Feeling anxious about your first trip outdoor? Don’t get extravagant on the idea that everything will be a disaster – camping has always been fun!
- Reading more: 17 Tips to PLAN a Successful Family Camping Trip
Follow these 29 super useful camping tips, and even when you are just a beginner, you can camp like a champ.
BEFORE YOU GO
Knowing what to pack, how to pack it and prepare everything beforehand – that’s the crucial key which opens the door to outdoor enjoyment.
#1 Test everything!
Nothing is worse than arriving in the campsite, only to find out your crucial gear doesn’t work.
- Do a trial set-up for pitching a tent (especially with brand-new ones).
- Practice running with your RVs.
- Work out how your camping stove operates.
- Has your light gone malfunctioned?
Testing everything before the trip gives the beginner a huge advantage – practice makes perfect!
#2 Do some research!
Do your homework and get acknowledged to the topography or the weather of the campsite – every little bit helps.
According to the information you got, you can plan your trip more accurately and know more specifically what to pack.
#3 Designated campsites are prioritized.
Of course trekking into the unknown wilderness has its own charms, but you’d want to gain some experience before a long trip with unexpected difficulties and danger.
Until then, keep your trips in designated campgrounds – there will always be someone or something there to save your last minute emergencies.
#4 Invest in real camping equipment.
Now I’m not telling you to spend all your savings on all different kinds of gears.
Some of these little handy camping gadgets or the advanced technique kitchenware may look fancy, but they are not necessary.
But that doesn’t mean choosing cheap and no-guarantee products at all.
You need to know you’re your personal needs are, and pick up the high-quality necessities – some of the recommends are the tent, sleeping bag, lighting, and washing-up tub.
#5 Learn the basic knots.
You wouldn’t believe that knots will be your lifesaver – using them to secure your tarps, tie down gear on your car, hanging lanterns; or even temporarily mend things that are broken.
Here is the website that you can learn all the knots and their uses that you may need: http://www.animatedknots.com/indexbasics.php#ScrollPoint
Cooking can be one of your biggest camping nightmares – there is always not enough kitchen gears, and the cooking method is also very challenging.
One of the best tricks to avoid this, is to make a throughout menu of what to eat from the first to the last day, including recipes.
Make sure to use meals that are quick and adaptable to outdoor cooking. Save some dishes for an open campfire party!
And don’t forget to add dehydrated food snacks into your menu. They keep your meals quick and hearty.
#7 Cooking 102: Prepare your cooking ahead of time.
Measure all your ingredients – or even better, prepare season them – and pack them in labeled Ziplocs bags. Voila, you’ve already completed half of your meals.
You can also cook your soup and stews and freeze them, keeping it in a cooler. Pop out and reheat for a quick but delicious meal.
IS EVERYTHING PACKED UP?
#8 A camping essentials list.
It’s very irritating to realize you miss out your raincoat (when it starts to rain!) or dropped your matches at home (how to start a fire now?)
A simple checklist will save the day. Old school, but crucial. No more missing-stuff crisis!
Never forget these things: duct tapes, waterproof bags/ boxes and guy ropes.
If you think you have had enough toilet paper, shove some more into your bag!
Don’t pack too many clothes and leave out all those “in case” wear. But do pack clothes for all weather.
You may want to bring clothes with fabrics that breathe (cotton, linen) if you’re heading to a humid area; while as to resist the cold, you’ll need a fleece jacket or wool sweater.
Ever wonder why people can save so much space in their backpacks?
They make skivvy rolls for their clothes – these small rolls can minimize your shirts and socks’ spaces, giving room for other important things.
The steps are shown below.
#10 Pack your first aid kit right.
You can always pack your first aid kit at home – it costs amazingly cheaper and you can pack the medicine according to your destination and your personal purposes.
Check out how to prepare the kit here: https://beingoutside.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/first-aid-kit-checklist-for-camping/
May your first aid kit always be the thing you have, but never the thing you use.
#11 How to pack your cooler?
Cooler is a great companion for long trips and large groups of people.
But do you know how to pack your cooler correctly?
Cool everything before putting into the cooler and fill them up with layers of ice, that way your food will be frozen for quite a long time.
Check out the image below for the correct order of organizing your food.
#12 Pack more tinder!
Nothing kills the fun more than when the campfire refuses to burn.
You can be a novice, but save yourself some cotton balls dipped in Vaseline for tinder.
The fire will start smoothly and catch the embers in no time.
#13 Distribute your backpack’s weight.
For distant hiking, don’t let your backpack be your burden by knowing where to keep things. Lay out all your things to get it organized.
Be sure to fill in all empty spaces with small/ compressible items.
Check out this blog to pack your backpack efficiently: http://www.wildbackpacker.com/backpacking-gear/backpacks/how-to-pack-a-backpack/
#14 Keep your car organized.
Here is a little trick to make it easier: things need to be set up first (tent, kitchenware, lighting) are put in last.
That way, they will be the first things you pull out. Pack the tent last: it will be out first, and when it rains things won’t get wet!
AT THE CAMPSITE
Already enjoying your first outdoor life? Great to hear everything works out well… at the beginning.
However, the camping experience can really come down to noise, mistakes and freak-outs; if you can’t really handle the situation well.
#15 Have campground etiquette!
The core of campground etiquette (people may call it courtesy as well) can be sum up to a single statement: “Take only pictures and leave only footprints”.
Extinguish your campfire. Clean up your trash. Respect nature and everyone. These are of course the unspoken rules, but knowing them can save you from being noisy and ignorant camping newbies.
#16 Assign everyone with a job.
Team work efforts are always wonderful. Make sure that everyone in your group (including the children as well) has something to do.
Be given jobs makes people have more responsibilities in taking care of the camp, and trust me, you wouldn’t be pleased when you have to do all the jobs when the others just sit there doing nothing.
#17 Unpack and set up your camp while you still have light.
Never underestimate the darkness – especially in nature.
Prepare everything while you still have light – set up the tent first, then prepare the campfire.
It isn’t favored trying to find kindling when you can’t see anything at all.
#18 Be friendly!
It doesn’t hurt to socialize a bit with your neighbor fellows.
Some of them can be the friendliest people you will ever meet, with different background stories and super useful camping tips.
Just start by saying “Hello” and have fun making a new friend!
#19 Your Valuables?
Hide them in baby wipes. A little trick that will save up your space and worries – and nobody will know!
#20 Forget those electronic devices.
Your new game of Candy Crush can wait. It won’t hurt not being able to text your friends for a few days.
The only legal thing to use here is a camera.
Leave your phones in the car for emergencies only, and get into the thrilling excitement of the wild.
#21 Hiking 101: Short out-and-back trips.
For hiking beginners, the most precious thing is an experience.
No need to be a hero and take up a long eight-hour-straight walking trip! Start slow, and pick up a short out-and-back trail.
That way, you will know what to expect on the second trip back to your shelter. You can gradually increase the distance of the walk to discover new interesting things.
#22 Hiking 101+: Mark your turns.
Even the most experienced hiker gets lost. Take it in mind and mark every of your turns – simply by making a cross on stones with a marker.
When you’re getting used to the activity, you can outline your trail in a journal – to keep track of where you are going.
Save these super useful tips and tricks for a more comfortable and organized camping trip!
#23 Get a headlamp!
Get rid of those cheap flashlights, and you won’t need a luxurious camping lantern.
Just invest yourself a functional headlamp, and this sure guarantees a bargain.
By using headlamps, you can always take advantage of your two free hands.
Need lighting the whole large space? Trap the headlamp to a jug of water to fill the tent with light.
#24 Use a belt and hooks to hang up your pots and pans.
Tighten the belt around the trees and attach some hooks on it. Your kitchenware will be neatly organized.
#25 Sage – mosquitoes’ enemy.
Mosquitoes – the most annoying insect of all times. Add some sage into the campfire – they won’t dare coming close to you and you can also enjoy an alluring smell.
Or you can buy mosquito repellent. Here are the 5 BEST MOSQUITO REPELLENT for camping and backpacking
#26 Tin-foil – a life-saver for camping food.
You can literally wrap anything in aluminum foil, throw it in the fire, wait for a few minutes and eat your delicious meals!
From breakfast to dinners and dessert, nothing is simpler than that.
Here is a site that provides 18 delicious tin foil meal that can be cooked in a blink of eyes: https://tinpig.com/camping/camping-recipes/18-simple-tasty-tin-foil-camping-recipes/
#27 Sand & baby powder.
How to get rid of dirt?
Take a handful of sand or duff and pour it inside your dirty pots and pans, then scrub hard.
I know it seems like a bad idea, but it’s proved to be the best way to clean, even over water.
How to get rid of sand?
Sprinkle a liberal amount of baby powder on your hand or feet can allow you to brush off wet sand instantly.
#28 Make your temporary nightstand.
No more morning rushes. Just take a small container (even a cap can do) and place it next to your sleeping bag.
Throw your little items in there – you won’t have to go crazy looking for them anymore.
#29 Sleep calmly 🙂
Here’s a little trick to stay warm in your sleep:
Place your head slightly downhill compares to your body.
Or you can elevate your legs for about 3 inches higher than your head to reduce the swelling caused by walking all day.
There’s something special about embracing the great outdoors; being in touch with nature and enjoying the simple life.
Make sure you get to watch your majestic sunset, or swapping yarns under a star-cloaked sky, without having to be worried about things going wrong.
Happy camping with these tips and tricks for beginners!