A first-time camping trip is definitely something to get excited about, and if we lose ourselves in the excitement, we could easily forget how important preparation is when camping. While making a list of the things you might need and scratching out the ones which will only take up space in your camping bag and choosing the right attire and double checking if you have enough food and water is nowhere near as fun as camping, it is a necessary part of the experience, one that experienced campers know the value of.
Learn the basics
You’ll need to go camping at least a few times before you learn all the tips and tricks which could be useful, but it’s important to educate yourself as best you can about the basics before your first camping trip. These include knowing how to choose a camping spot and a tent, build a campfire and prepare a meal. You’ll also need to be acquainted with setting up a tent. To do this, you’ll first need to know which type of tent you own, ranging from dome-shaped to A-frames, popups and ridge tents. Luckily, they usually come with a manual and are relatively easy to set up. If you’re using stakes to stabilise your tent, be sure to bring extra ones just in case and use a tarp even if you’re not expecting heavy rain. You don’t want the elements to catch you off guard, and tarps can isolate your tent, providing protection. Also, something first-time campers tend to forget is that a good camping spot is one with running water nearby, as that can make their first camping trip a whole lot easier.
Be ready for every eventuality
You’ll also want to bring some useful gadgets to your first camping trip; you might not need them, but you’ll surely want them at your side if you do. A knife, like one from the OTF knives collection, is a must since they can both fit in your pocket and potentially save your life. Automatic knives can come in handy in a variety of situations, from mundane ones such as cooking or cutting a rope to less mundane ones such as marking a tree if you get lost, defending yourself from potential threats or cutting bandages if you’re hurt. Of course, to do this, you’ll need a first-aid kit (which you should get acquainted with beforehand) so don’t forget that either.
Don’t dress to impress
The least you can do to prepare for your first camping adventure is to check the weather forecast so you know what to expect in terms of weather conditions, but don’t stop there. You’ll want to avoid any unnecessary surprises and dress accordingly. On a camping trip, layers are your friends as you’ll want to be able to enjoy the sunshine as well as quickly put on an extra layer of rainproof clothing in case of unexpected showers. The “don’t dress to impress” rule applies to footwear as well, so pick something comfortable yet sturdy, and be sure you bring an extra pair, just in case.
Practice fire safety measures
Knowing how to set up a fireplace and practice fire safety measures on a camping adventure is definitely essential. That means you should be able to safely put the fire out and ensure it has no way of spreading while it’s lit. The fireplace should also be a safe distance from the tent, so as to avoid any possible accidents.
Cooking can come in handy
On a camping trip, there are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to food and cooking, which you can make as simple or extravagant as you’d like. But first things first, so be sure to pack enough food to last for the camping trip. As for the meal plan, you could decide to go with something easy to make on the go, such as oatmeal or a sandwich, but you could also pack ready-made or home-cooked meals if the first option is a bit too simple for you. Finally, the great outdoors offers everything you might need for sustenance, so if you’re a die-hard camping fan, knock yourself out. Just know that this isn’t really a recommended option for first-time adventurers.
Preparation is key when it comes to camping, but it’s also important to stay open to all possibilities, as some unplanned events can sometimes be the most fun. Remember, camping is all about spontaneity, adaptability and enjoying the wilderness, so don’t get upset if not everything goes according to plan.