Camping For Beginners

Camping is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors. Camping is fun and easy. It is a great way to getaway and enjoy special time with your family and friends. Common sense and a little knowledge will get you started. The rest is up to you. Do your research, be prepared, and enjoy the great outdoors.

When you are new to camping, the first thing you should do is become familiar with the basic camping gear that you will need. One way is to go camping with a seasoned camper. You can quickly learn from them. Basically, you need a shelter, which could be a tent, cabin, or RV, and you need a bed, which could be a combination of sleeping bags and pads, cots, air mattresses, and comforters, and you need to eat, which may or may not require cooking utensils.

What Camping Equipment Do I Need? Your first tent does not need to be expensive but make sure that the tent that provides weather protection. Sleeping bags provide warm and watertight comfort. Last but not least is your food and cooking supplies which is up to you and can be as simple as a cooler, food, and charcoal. When shopping for camping gear, check out Quality Camping Gear at Wal-Mart or  Sporting Goods at Target.com first. You can also try online at places like CampingWorld.com, www.sportsmansguide.com or BackcountryOutlet.com. Amazon is also a great place for the best camping gear,

Where Should I Camp?  Check with family and friends to get opinions on places to go camping in your area or read campground reviews to get ideas about wear to camp. Public campgrounds are usually run by government agencies and include those found in national parks and forests.  Within the National Park System there are hundreds of parks, recreation areas, and other facilities; and within these parks are over one hundred campgrounds open to the public. Campsites are usually available on a first come, first serve basis. A few of the campgrounds offer reservations, which can be made online. Lots of states also have public campgrounds with facilities for their campers. Private campgrounds are typically RV parks and campground resorts owned by private citizens or businesses. You will find a lot of them have their own websites you can check online.

How To Setup Camp? When you first arrive at the campground you’ll want to stop at the campground office and check in. If you have any location preferences, like close to the bathroom and showers, or next to the lake, or away from RVs, ask the attendants. This is also a good time to ask some questions about campground rules, quiet hours, garbage disposal areas, emergency contacts, ranger patrols (good to know if you’re camping alone), or whatever else you may have a concern with.

Here are some things to look for when selecting a campsite:

  • Make sure there is a water source nearby. You don’t want to be lugging around containers of water for long hauls.
  • Look for ground that is high and level.
  • Make sure there is an adequate area for cooking which includes a campfire.
  • Try to insure you have a nearby shady spot for relaxing.
  • Know where the garbage cans are in relation to your campsite.
  • Restroom facilities are convenient to be nearby but remember they also tend to be a more noisy area.

How To Break Up Camp

  • The most important thing to remember is to not leave your site messy. This is being considerate for the next camper to use the site.
  • Gather all your belongings. You don’t want to leave anything behind otherwise you will be looking for the missing camping gear the next time you venture out.
  • Empty unwanted food from the cooler.
  • Dispose of all trash.
  • Clean off your gear with a whisk broom or rags for storage.
  • Pack your gear in an organized way so it makes it easier for yourself next time.
  • Separate clean and dirty clothes so doing after trip laundry is much simpler.
  • Make sure campfire is completely extinguished. Throw some water on it as an extra precaution.
  • Make one last check of the campsite to make sure you didn’t miss anything.

After You Arrive Home? The ride home after a camping trip can be long, particularly when you are looking forward to a cozy bed and a hot shower.

Here some final chores that need to be done:

  • Unload your car, truck, or camper and separate everything used on the camping trip.
  • Remove all food from your cooler and put cold foods in your refrigerator. Return all dry foods to the pantry or cupboard.
  • Rinse out your cooler and allow to dry.
  • I like to wash all my utensils and cookware again to make sure they are clean.
  • Shake out sleeping bags. Shake out all blankets and clothes before you wash them.
  • If anything is damp dry it out because the last thing you need is mildew on your gear the next time you camp. If you are a tent camper air it out in the sun before storing.

It’s a great idea to keep a camping notebook. Keep a camping check list. Add any new items that may further your enjoyment of the great outdoors, and remove any that you found you didn’t need. If you’ve taken a liking to camping, keep notes of the campgrounds you’ve visited, the recipes you tried (and liked), the friends you made at the campground, and any useful tips worth remembering. Camping is a lifelong activity that will bring you lots of enjoyment and memories.