If you are new to camping, the following tips for the beginner camper can be a great help to creating an enjoyable experience. Camping gets easier and more enjoyable when you are more prepared. These camping tips will help you go from a "beginner" to an "advanced" camper in no time.
Tip # 1 – Know the people you are camping with and the amenities that they require, even if it is only for a few days. Do you need a swimming pool, electricity, hot shower and flushing toilets or can you survive with an outhouse and no running water? If you have children, consider their needs as well. Then find a campsite that fits those needs.
Tip # 2 – Camp with someone who has camped before. You will learn something new every time. Sometimes they will also learn something from you. Ask a lot of questions (How did you start that fire?
Tip # 3 – Begin planning early for your camping trip. Many popular locations are reserved months in advance. You do not want to leave this to chance. I recommend starting out close to your home as well. Try to arrive at the campsite before it gets dark so you can get all of your gear organized.
Tip # 4 – If you are using a tent, put it up at home before you leave. Make sure you have all the poles, stakes, and other parts and are comfortable getting it assembled. You may want to practice in the dark as well, in case you arrive late.
Tip # 5 – Use a camping checklist when packing your supplies. During your camping trip, add those things that you wish you had to your checklist for next time. Contact the campsite to help with this as well – do you need a grill or barbecue, can you have a fire, is there a picnic table?
Tip # 6 – Pack appropriate clothing and footwear. Check the weather before you leave so you know how hot or cold it will be at night. Will you need any rain gear? What activities will you do during the day? Do not wear flip flops if you are going to hike Half Dome in Yosemite.
Tip # 7 -Bring food that is easy to prepare and serve. Know how you will cook the food. Do you have charcoal, propane or firewood? Matches, lighter fluid, etc. (see checklist again)
Tip # 8 – Have some activities planned for your trip. Hiking, biking, river rafting, swimming, boating, fishing and horseback riding are just a few suggestions. Use your imagination and you will never get bored.
Tip # 9 – Leave your campsite clean. There should be no sign that you were even there. The next group camping there will appreciate it, the same way you would.
Tip # 10 – Remember why you are there – to enjoy the outdoors and each other! Do not let a couple of little things spoil your fun.