, a camping tent, clothes, stove, flashlight, first aid kit, sleeping gear, water bottle, cooking supplies including utensils, hiking shoes, sandals, and lantern. It's also recommended that you bring plenty of bug repellant, a portable charger for your phone, and sunscreen.
Picking your camping spot
Finding a good camping spot usually takes experience but the general gist of it is that you'll want to find a flat piece of ground that has enough room for your tent and any gear you might set up. Take note of your surroundings as well. Is the spot under a bunch of trees? Then make sure none of the trees have roots surfing along the dirt or have a dead limbs just waiting to fall. If you're in open land take note of the wind. It can get pretty miserable to be sleeping only to be woken up by what sounds to be a tornado crashing your party.
There are a number of camping site directories available online that can point you in the right direction for finding a state or national park. The National Park Service provides a good amount of information and advice as does Reserve America.
Season for camping
Depending on your location or where you are intending to camp will determine if it's a good time of the year to camp there. You probably don't want to camp in southern Texas in the heat of the summer and you probably don't want to camp in northern Montana in the middle of winter. You can, however, always find and enjoy camping depending on your tolerance. Just make sure you are aware of what the weather will be like during the time you are camping.
What's the plan
When deciding what to do when your out camping in the great outdoors, you have to figure out what type of experience you want. Is it a time to just sit back, kick your legs up, and relax? Or would you rather be deep in the woods exploring nature? Typically, you'll have a good in between. A little bit of this, a little bit of that. Regardless of what you intend to do just make sure you pack the appropriate tools to accommodate your intentions. You don't want to be stuck without a shovel if you're really hoping to spend some time digging a hole.
Get in my belly
Food. Ah ya. Nothing smells better than a nice big steak sizzling on an open fire. Maybe you want a steak and maybe you don't but one thing is for sure - unless you intend to scavenge you better make sure to pack enough for the trip. This is definitely one area you don't want to skimp on. Nothing is worse than not having food to eat when you are burning a bunch of calories chasing bunnies in the woods.
Make sure to plan out your meals and bring simple things to cook. Eggs, sausage, bread, hot dogs, and sandwich meat are all good things to pack. Oh, and coffee. Lots of it. If your bringing a camp stove then you will have a lot more options available. For the real adventurous, bring your fishing pole and try to catch and eat. Nothing better than freshly caught fish cooked over the fire.