I have been camping ever since I was a kid, where my father had taught me the basics.
As I grew older I would go on more trips – mostly with my friends – for the simple reason that they always wanted me to come along since I had the most knowledge, this gave me the courage to write this tent camping guide, and so I could help other newbies.
Over that vast amount of time I have learned most of my skills that I now know. I have camped by myself, with my dog, friends, and family.
I will write down things you should keep in mind when you camp with these combinations so it can make your camping experience 100x better and easier.
Your Own Solo Camping Trip
Even though I don’t recommend camping in this manner, mostly because of safety issues – because if something goes wrong and you get hurt there’s no one there to help you or to get help.
But people still like to go on these trips and I have done it a few times, however I tend to avoid it nowadays and would prefer to take a friend or 2 along.
Here’s my tips to help you become a better solo camper:
Get Some Adventure Knowledge Up Your Sleeve First – You will need to be skilled in navigation, first aid, knowing how to predict the upcoming weather and some having some basic survival skills.
I would say after a few outdoor trips with others, these skills will mostly come natural to you anyway.
Remove All The Phobias – A lot of first-time solo campers will only go on a night or 2 on their first trip alone, they think this will help them get use to it, when it is actually a bad idea.
To really remove the nighttime phobias you need to go for at least a 7 day trip. By night 4-5 all your fears will be gone. See what I mean? You have to spend a good few nights to really get use to it, an overnight trip will be worthless.
Go Light – Since there’s no one to help carry all your gear you will need to learn how to camp in ultimate lightness. Make it an obsession so it will get easier for you over time.
Morale Boosting – You will probably get lonely out in the wild by yourself, and that’s especially true when you are new to camping, you will have a lot of time on your hands. I suggest taking a book to read.
Tell Someone Your Plans – Because you will be alone and there will be no one to save you if you get injured, It will be in your best interest to tell someone what you are doing, where you’re going, when you are leaving and when you will be back.
This is so they can get help if they don’t hear back from you. If you don’t tell anyone where you are, and in the event that you get injured and can’t walk, you will be left out there to die.
Tips For Camping With Your Pet…Things To Keep In Mind
Camping with your dog is extremely fun but can turn to a tragedy when you don’t follow these tips.
Dogs look like food to predators, and knowing how to keep you and your dog safe from bears and other deadly animals will mean the difference between life and death…literally.
See If The Campsite Allows Dogs – This should be your first line of defense against wild animals. The campsite will soon let you know if it’s safe to camp with your dog in their site.
If they do allow pets make sure you familiarize yourself with the rules they set, and stick to them! Because they are there for a reason.
Use Appropriate Collars – Just in case you lose your dog, the collar will be a good way to get in contact with the dogs owner. Make sure it has an identification tag. On the tag should be your cellphone number and not your home number.
Keep It On A Leash If Not Trained Properly – If your dog isn’t well-trained to be out in the wilderness, you should keep it on a leash even at the campsite.
This will stop your dog from harming or annoying/disturbing other campers and stop it from wandering off and getting lost or even injured.
Your Dogs Diet – Dogs need water too, and if it’s summer or the temperatures hotter than usual they will need a lot of it. Make sure you bring their own water supply and don’t rely on bodies of water such as a river or lake – where they can actually get sick.
Whatever your dog eats back at home is what he/she will need on the trip as well.
Last But Not Least, Training – Training is your best option if you want to properly camp with your dog. You don’t have to spend years trying to teach your dog a lot of commands, just the basics.
- Whoa – For freeze or stop in your tracks
- Come – Self explanatory
- Down – Don’t move until I tell you to
- Okay – We are cool, as you were
- Leave it – Drop whatever is in your mouth
If your dog is a barker please leave it at home. I don’t care who you are, a barking dog in a peaceful place is not a good idea.
Tent Camping With Friends
I love camping with friends, simply because they are the ones with the best stories and make it 100x more fun when hanging around the campfire at night.
Just don’t be the group of mates who like to stay up until 2 in the morning being loud and making it harder for other campers to get some shuteye.
Be Clear On What Everyone Has To Bring – If you decide to wing it, this is just a recipe for disaster. What if no one brings a tent, food, water, extra blankets? Tell everyone what they should bring along and avoid this mistake in the first place.
Set Up Your Tent Before Drinking – You see this all the time on the internet, people passing out next to their un-pitched tent, simply because they started drinking before setting up their shelter and bed first.
Don’t be that guy/girl, set your shelter up then you don’t have to worry about it later on when you are too intoxicated to see straight!
Make Sure Everyone Knows They Have Options – Just because you are all on a camping trip together, that doesn’t mean you have to do everything together and at the same time.
If one goes for a nap, doesn’t mean everyone has to. Or exploring the wilderness with a friend doesn’t mean you all have to go.
Take Time For Yourself – This is sort of the same as above. If you’re an introvert (you need time alone to recharge), then don’t hesitate in having some time to yourself. Relax in your tent and read a book or something.
Basically all you want to do is get some quiet time by yourself, that’s all. A 5 minute quiet session by yourself before you go to sleep just won’t cut the butter.
Just Chill – All in all, the friend tips outlined above will just make everything more relaxed and peaceful.
Basically, confirm to everyone that they can do whatever they want, when they want and don’t have to be tied down to specific tasks. That’s what camping is for after all.
Tent Camping With Your Family
Safety is number one priority when with your family. They are usually the most closest to you, so safety precautions need to be at an all-time high so everyone can have a safe trip and come home to share all the memories with everyone.
Practice First For Newbie Campers – If you and your family aren’t really outdoor people, you should really consider camping in your backyard first.
If you don’t like camping in your own yard why the heck would you enjoy it out in the wild where it’s a lot scarier(for newer people of course).
Do A Trial Run First – You have kids involved, so it is only necessary that you make sure a trial run is apart of your camping journey. An overnight trip somewhere close to home is a great choice.
If you and your family hate it you can simply pack up and go home. It’s in the wilderness too, so you get the best of both worlds, being in Mother Nature AND being close to home, what more could you want?
Take Notes – If your family did enjoy it then your notes will play a huge role in your future trips. Write down where you went, what you needed and what you didn’t use but you still took anyway.
This will make future trips so much easier because you will be packing things you will actually use and cutting out the things that are just taking up space.
Always Be Enthusiastic – Most of the time the camping trip is for the kids, so if they don’t see you fired up about going on one then why would they be? Be the role model and be excited, which will make them excited as well.
Include The Kids In Everything You Do – This is very important and will also help with them getting excited for the upcoming trip.
Ask the kids what destinations they would like to see on the way to the campground, what do they want to do while they are there? Take their input seriously too, because at the end of the day, it is coming from their mouth and it’s what they asked for.
Why ask if you’re just going to say no? Lol
My last tip that I want to share, take photos and I mean LOTS of them. Because you won’t always be able to go on camping trips, so the times you do get to go, take a lot of photos so you can look at them 5-10+ years from now and smile.
If you are a real newbie camper and still don’t know where to begin with your camping journey then I highly recommend you check out my camping tips for first-timers 🙂
Please leave a comment if you found this post helpful!