Trust me, I’ve been there. I was a camping newbie once upon a time, and now look at me – Camping almost every weekend with friends and family.
Oftentimes I will embark on my own spiritual camping journey which helps me connect with myself more and with Mother Nature, that is why I decided to put together these tent camping tips for beginners.
But enough about me. I see a lot of newbie campers out in the public campgrounds and most of the time they don’t know what they’re doing.
How do I know they’re beginners? Because it’s not hard to tell when they take an hour to set up their tent or they run around like headless chickens trying to figure out how to get the campfire going.
Trust me, I try to avoid helping them so they can learn themselves but it’s just too painful to watch. I usually put on my helpful shoes and begin to show them how to put up the tent and start the campfire.
I’ll even go the extra mile and help them place their tent in a good spot. As you will learn in the next couple of minutes, it’s not as easy as just putting your tent down anywhere and saying you are done.
Simplicity Is Key
Too many times newbie campers will embark on a trip and take way too many items which will ultimately leave them stressed out and running in circles trying to sort everything out.
Or they rent out a spot for a week and realize they don’t like camping at all.
This usually leads to them leaving very early and a lot of money wasted.
Just remember to go for an overnight trip, and maybe 2 just in case you think you will enjoy it a lot (highly likely that you will if you follow these tips :P).
Don’t Go Alone
Your first few trips are to help you get use to everything (Mother Nature, the atmosphere, the coldness during the night, the annoying insects, and oftentimes wildlife).
And it will just make it harder on yourself if you decide to go alone, making the whole experience an utter nightmare.
Go with family and friends first, then after you are more comfortable with setting everything up, cooking dinner and sleeping without worrying too much about what’s outside, THEN you can go on your own solo camping trip.
Setup Your Tent Multiple Times First
A tent can be surprisingly difficult to set up if you haven’t done it before. By doing it at home in your backyard first you are going to make setting up in the campground a breeze.
I would recommend you do this at least 3-5 times to know EXACTLY what needs to be done so you avoid hitting a brick wall when you’re out in the wilderness.
This will just cause you to stress out, and probably a lot more if night time is just around the corner.
If you overlook doing this and try pitching it out in the wilderness as it ends up getting dark, you are probably going to hate camping right off the bat. So pitch multiple times first and avoid this problem from arising.
Avoid These DANGER ZONES
Pitching your tent in the wrong place is just a recipe for disaster. With dead trees all around us, ravines, low valleys and ditches, it can be really confusing to know where we have to pitch our tent.
Avoid ditches and the bottom of hills at all costs. In the event that you wake up to a flash flood in the middle of the night, you risk waking up literally in a puddle of water with EVERYTHING soaked.
You should look for sloped hills and preferably hilltops for a more, safer camping trip.
Also, you will need to look for dead trees (which can blow over and kill you) and swamps. Avoid pitching near these if possible.
First time campers don’t really know what they are suppose to take for food, am I right? The one secret to staying simple is by having everything prepared.
However there are hundreds of good camping meals you can take on a camping trip, I prefer to prepare them beforehand so it makes everything a breeze while in the great outdoors.
If you are more of a healthy eater but have no idea what to take, then I suggest you check out these healthy camping meal ideas.
Be Prepared For Cold Nights
Even I made this quirky mistake, many of us will think that a sleeping bag, sleeping pad and cheap tent is enough to keep us warm for the entire night.
More often than not, it will be…if you purchased a good sleeping bag.
However many camping beginners will grab the cheapest one (one that is NOT good for the cold-night temperatures).
This will result on you, in the cold hours of the morning, freezing and shaking away trying to get warm. It is a HORRIBLE experience and I only recommend you be prepared for the chilly nights ahead.
If you are on a budget and don’t want to purchase a high quality sleeping bag, then I suggest you pack a bunch of extra blankets, oh and don’t forget to read my article on how to stay warm at night!
Consider A Trial Run
For the love of god, and for your own sake, please do a trial run first. Even if it’s in your backyard, you will soon find out if you enjoy sleeping in the outdoors or not.
It’s also a great time to give your new tent a trial as well. If it starts raining or the wind starts picking up, your tent will be put to the test.
However you have to remember that a tent is not something to take lightly.
It is what’s going to mean the difference between waking up bone dry with the sun scorching on your face, and waking up in the middle of the night in a puddle, with everything soaked (meaning you, your family and all your equipment).
I’m an honest guy and often review tents. If you want something that’s going to keep you bone dry the entire night and NOT going to fly away in strong winds, then I can only recommend the Slumberjack 4 Person tent.
Your first time camping experience will be both frightening and exciting, because you don’t know what to expect.
However with these simple tips I have outlined for you above, it won’t take long before you learn the ropes and ultimately want to go out again more and more!
Because no matter what people say about it, it is their experience and theirs only, yours will be entirely different. So by going out and trying it for yourself you will soon know if you want to keep moving forward with your camping journey or not.