Camping Preparations 101 For Beginner's - A Starter Guide

Would you like to try your hand at camping and hiking? Do you appeal to the sound of the great outdoors, the scent of fresh air, the smell and sound of a campfire under the sound of a star? Is this going to be your first trip camping? Oh, then maybe there would be some valuable details in this post.

First of all, when preparing your camping or hiking trip, one of the most important things to do is to let anyone know at home or at work specifics of where you plan to camp or walk, how long you're going to be gone, and any other details about your trip that you will leave that would be useful in the event of an emergency or when you said you will not return.

So plan your journey now. Where are you going? How do you learn about the region in which you are preparing to hike and camp? Where can I come up with a map? Make sure you get a map of the region in which you plan to hike or camp. The majority of U.S. Forestry Centers hold free wilderness area maps. Maps can also be found online and at most outdoor shops. You would also want to monitor your camping site's weather and schedule accordingly.

So what will I need? What kind of equipment will you need?

Camping requires equipment, and for experienced experts or those just starting out, the basic equipment is the same. Although there is plenty of high-quality camping equipment to make your outdoor stay much more comfortable, most of these things, particularly for beginners, are not required. Choose equipment of decent quality, but don't blow your budget by purchasing the costliest equipment. Note that expensive does not necessarily equal high quality.

Here is some basic gear you'll need for your trip:

Tents: Decide how many people in one tent are going to sleep. If you are camping with the whole family, you may want to have one tent for adults and one for kids. Buy a tent that can accommodate two more people than the amount you expect to have sleeping inside for a more convenient arrangement. For more information, see my Camping Tents article.

Sleeping bags: Sleeping bags are temperature graded and come in various shapes and sizes. Choose sleeping bags that are suitable and have a comfortable size for the season. For more detail on these pieces of camping gear, see my Tents and Sleeping Bags post.

Equipment for cooking and meals: A lightweight , portable propane stove is very convenient and makes meals as simple as cooking in your own kitchen. You can buy a barbecue or find a stove with both burners and a grill. To be environmentally friendly, select washable dishes and utensils. To wash up, don't forget two plastic bins!

Coolers and storage of food: Select coolers that are wide enough to allow for ice blocks. It is a good idea to also have two different coolers, one for frozen foods and one for refrigerated foods, in various sizes. With a snap-lock lid and handles, pick coolers. To keep food that doesn't need refrigeration, buy plastic bins.

Luggage: A fabric bag similar to a hockey bag is the safest luggage for camping. Stiff-sided luggage takes up space and does not carry as much clothing.

Extras: Buy two tarps-one to use under your tent as a ground sheet and one to cover the tent in the event of rain. For a makeshift clothesline, carry some wire. Particularly for trips to the bathroom, a nighttime lantern is always handy. In an emergency, you'll also need a simple survival kit, a mobile phone, and a flashlight. Bring biodegradable soap and shampoo if you are going on a journey that lasts longer than two nights and three days.

Try to think of practical things that suit your lifestyle while deciding additional items to carry, such as sunscreen, bug spray, a pair of extra sandals, and a doormat for your tent entrance. To decide what other products will be nice to carry along, search the aisles of the sporting goods department. Don't get mixed up with useless things and gadgets. They're only going to take up space and they're definitely not going to be seen more than once, if at all.

Clothing and Packing

Determine how many days you're camping, determine how many clothing sets you're going to need for that time, and then cut that number in half. Pack just the basics, the secret to a successful camping trip experience is minimal gear. It is no fun at all to haul, pack, store, and try to fit everything in the car before you leave for your trip and when it's time to come home and unload it all. Fold each piece of clothing when you pack, and then roll it up. Less room is taken up by rolled clothing than stacked, folded clothing.


There is plenty of planning involved in camping, and that also goes for food planning. Prepare your menu in advance, and provide a menu that contains every item you may need for each meal. The more details you have on your menu, the more you'll be able to shop for exactly what you need, no more and no less.

To save room, choose dinner meals that you can prepare in advance and freeze, and freeze as much as you can in plastic bags. The benefit of freezing food is that you would have "ice" ready for your refrigerator and not have to buy too many ice cubes, and in the cooler the food will defrost safely. If it's securely frozen and you're going to eat it that night, move the food to the fresh produce cooler from your frozen food cooler. Alternatively, by placing the plastic bag in a bucket of cold water, thaw it out.

It's a smart idea to make food a few weeks in advance and freeze the rest of the food the day before you leave. Note, the more you'll be able to prepare at home, the less time you'll have to cook while camping. There are plenty of other camping tips for beginners, but when things get difficult, most camping trips require common sense, imagination and staying calm. Camping is an activity that you must attempt at least once. If all goes well, year after year, you would probably continue to do it!

For the entire family, a camping trip can be a relaxing and informative holiday. For that to be a fact, however, it is important for every member of the family to be conscious of certain general and useful rules to obey. Camping trips will keep you from getting frustrated and make everyone's experience more enjoyable, particularly if you have younger kids. Before you go, here are some camping tips you need to consider:

  1. Choose your tent wisely

The most important things to keep in mind when choosing a tent are height, weight and weather ratings.

  1. Consider pitch position.

One of the best things to consider when pitching a tent is to select the spot very carefully. Try not to sleep on a slope if you can. Think of when the sun is going to rise and fall. Think of some shelter in the day, it's always good to have trees on one side of you to provide some natural cover from the sun, or it looks interesting enough to discover any foraging animals that can determine your tent. Make sure that the flames would not hit any overhanging canopy of branches that could start a fire if you intend to have an open fire. Take notice and heed any warning signs posted and check on the ground for animal tracks. Do not interfere with mother nature.

  1. Rent the instructions!

Reading the directions to learn how to put your tent up before you even head off on your camping trip is an obvious yet often ignored camping tip. If you have a new tent that you haven't used yet, and you don't know how to put it up, it's a good idea to put the tent up for practice in your back yard. See if each pole is labelled when you do this and, if not, take some masking tape and label each piece in such a way that it is foolproof. Pole mark 1 a-b, pole 2 b-c, pole 3 c-d, etc. Also, it is a good idea to set it up in the back yard and let it dry out before storing it for your next trip if you return from your trip.

  1. Deal with your food needs appropriately.

You do not know the area in which you will camp very well and therefore may not know what shops are in the local vicinity if any. Try to take some simple food items with you if this is the case, so that nobody can go hungry if you are unable to get some extra food. Make sure the gas cylinders are full if you are preparing to prepare all your own meals, and you have prepared everything you need to make meals from scratch. Do not forget the matches and do not forget to keep them dry! Make sure all the food is out of the reach of animals when you leave your campsite. If they really want it, they can tear open boxes and climb trees to acquire food!

It's a good idea to bring your food in a plastic container to keep it secure, particularly if you're camping in areas where larger animals, such as bears, are present. It will prevent these dangerous creatures from being attracted to your campsite by holding the food away from the site (and smell). It is imperative to use bear boxes if you are camping in a position where there are bears. Bears can tear a car apart looking for food and, if left out overnight, can quickly open a cooler and eat its contents.

  1. Stay organized.

Within your tent and outside the campgrounds, be neat , clean and ordered. While it can be bothersome to have too much of a routine, getting a few general rules is one of those camping tips that are invaluable in the long term. Simple items such as not having dirty shoes inside the tent would not only make the camping trip a cleaner and more pleasant experience, but also preserve the material of the tent that makes it last longer than it might otherwise. Assign a place inside the tent for all. There are also unique locations where you can locate items that are always needed so that you don't fumble in the dark and wake someone looking for a flashlight or waste hours searching for matches.

  1. Leave no trace.

When you have ended your camping trip, make sure you clean up after yourself, leaving no sign of you ever being there. This is important if you use a private or public campsite, as people who come will arrive after you have left to use the same location.

  1. Prepare for next time.

From the moment you finish the current one, you should be training for your next camping trip. This means packing all of your supplies, including the tent, in a way that makes beginning the next camping trip quick and easy. Make sure that the tent goes dry (if it rains when you pack up, air out the tent once you get home) and clean it so that it is ready for future use without any hassle. Make a note of any supplies that you may need to purchase, such as new pegs or a replacement gas tank, as you pack up. Make a list of things that need to be fixed as well.

Camping Code of Ethics

Stay on marked roads and trails when driving to your favorite camping place. For your type of ride, it is a good idea to follow best practices for negotiating terrain. By building new paths or improving on an existing trail, don't disrupt the natural environment. When you come to a stream, just cross a ford where the stream is crossed by a path or trail. Comply with all the signs and obstacles when you come to a posted sign, they're there for a reason. Going camping with two or three campers is always a good idea. Just in case you have an accident or breakdown, traveling solo will leave you vulnerable. Before leaving, always leave specifics with someone at home; where you plan to go camping, how long you plan to go, and any other details that could be useful in the case of an emergency or if you don't come back as you planned. Respect the rights of others to allow them to enjoy their leisure activities undisturbed, including private property owners and all recreational trail users, campers and others. On the lane, trail, or campground, be considerate of others.

Keep noise to a minimum, especially in the early hours of the morning and evening. Be respectful of the privacy of other campers, keep your distance and avoid driving through their campsites. Camping materials integrate with natural environments in natural colors and are less detrimental to the interactions of other campers.Leave gates as you find them.

If crossing private property, be sure to ask permission from the landowner. Yield to horses, hikers and bikers while driving. Educate yourself by obtaining public agency travel maps and regulations, planning your journey, taking courses on leisure skills, and learning how to properly use and operate your equipment.

Get a map of your destination and decide which places are accessible for your style of ride. Create, and stick to, a practical strategy. Often tell someone about your preparations for traveling. For area constraints, closures, and permit requirements, contact the land manager. Update your destination's weather forecast. Prep accordingly for clothes, tools, and materials.

Bring and know how to use a compass or a unit of a Global Positioning System (GPS). Prepare by packing emergency supplies for the unexpected. Unless on designated roads, avoid vulnerable areas such as meadows, lake banks, wetlands and streams. This safeguards against damage to wildlife habitats and fragile soils.

Cryptobiotic soils of the desert, tundra, and seasonal nesting or breeding areas are other vulnerable environments to avoid unless on designated roads. Stop disrupting paleontological, archaeological, and historical sites. Stop and keep your distance from "spooking" livestock and wildlife that you meet. Motorized and mechanized vehicles in Wilderness protected areas are not authorized. Do your part by leaving the environment better than you found it, disposing of waste properly, reducing the use of burning, preventing invasive species from spreading, preserving damaged areas, and joining a local organization of enthusiasts. Get what you bring in, pack out. Pick up garbage left by others and bring a trash bag.

Repackage the baggies with snacks and food. This decreases the weight and volume of garbage that needs to be taken out. Using established campsites whenever feasible. Camp on durable surfaces and put tents in an area not covered by vegetation. Do not dig tents around trenches. Camp at least 200 feet away from the lake, trails, and other camping grounds. Using a camp stove for cooking. In terms of effect on the ground, they're still superior to a campfire. Observe all prohibitions on flames. Create a mound fire or use a fire pan if you have to build a fire using existing fire rings. Using just fallen timber for campfires. Gather firewood from your camp far away.

Do not cut trees standing. Let the fire burn to a fine ash. Ensure the fire is extinguished absolutely. Do not wash in the lakes and steam. Fish and other marine species are affected by detergents, toothpaste and soap. Flush the streams and lakes 200 feet away. Scatter gray water into the soil so that it filters through. If necessary, use a portable latrine in places without toilets and pack out your waste, otherwise your waste needs to be buried. Human waste should be disposed of at least 200 feet from water bodies, campsites, or trails in a shallow hole (6"-8 "deep). Cover the hole with natural materials and disguise it. Packing out your toilet paper is recommended. There could be other limitations in high-use areas, so consult with a property manager.

Hopefully, this was valuable camping data. Enjoy the great outdoors and when you pack up and go home, please let it be the great outdoors.

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