Isn’t it amazing how in today’s world of the Internet and all sorts of organized entertainment there are still so many camping enthusiasts? So many people are as eager as ever to get out in the wild and be only on their own and for their own. Some may remain reluctant and prefer spending their days off in a fancy hotel or a spa. But even they can’t deny that only camping provides for quality time with your family and friends in the fullest sense of these words. The isolation associated with it allows the people involved to get as close to each other as people might never get under regular circumstances.
Of course, picturing camping as something idyllic is a bit naive. Hundreds of things can go wrong, and most of them go wrong when you least expect it. On the other hand, it’s also not a reason to deprive oneself of such a grand experience. The key to enjoying it is to eliminate as many buzzkill factors as possible – at least by taking care of all the camping necessities in advance. And for that, meticulous planning is essential.
CAMPING TIPS FOR BEGINNERS TO REMEMBER
If you’re new to this whole camping thing, the biggest mistake you can make is to assume that since your getaway has to do with nature, you should just let it flow naturally. There are few ideas one can get about camping that can be less true. In reality, camping does allow you more control over your little vacation, but you must be ready to assume it with all responsibility. And the responsibility begins long before you even start picking the right tent and thinking about what to pack for camping.
First of all, when you’re new to camping, make sure that the rest of the people are a little more experienced, know more about what to bring camping, etc. Exploring this wonderful new activity together may seem fun, theoretically, but – trust us – this is not the level of excitement you want at this point. There must be at least one more or least seasoned camper in your company.
Understanding what to bring on a camping trip is equally important as knowing who you don’t want to bring there. Even though the very term “outdoors” suggests an open space, you will, in fact, get quite close to the people involved. So, be responsible with your choice of company and don’t be afraid to offend anybody when negotiating this issue. For example, if you’re not in a splendid relationship with your in-laws, avoiding them is a better option than forcing them onto yourself and spoiling this mini-vacation for everybody.
Everyone involved should have a say regarding the dates of your camping getaway, nobody’s opinion must get disregarded. It’s important to try and have everyone happy with the dates, not just okay with them. People mustn’t be thinking about what they would rather be doing along the way. When counting the time, don’t forget to calculate the time you’ll need to get to your camping site. Avoid any heavy traffic and be able to set up your camp before dark. Once you have your dates, they must be on the calendar of everyone involved. Bring up this topic as often as you can before the trip, talk about whether you’ve remembered all the things to take camping, etc. Keep everyone reminded so that nobody drops off at the last minute.
When you’re really keen on picking a date that will be perfect for everyone, the chances are that this date will be somewhat distant. This is no excuse to delay the booking arrangements: you’ll always be better off having booked your camping site as soon as you have your dates. The sooner you do it, the better are your chances to pick the perfect spot – especially if you’re lucky with the weather.
## PUTTING TOGETHER YOUR CHECKLIST AS TO WHAT TO BRING CAMPING
Every camping experience will be individual for everybody. Still, ignoring the vast experience accumulated by others makes little sense, especially when you cannot boast your own experience yet. We suggest that you use what we call the “exclusion principle.” You draw a camping pack list of every single thing you might need, and then analyze every item from the list separately, and exclude everything you can go without. Of course, we don’t mean you should go full-on primitive camping. Even if you already know what is primitive camping and find it a tempting idea, we strongly recommend that you don’t make it your first grand camping experience. At this point, your camping has to be as comfortable as possible. As for the more extreme intimacy with mother nature, it’s best to save it for later.
When you start thinking about all those essentials for camping, it’s easy to get confused. To save you from that, we’ve created something of a sample checklist for you. You are welcome to look at our suggested camping essentials kit and expand or modify our list into one of your own.
A CAMPER TRAILER PERHAPS?
Suppose if you’re not fascinated with the idea of car camping or don’t even know what is car camping. Even so, a camper trailer is a great way to have all your camping gear fit without overloading your car. You can think of it as the material centerpiece of your whole adventure. As such, make the right choice that would fit all your requirements, including the budget. Fortunately, they are available for rent, so it doesn’t need to be a significant investment, for starters. Make sure that it fits your vehicle, though – too many people overlook this crucial detail.
PICKING THE RIGHT TENT
Tents come in all sorts of shapes in sizes, and they may have too many possible advantages to count. When you’re a beginner, the most apparent advantage of a tent for you is its price, – so stick to that. You don’t want to get a high-end tent in your camping equipment list only to find out that camping is not your thing. And even the more budget options are sure to survive at least one trip, after which you’ll surely pick something to your taste.
Make sure you keep in mind is that your tent is waterproof. Trust us, even if you’re lucky with the weather, morning dew is not always as enjoyable as it sounds. Luckily, most vendors will allow checking that right on the spot.
WHAT ABOUT THE FLOOR?
Most tent options come with a bedding sheet, and yours might even be up to scratch. Still, sleeping on the bedding sheet you just used for walking doesn’t sound right. It’s best to have sleeping bags – one for each person. Much like tents, they vary a great deal, so you might as well get a budget bargain for starters. Additionally, it may turn out critical to have an extra sleeping pad, pillow, and blanket for each camper, and a repair kit for all that in your camping gear list.
YOU’LL NEED TO DRINK
It’s almost funny how many people forget about such essential details. Even when staying by the lake or any other source of freshwater, it’s still best to bring your own water tank. Refill from time to time to have a supply of water always ready at hand for such needs as cooking, extinguishing your campfire, etc.
Having only one big water tank can be problematic. Thinking about how to refill freshwater tanks during camping every time may grow troublesome. Instead, we suggest getting several smaller ones that are easier to refill. There are plenty of options of water bricks (3.5 gallons or bigger) that are specifically designed for camping and are virtually indestructible. Also, don’t trust water quality, so remember about a purifier.
YOU’LL NEED TO EAT
Here, there will be two options. First, your camping spot may in a relatively civilized area with a supermarket or even a cafeteria nearby. Even if that is the case, you should still pack some essentials like bread, packet soups, noodles, etc. You don’t want to go scouting the area for that supermarket on an empty stomach.
If you want your outdoor experience to be more independent, then – as we have mentioned – you will have to assume more responsibility. Namely, every camper will have to think well and say precisely what they want to eat on each day of your camping for breakfast, dinner, and supper. Then you prepare all that food (or its ingredients) in your cooler in the reverse order. This way, you’ll get the necessary items from the cooler without unpacking them entirely.
YOU’LL NEED TO COOK
Aside from the cooler, a camping mini-stove will make your experience far more enjoyable. The idea of cooking or frying something on an open campfire is indeed idyllic, but at some point, you’re going to catch yourself thinking “I wish I had something handier.” Mini-stoves for camping are available at any camping store – online or offline – and they won’t damage your budget. Naturally, a pot, a pan, and a few other essential utensils are also a must.
A multi-purpose survival knife or a Swiss Army knife is an essential thing in numerous life situations. And we can’t even begin to list the instances in which you might need it while camping. Everything that may need a piercing, slicing, or even chopping, – you name it. A small pocket knife will do for the most part. But if you are willing to spend more time outdoors or go deeper into the wilderness, you should consider a bigger and even more universal neck knife.
BE READY FOR AN EMERGENCY
A first aid kit is yet another essential you don’t want to overlook. Bandages, painkillers, antiseptics, as well as anything else there’s the slightest chance you might need. Safety is a must for every trip.
REMEMBER ABOUT YOUR HYGIENE
A camping trip doesn’t have to be about unsanitary conditions, dirt everywhere, etc. Admittedly, we do realize that this is a good chunk of the camping appeal for some people. At the same time, it’s these unsanitary conditions that make personal hygiene even more important than it is in your everyday life. A few extra rolls of toilet paper are never an excess. Also, don’t assume you’ll do fine without soap and toothpaste unless you are 100% sure.
AN ADDITIONAL TIP FOR CAMPING WITH YOUR FAMILY
When camping with our family, we often treat this as a unique opportunity to spend some quality time with each other, without distractions. As noble an idea as it may seem, it won’t always work out the way you visualize it. It might turn out that you have finished all the errands sooner than you expected, talked about everything there was to talk about, grown sick of bingo, etc. To prevent that from happening, it’s always nice to drag someone along. Ideally, it’s your friends’ family, but if they can’t make it, you can always suggest that you take their kids along. The more the merrier: and it’s a sure way to keep everybody both occupied and entertained.
MAKING CAMPING FUN IS EASY – EVEN IF YOU’RE A BEGINNER
If somehow you haven’t gone camping before and the opportunity has only presented itself now, there’s no reason to panic. Regardless of whether it’s your desire or a thing into which someone “drags” you, rest assured that it will be a splendid experience if done properly. Independent vacation options may require more responsibility, but they are incredibly rewarding. To make your first camping an exciting experience, don’t shy away from responsibility. Even if you’re not delegated a role to be in charge of anything, you can still use our camping essentials list (if anything, as a sample for creating your own, better suitable for you).