What’s your idea of the perfect vacation? Does the thought of sleeping under a star-studded sky and waking up to the gentle chirping of birds sound appealing? Then it’s about time you go camping in the heart of nature.
There are very few things that’ll bring as much joy to your life as a camping holiday would. It’s exhilarating, peaceful, and relaxing – all at the same time. Also, it’s ideal for people who want to avoid swarms of tourists on their vacation. Considering its secluded nature, camping is also a viable travel option amidst the pandemic.
But if you’re planning to go camping for the first time, things can get a little tricky. In the absence of proper planning, your camping holiday could easily turn into the worst nightmare. You’ll end up feeling exhausted from constantly having to do things, such as setting up your tent, cooking your meals, etc.
But that shouldn’t discourage you from venturing into the splendid world of camping. It isn’t rocket science, after all. You just have to plan everything in advance and make sure you’re carrying all the essentials.
That’s why in this blog, we’ve handpicked a few essential tips that every first-time camper should know. Let’s take a look.
1. Choose the Right Campsite
From state parks and national parks to the beachfront and mountains – you can find a treasure trove of spectacular campsites wherever you are. But if you’re camping for the first time, it’s recommended that you don’t venture too far away from your home.
It’s also a good idea to understand your travel preferences and pick a campground accordingly. For instance, if you enjoy hiking, a secluded campsite higher up in the mountains is a great idea. But if you’re looking for an easier option, choosing a campground in a national park would be better.
Once you shortlisted a few campsites, hit the internet for a closer look at the amenities they provide. What kind of washrooms is available near the campground? Are tents available or do you have to pitch your own?
Are essential supplies easily to procure from nearby places? Is it possible to reach the campsite by car or do you have to walk/hike a long stretch? These are all questions you should consider before choosing your campsite.
It’s also a good time to understand what form of camping you’d prefer. If pitching your own tend isn’t your cup of tea, you could explore other options, such as RVs and deluxe cabins. Or you could even consider car camping.
2. Know Your Weather
Now that you’ve selected your campground, it’s time to find out whether this is the right time to go there. After all, a rain-soaked camping holiday won’t be a pleasant experience. Likewise, camping in the scorching summer heat won’t be particularly rewarding either.
That’s why you need to check the weather forecast for the campsite and make sure that the temperature fits your itinerary and travel dates. Also, check and find out the complete weather information, including wind and precipitation details. Make sure there aren’t any warnings for bad weather on your travel dates.
3. Start Packing
If there’s one ground-rule of camping, it has to be this – carry all the essential supplies you think you’re going to need for your trip. From sleeping bags and pillows to kitchen tools and utensils – make sure you pack everything.
This is important because most campsites any nearby convenience stores or eateries. You wouldn’t want to ruin your holiday just because you forgot to bring mosquito repellant and can’t buy it from anywhere near the campground.
That’s why it is always a good idea to start with a list of all the things you’re going to need for camping. Apart from your tent and sleeping gear, you’re going to need the following:
- Portable phone charger
- Portable stove
- Cups and plates
- Garbage disposal bags
- Bug spray
- Mosquito repellant
- Rain gear
- Comfortable footwear
- Sunscreen lotion
- First-aid kit
Depending on when and where you’re camping, you might also need to pack some winterwear. While you’re at it, don’t forget to keep plenty of synthetic clothes that’ll dry easily even if you get wet. Also, make sure you carry an extra pair of shoes and slippers.
Apart from the essentials, you could also consider bringing a few board games along to dial the fun up a notch. Likewise, don’t forget to bring your camera and a pair of binoculars. While you’re packing, do keep in mind whether you have to walk or trek for a bit to reach the campsite.
4. Plan Your Meals
Roasting marshmallows on a rustic fire – this is one of the first things that’ll come to your mind when you think about the food at a campground. But you’re not going to survive on s’mores for the entire duration of your trip. And chances are, you won’t find a fast-food joint or restaurant anywhere near your campsite.
That’s why you need to plan all your meals beforehand. Whether you intend to extensively use a campsite grill or carry ready-to-eat meals, make sure you have a clear idea before the trip. Get all the tools, ingredients, utensils, and other supplies you’re going to need to prepare your food.
Make sure you find out whether it’s permissible to burn firewood at the campsite. Otherwise, you’ll have to make do with a stove. Also, don’t forget to pack some energy bars, cold beverages, and other snacks that’ll fuel your body between meals.
5. Be Mindful About the Trash
Garbage disposal isn’t the first thing that’s going to be on your mind while planning a camping trip. But it’s essential that you leave the campsite in the same pristine condition as it was before your arrival. This means you should find a way to get rid of the trash without affecting the campground.
Firstly, check if the campsite offers a provision for garbage disposal. If this isn’t the case, you’ll likely have to carry the trash all the way back to your home. Make sure you keep enough garbage disposal bags to securely pack all the trash.
Do you have any other useful hacks for first-time campers? Share your suggestions in the comments section below.
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