Regardless of your budget or favorite relaxation levels, there are some basic requirements that will ensure you have a good time as well as respect the environment – but the good news is they’re things you’ll already have in your house. So go buy a big flexible tub, write ‘camping gear’ on the lid and fill it with the after: General supplies: Citronella coils for mosquitoes, sunscreen, a water storage tub, and bags or cardboard boxes for your tosh. Bathroom supplies: A blarney, toilet paper and – if you’re going off-grid – trowel or small tool to dig a toileting hole. Cooking supplies: Matches or nimbler, plastic plates, bowls, cutlery, pots, pans, cooking kits and salt, pepper and spices.
You can’t just rely on the campfire for lighting once the sun has set. You don’t want to be stumbling around in the dark if you need to leave the tent to use the bathroom, especially after the fire is out and you’ve gone to bed. In addition to being small and incredibly portable, headlamps also make it much simpler to move around the campsite at night or even just to relax in the tent and read. Small camp lamps are useful for lighting the tent body or an outside table. If you’re munching or playing board games, they’ll make it considerably easier on the eyes even if the fire is still roaring.
The last thing to plan is clothing, which will mostly depend on where you are going camping, the weather, and the surroundings. However, one surefire rule of thumb is to stay away from cotton as much as you can because it tends to retain moisture without providing any insulation against the cold. Stick to synthetic or wool textiles instead. Long thermal shirts and trousers are among essentials to search for because they are lightweight while still offering layers of cozy insulation. Bring a few sets, keeping one set solely for sleeping. A puffy jacket, gloves, and thick socks round out the essentials. Although not required, it wouldn’t hurt to keep hats and scarves in the car as a backup. Always remember to layer your clothing and pack for comfort. Your best chances for daytime hiking when you’re most likely to be warm are loose-fitting hiking pants, hiking shoes, a few pairs of T-shirts or athletic long sleeve shirts and a waterproof coat in case of rain.
You should invest in a portable stove if you anticipate preparing at least one or two meals over the campfire. Therefore, a simple two-burner camp stove will work wonderfully and enable you to prepare full-blown meals with relative ease—unless you intend to survive entirely on smokes. A single hob will do the work for something even lighter and simpler, letting you to experiment with new recipes without taking up much room in your backpack or car. Small stoves like these allow you to heat up essential cravings like coffee, stews, rice dishes, pasta, and beans; however certain foods may definitely just be cooked directly over the fire. Additionally, you should stock up on fuel, and depending on which stove you opt for, this typically means propane or gas.
A sleeping bag is an additional essential item. Again, depending on where you’re camping and the weather prediction, you’ll need a variety of different sized and types of sleeping bags. You should think about the season you’re camping in and the weather, especially at night. Remember that even in warm climates at night it can get very chilly, so you’ll want a sleeping bag with lots of insulation. Multi-season sleeping bags are a good option because they are made specifically to keep you warm in temperatures of 20° Fahrenheit and above. Since this is your first camping trip, you shouldn’t have any problems as long as you aren’t on snowy tundra.
Tents are obviously the most basic item you’ll require. Shelter is essential because you don’t want to be exposed to the elements or the insects for long. The most important factor, however, is the kind of tent you need because it much relies on how long your camping vacation will last, how you’ll spend your time there, and how far you’ll have to walk to get to your campsite. For instance, if you need to hike a short distance to your campsite, you should choose a tent that is portable and lightweight. Though if you’re by choosing a drive-up site, you can purchase a bigger, heavier tent with more room and perhaps more comfortable amenities. In any case, keep the bells and whistles for next year because this is your first camping vacation and stick with a tent that is simple to unfold and set up. Try a trial run at home before you leave on your trip to ensure that you are familiar with the setup procedure and that you are not missing anything or feeling overly overwhelmed.
Add pillows to complete your sleeping arrangement for additional comfort. This is the amenity that is most frequently disregarded, leading to the use of rolled-up garments as temporary pillows. Pillows are more of a requirement, especially for first-timers, and as long as you’re not long-distance backpacking, they’re not too difficult to lug around in the car. You have a wide variety of cushion options to consider, and as they are typically tiny and portable, you are welcome to bring along a few or simply give them a try at home.
You’re set to start cooking, but don’t forget the dishes! Reusable cutlery and plates are not only beneficial to the environment, but they also significantly improve the eating experience. Choose one complete set of plates, bowls, and utensils for each person, plus an extra set of dishes to share just in case, for a basic weekend camping trip. You should bring a cutting board and a sharp knife for meal preparation. For cleanup, you should bring a few small or medium tubs for washing and rinsing.
Toiletry necessities like towels, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and toilet paper are necessities you won’t want to forget, whether or not your campground has designated bathrooms and showers. Even though your campground probably has some of these items, it’s always better to be safe than sorry in this situation. Bonus: If you have the room, fill a compact toiletry bag with any additional products you might require or desire, such as a comb, brush, travel-sized shampoo, soap, and Chap Stick.
TIPS FOR PITCHING A TENT
The way your tent is put together will depend on the sort of tent you have, the location where it is being put together, and the add-ons and accessories you will be utilizing.
Here are some pointers for pitching your tent if you’re a new camper
- RECOGNIZE YOUR TENT
You must be aware of the type of unit you own in order to properly install your tent. The most popular tent types are the dome, A-frame, pop-up, and ridge tents, while there are additional kinds. For further instructions, consult the owner’s manual for your tent.
- SELECT A LEVEL AREA
The area where you set up your tent needs to be flat, ideally shaded, and free of fire pits, dirt, pebbles, or tree roots. Don’t set up your tent where rainfall could collect and soak inside. Fortunately, every Tent Site at KOA is level and roomy, which makes setting up camp more convenient than ever.
- BEWARE OF TENT STAKES
If you plan to use stakes to anchor your tent or tarp, bring extras if you can. Stakes are well-known tripping hazards, so be sure to drive them well into the ground and always use caution while going close to them.
- ALWAYS USE A TARP
Even if rain is not expected, you want to prevent being caught off guard by a late-night shower. Your tent is protected from the elements by a tarp.
It will prevent your tent from overheating and is particularly great for summertime camping.
- INCREASE COMFORT
To increase comfort in your tent, think about selecting a unit with a window for airflow and natural light. To create the perfect sleeping atmosphere, bring a heater that is safe to use in tents or a battery-operated fan. Use a cot, inflatable mattress, or sleeping pad to elevate yourself off the ground if at all feasible. This will keep you warmer, dryer, and less likely to awaken with any aching muscles. When shopping, look for tents that can withstand rain, and for added weather protection, hang a tarp over the top of your tent.
The most important first-time camping advice to keep in mind is how to pick the ideal spot. It is a good idea to camp somewhere like KOA where you are never too far from clean restrooms and laundry facilities as someone who is still learning the fundamentals of camping.
When selecting a camping spot, keep the following factors in mind:
- Consider your motivation for taking this camping trip. Is it to explore new locations or go to historical sites? Or to spend precious time with loved ones by a fire while being fully outdoors? Your camping objectives will aid in determining the ideal area.
- In addition to taking into account your level of comfort with various climates and factors like potential rains, temperatures, and which sites offer the most picturesque seasonal views, choose the appropriate location for the season.
- Some camping destinations, such as those that call for backpacking expeditions or mountain hikes, may be a little too difficult for novices if you’re travelling with young children. Pick a location that is convenient for all group members.
- You must decide whether you want to travel far from home or if you would prefer stay close before making a camping reservation.