Many beginners who go camping usually have no idea what to take, what to look out for or what foods to bring. So I
have created a camping guide for beginners to essentially prevent you from feeling lost when going on your first camping trip. Luckily for you, you have come to the right place. Keep on reading to find more information and links to general issues, different items and other articles to help first-time campers.
When going camping, preparation is key. Don’t be put off by this guide, camping is just THAT good.
11 Camping Steps For Beginners
First and foremost, you will need a tent. Keep in mind that one size does not fit all. So get one that will fit your needs.
2. Camping Equipment
There’s a lot of camping gear and accessories. Which is why it is essential to split your tent into necessary sections. For example: Sleeping, Cooking and Storage.
Keep in mind
Camping in the warmest of summers, temperature still drops significantly overnight. So just keep in mind that your tent, camping clothes and sleeping bag is made to keep you well-insulated for the whole night.
3. Sleeping Mat
One of the first essentials items for your tent is to get a sleeping mat. The ground takes most of the heat from you, this is why it’s essential to put high quality gear between you and the floor to prevent massive loss of heat.
4. Sleeping Bag
Comfort and insulation is the key to finding a great sleeping bag. However if it’s too cold, you’ll shiver all night long, too hot and you can unzip it a little to let some heat out. There are many pros and cons that comes with all sleeping bags.
Do not get confused between camping and backpacking. There is a distinction between them. What you need depends on what you plan on doing. If you’re camping, you don’t really need a back pack. However you WILL need a good day pack if you’re planning on hiking. In the backpack world, these are the 3 main distinctions: Day pack, overnight and long haul. Choose one that covers what your plans are.
6. Flashlights, Lanterns and Headlamps
It gets dark when camping, believe it or not, so you will need something to help you see at night. LED works best if you plan on going the cheap route. An Adjustable LED Flashlight will do the trick.
To make your way around the campsite and tent easily in the dark, the $44 Black Diamond Apollo Lantern is great for that, but too bulky to go adventuring with.
So for that you can get a $30 headlamp called Black Diamond Spot, which is so useful in many ways, including setting up your tent at night just in case you get to your campsite after dark.
7. Water Filtration System
When camping, you should bring as much water as you can, as much as you can fit in the car. Even if the campsite has fresh water, you should still bring some anyway. However if you do bring water, you will NEED a water filtration system.
If you want a more portable solution, you can use Iodine Tablets as an alternative.
8. Shoes and Hiking Boots
You will need some hiking boots and shoes, depending on what trip you’re taking. Your sneakers will work in some places, but if you decide to go on longer adventures, you will need hiking boots as they give you more comfort, support, stability and padding to protect your ankles on the rough terrain.
Here are the 4 distinctions between hiking boots:
Boots – Clunky and sturdy. Good for people that like grip in their shoes, and people who like to jump in puddles.
Trail Runners – Trail runners are light, but they don’t have the support or traction the other boots offer. So these are best for the nimble-footed who enjoy jumping around.
Hiking Shoes – The holy grail of each of these. They have good traction, solid durability and lightweight. Although they tend to have low longevity.
Approach Shoes – These are created mostly for climbers. They sit in-between trail runners and boots.
Most people tend to land on the approach shoes as a good suggestion of boots. So choose as you wish.
You may have a GPS on your phone and your car. However just IN CASE these become unusable from lack of signal or batteries dying down, you need a backup. Get a paper map of wherever you’re going and learn how to read that instead of your GPS, so you don’t rely on the GPS. This is a must-have.
10. First-Aid Kit
Cuts, bumps and scratches will happen on a camping trip. A basic first-aid kit is enough to use. Make sure you include bug sprays, bandages, aspirins, gauze, aloe vera and moleskin.
11. Everything You Need To Cook
-Stove, Fuel and Fire Starter
-Pots and Pans
-Bowls, Utensils and Cups
-Dishcloths, Scrubber, Trash Bags
You will need food to cook, I have compiled a list of easy-to-cook camping meals in another post.
Preparing your first camping trip IS hard. Whatever camping trip you decide to embark on, just make sure you take these things into consideration:
If you’re going to a desert in the summertime for the weekend, you won’t need a jacket. However if you’re heading into a rain forest, it will be foolish to leave it at home. If you want to do some fishing, remember that you’ll need a permit, some bait and a pole. If you’re going on a huge hiking trip, you may want to only take a few camping supplies to prevent you from carrying loads of items on your back.
Remember that you’re different to everyone else, and your needs are going to differ. So don’t forget to right down your own list of what you will need, don’t forget medications and hygiene products as well.
Here is a rule of thumb to follow – if you’re backpacking, you will need the bare minimum of essentials tools and needs only. If you’re going camping, put as much items and gear in the car as you want, because you will not be carrying it anywhere.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Do you have any questions about camping? Please comment below, I’ll be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.