If you are a first-time camper then you should urgently check this article. Do you know what to take with you to stay safe? Which foods are more appropriate to take outdoors? What to do if you see a bear nearby? I will answer all these kinds of questions and more.
There are camping necessities that come in handy, make you safe out there, and provide you a comfortable camping experience. Take a look at what do you have to do before heading outdoors and what to bring for a successful trip without stress.
1. Camping rookie guide
Going nature camping unprepared for a long time can be terrible and in the worst cases dangerous. This is why I will guide you on your first outdoor expedition. Read on to know how to prepare on a trip, what to take along and how to behave out there to stay safe, have a good time and learn some survival skills.
2. Camping location
Where do you intend to camp? Are you more of an adventurous type or do you like comfort? If you don’t like to take risks and you enjoy having things at hand then it is best that you reserve your spot in the campground.
However, if you are willing to learn some survival skills and enjoy everyday adventure, go ahead and prepare for solo camping in the wild. If you aren’t sure about wild camping choose a campground first and you can decide to camp in the wild later when you have some camping experience.
3. Preparation is everything
Now that you have free time for yourself you can forget on daily obligations and work and prepare things for camping. As a camping beginner, you should prepare thoroughly as you are still inexperienced. These are the essentials to pack:
- First aid kit
- A quality camping tent
- Waterproof shoes or boots
- Food and water supply
- Camping stove
- Sleeping equipment
- Warm, insulated clothes
- Campfire items
- Outdoor tools as an ax, knife, and other similar stuff
These are just basics. Every camper has different needs so I have a good idea of how to prepare your gear according to your needs.
Imagine your ideal day
Think about your first day at a camping place. Imagine all, from waking up to the first-morning activity, what will you eat, where you will make your breakfast and so on. This way you have fewer possibilities to forget important items that you need to have a great time outdoors.
Choose a place to put essentials
When I go camping, I always choose a room where I put things that I will use. I take a few days before going and store necessities on a table where I can see them clearly. I also have a checklist so no item can be forgotten at home.
Be informed and take care of documents
Maybe you didn’t think about it but you will need to have some documents with you when going camping. If you want to spend time in a campground then you will have to contact its owner or staff to reserve your spot and make all necessary to avoid complications at your arrival. If you found a nice camping place see if they have a website where you can find the important information (most of them do).
Get a fishing license
Are you a passionate fisherman? Get a fishing license (if you don’t have it already) to show that you respect the fishing laws and regulations. If you won’t have one and a conservation officer gets you, you can get a few hundreds of dollars fine which I am sure you don’t want. You can order a fishing license online.
4. Essentials for camping
Now we will discuss a few words about the things that are recommendable to take outdoors. I already stated them at the beginning of the article. Here are the reasons why you should bring each of the items from the list above along.
First aid kit
A first aid kit is one of the most important things to take with you if something happens. Make sure that you have it and that the box contains all the necessary items for taking care of an injury or a cut. Don’t forget to store it in your backpack when you will be exploring the camp surroundings.
Do you take medicines on a regular basis? Make sure that you get supplies of medicines so you won’t stay without them when you are on a few days camping trip. This is especially important if you are a diabetic, a heart patient or if you have allergies. Also, have a supply of painkillers.
Did you see a nice-looking tent the last day you passed the local store? I recommend getting a decent outdoor tent that will provide enough space and have user-friendly features that will protect you out there and offer comfort in all situations.
Buy some heavy-duty waterproof footwear so your feet will stay dry when you explore the trails in the rain and when you do the activities around the tent. Fashionable sandals aren’t appropriate for such kind of outdoor activity. However, you can opt for sport sandals if you intend to camp on the summer days.
Food and water supply
What will you eat out there? What type of food should you bring for cooking outdoors? Avoid fast-spoiling foods as eggs, fresh meat and dairy products. Consider taking dry foods, cans, and solid foods that can wait for some time to be consumed or cooked.
However, you can take a cooler with you and store the foods you like to cook over a campfire as they will stay fresh inside for a few days (until the ice melts). Bring as much water as you can or filter and boil it at the destination.
Do you want your morning coffee to be prepared as soon as possible? Invest in a good camping stove that runs on gas and you will be preparing hot beverages and meals in no time.
Camping in comfort isn’t a myth anymore since you have plenty of sleeping gear that will upgrade your camping experience. Consider sleeping bags, pads or mats, inflatable pillows, and beds to sleep all night long, no matter that you are sleeping inside a tent.
Warm, insulated clothes are a must as you never know when the weather changes. You can face the rain or snowstorm and you will have to wear these types of clothes to stay comfy and warm. Take some wool clothing and synthetic ones so water won’t soak you to the skin.
You can take some pieces of cotton clothing but they won’t protect you on the rain (okay to wear in the tent or under the waterproof jacket or pants).
If you want to know more about how to stay warm at winter camping check this article.
I am sure you want to set a campfire when the sun will go down. To make it a success you will have to have dry firewood, kindling, tinder and some fire source to start it. Get waterproof matches while you will gather the firewood in the woods. If everything is wet, find dry places as caves and gather dry material there.
Having a sharp tool
Get yourself a small ax or an outdoor knife so you will be able to cut ropes, and prepare firewood easily. I always take my heavy-duty camping knife that comes in handy in many situations (also for cleaning a fish).
What is good camping etiquette?
No matter where you will be camping (desert, woods, mountains, or at the campground) you should always consider good camping etiquette so you and your fellow campers will be pleased. I shouldn’t forget about the wild animals that will be grateful if you clean garbage and take good care of the waste.
Where to put your waste?
Bring zippered bags of different sizes so you will keep your campsite clean and neat. What about human waste? Leave no trace and dig a poop in a 6-8 inches deep hole or place the waste in the zippered bag and leave it in the human waste container if there is one.
How to behave?
Woods are home to many wild animals. When you decide to go camping there you must know that you will be entering their living area and interfere in their territory. To make a minimal impact, never shout or touch the animal’s nests or animals themselves.
You must act differently if you see a bear in the distance or if he is coming in your way. Talk loudly and make some noise to scare him away. A bear is afraid of us so make sure that he will know you are close and he will make your space. However, it is best that you go in the other direction if you see him coming.
Camping must be a fun and educational experience
I hope that I provided enough educational material so you can pack your things and head to your first camping adventure with excitement. I recommend that you consider all three sections from the guide – preparation, camping essentials, and the best way to behave outdoors to have a safe and memorable escapade.
Author -Tadej is the founder of Camping Valley. The site is an extension of my lifestyle and passion for the outdoors. Everything that he learn, experience and find valuable is on the site for you. We live in a technological era but nature is reminding us more and more that we should go to the places where our heart and soul feel like home.