Even if your life is a city dweller, you can still feel the need to escape the city and camp out. Don’t be discouraged if you are considering car camping but find the gear and preparation daunting. We are here to help.
An experienced outdoors person is essential for novice campers. These people can be found at REI . If you have a friend who has a campsite reservation and a lot of gear to lend, you can jump to our printable checklist of camping essentials.
You can also go camping on your own. All you need is a few essential pieces of gear, and then you can decide where to go. Start with an overnight camping trip if you’re new to car camping.
- Borrow or rent expensive gear to save money
- Always bring the appropriate clothing for rain and cold to maximize your comfort.
- Bring plenty of food to satisfy your fresh-air-fueled hungry stomach.
- Camp close to your home so you can keep your options open. If you have to bail out, it’s not a shame.
- If the forecast is bad, you can postpone your campout to ensure a great first impression.
- You want to leave a lasting impression on those who follow you. Follow Leave No Trace principles.
Essential Camping Gear
Camping is similar to staying in a primitive cottage, but without the cabin. You should pack your tent and other essentials, as you might be camping in an area without electricity, stove, refrigerator or stove. A well-maintained campground will provide running water and a public bathroom just a few hundred meters away. A typical campsite will have a table, a place for you to park your car and a place where you can pitch your tent.
If you borrow or rent your most expensive items, such as the tent and sleeping bags, it can help to keep your initial investment down. This is a better option than spending a lot of money on something that won’t last for one camping trip. Here are some tips to help you choose the right camping gear for you.
- The tent : A tent that can hold three people is more comfortable for a couple than a tent that can hold six. If you need a tent you can stand in, you can check its peak height. This can help you get dressed and move around more easily. You can store muddy shoes in the vestibule outside of the tent’s doors. Having two doors also helps you to avoid climbing on other tentmates during late-night toilet breaks. How to Select a Camping Tent provides more information about tents.
Tip Set up your tent at home before you go. Don’t forget to measure your footprint. A ground sheet too small will not fully protect your tent floor. A ground sheet too large can trap rainwater and pool underneath your tent.
- The Sleeping bag : Temperature rating is an important consideration when choosing a bag. A summer bag is best if you plan to go camping only in fair weather. However, a 3-season bag can be more versatile for those who travel frequently. Adjust your bag to suit your needs if you are always cold or hot. You don’t have to use a bulky mummy bag like backpackers do, a rectangular bag is more comfortable and will allow you to move around freely. How to choose a camping bag.
- The mattress : A good sleep pad is similar to a mattress, but it has high-tech insulation that prevents you from losing heat to the ground. Although big air mattresses look great and are comfortable, they will not provide enough insulation to keep you warm. When comparing sleeping pads, take a look at the specs. A thicker, longer or wider pad will provide more comfort and warmth. How to Select a Sleeping Pad for more information. Do you prefer to stand on the ground? You can also bring a cot.
Tip Make sure you set up your tent, bag, and pad early so that it doesn’t get dark.
- Lighting Campsites do not have lighting, so bring your own. While a flashlight is fine, a headlamp will allow you to focus on camp tasks. For ambient lighting, a lantern is a good choice. You can also make a campfire but be aware of fire restrictions. You will find some shopping tips in our How To Choose a Headlamp, and How To Choose a Lantern articles.
- Stove An old-fashioned propane camp stove with two burners should work. It’s affordable and can be used to cook your breakfast as well as prepare your morning coffee. To make sure you understand how it works, bring at least two fuel canisters and an open flame.
- It’s possible to have one already and it will work fine. Make sure that you have enough space for perishable foods and enough ice to keep them cool. You’ll have to pay more for coolers that are thicker ().
- All the necessary items for food preparation and consumption It’s okay to raid your kitchen but don’t bring the good china. You will need a scrubber, biodegradable detergent, a towel, and one or two small washbasins (one for dirty dishes, one for clean).
Tip – Place all of your kitchen equipment in a large, clear plastic container with a lid. This is easy to keep at home, and it will make camping easier.
- Camp chairs : Although these are not required if you want to sit at the camp picnic tables, it will make your downtime more enjoyable if you have somewhere to rest. A hammock makes afternoon napping much more enjoyable.
Tip Mesh camp chairs allow water to drain easily and dry quickly if left outside in the rain or morning mist.
Do not overthink it
It can be overwhelming to start camping with so many things to do and so much information. Don’t worry.
Junke stated that camping is simple at its core. “We are going to just sleep outside. We need shelter, warmth, comfort, and fun.
There is no perfect camping. Sometimes it will be a smooth trip. Other times, it might not go as planned. These hiccups can be used to prepare for your next camping trip and provide you with better travel stories.
Junke stated, “There is no point in your life where you feel like this is the best camping moment.” You learn from every trip and adapt to make the next one better.
Personal hygiene should be a top priority
Camping trips can be quite messy. There are limited water sources and mountain trails, so dirt and debris can be a problem. It is possible to pack some basic items if you want to maintain your personal hygiene.
Don’t forget soap, toothpaste, hand sanitizer and toothbrush when packing for your camping trip. Baby wipes can be used to remove dirt and make a sponge bath. You can easily divide your dirty and new clothes if you pack trash bags.
Enjoy the journey ahead
Camping is about having fun with loved ones. You should always pack items that will allow you to have fun, comfort, and pleasure. A camera, binoculars and books are all essential for a successful camping trip. You may find it easier to carry a few maps with you when traveling from one point to the next.
Pack games and other activities for children who are young if you plan to camp with them. Consider creating a camping schedule before you go so that your children know what to expect between sunrise and sunset.
Ticks can be a problem if you camp often. There are several things you can do to prevent them from coming back. First, use insect repellent. To limit the skin that is exposed, wear socks with a high cut.
Avoid walking in tall grass. Use tweezers to remove the bites. You should not squash the tiny insect. After disinfecting the area, use soap to wash your hands.
Bear this in mind
Bears are not welcome at camping sites. Keep them away from your campsite by keeping it clean and tidy. You should dispose of any food leftovers from your tent.
Camping trips can be plagued by painful sunburns, sleepless nights, annoying tick bites, overpacked backpacks, and restless nights. These simple tips and tricks will help you get the most out of your next camping adventure.