Camping for Beginners: A Tent Camping Guide

So you want to get out of your house and just shut it all down for a few days and relax in nature. And what better way to experience all these great things than camping.

Camping is the best thing to do when you want to leave the fast-paced life behind and enjoy nature. Some call it the ‘ideal getaway’ as you have the control to make your trip as exciting as you want.

There is so much to discover in the outdoors you can chill and relax, you can go for a hike, and by exposing yourself to the great outdoors, you also come to know a lot about yourself as well.

You don’t have to overthink about camping as the chances are that you will end up overthinking it. Instead, you need to dive into the deep end and just experience things as they unravel.

Furthermore, you can plan as much as you want, but the truth is that these plans rarely come to fruition because no camping ever went according to how the individual planned.

You just have to get on with the not-so-great stuff to really enjoy the great stuff.

It all comes down to the basics, you must know the camping basics, and you will be fine and end up with long-lasting memories and experiences that will make you a seasoned camper.

Camping Essentials for Beginners

You go out camping with just a tent in your hand because there is a lot more to it than that. You have to pack a lot of items apart from your tent as well.

You will be going to a place where you will be devoid of furniture, electricity, or any sort of stove and refrigerator.

Generally, it all depends on the state of your campsite. If it is a developed campsite, you can expect some decent facilities around it like running water or a community bathroom. However, on most grounds, all we get is a table, an area to pitch your tent and park your car.

So, with all that information out of the window, let’s now take a look at some of the camping Must-haves.

Tent

tent

You buy a tent as per your wish or a tent that does not burn a hole in your pocket but do make sure you have a tent with plenty of room inside.

A three-person tent is ideal for two individuals and gives them additional space to keep their gear in place. However, if your crew consists of four people, then a six-person tent should be your go-to tent.

Furthermore, the height of the tent is also an essential factor in choosing a tent. If you want a tent that provides a comfortable size and area to move around with ease, then go for a tent with a tall peak height.

Also, check if your tent has multiple doors because they make in and out access so easy and comfortable. To keep your dirty shoes outside your tent, a vestibule always helps.

Sleeping Bag

sleeping bag

Your good night’s sleep depends on your sleeping bag when you are out camping.

Always check the fit of your sleeping bag. If it’s standard, unisex size, or a sleeping bag with a wide area, pick what suits you the best for you.

The temperature of a sleeping bag is also crucial, and the lower the temperature, the better. In terms of the weight of the sleeping bag, you should go for the one which is light and has high warmth, plus check if it fits in your luggage.

Also, look for two-way zips in a sleeping bag as with them, you can open the bottom end to vent your feet. The shape cannot be undermined.

Moreover, most sleeping bags are rectangular in shape, and these offer more space. And for better heat retention, there is the tapered ‘mummy’ shape.

Sleeping Pad

sleeping pad

We all need a nice and cozy mattress on our bed, and that is what a sleeping pad is there for. Sleeping pads also have high-tech insulation that helps you maintain your body heat on a cold floor.

Sleeping pads provide you a comfortable cushioned sleeping surface while also giving much-needed insulation from the cold ground.

When picking the ideal sleeping pad, always check the R-value of the sleeping pad, which ranges from 1-10, where 1 means minimum insulation and ten means very well insulated.

For extreme warm weather conditions sleeping pads of R-value less than three are ideal, while an R-value of 3-4 can be used for three seasons. When camping in the winters, pick a sleeping pad with an R-value of 4.5 or more than 4.5.

The Lighting

When the sun sets, there won’t be as much light as you would like at your campsite. That is why it is necessary to bring your own.

You can bring so many lighting things like a flashlight or headlamp as well, which is much more convenient for camping.

If you want light surrounding on all sides, then a lantern will be ideal for you, and also, as many of you may know, you can always make your own campfire if your campsite allows it.

A Stove

camping stove

A stove is very much needed as it will help you cook delicious food, and with it, you won’t miss your morning caffeine.

All you need is a traditional two-burner propane camp stove which is not that expensive and should easily fit your budget.

You will have to bring a few fuel canisters and a lighter as well to fire it. So make your check and do your preparation at home before leaving for your camping trip.

Fridge or Coolers

To keep your food stay longer and fresh, you would need a small fridge or a cooler. You can put your cooked and frozen food in it with some ice chucked inside as well.

These days there are so many excellent cooler options that make ice last very long, so make sure to check them out.

Don’t Forget your Cutlery

You cannot forget to bring your cutlery with you as it would be tough for you to prepare your food and eat it without them.

Bring some of the essential items with you, and don’t forget you have to clean them as well, so you must have a scrubber, dish soap, two washtubs, and a cloth to wipe it all.

Chairs

This one is certainly not a must-have, but for those who crave comfort wherever they go, they might want to take some chairs with them to enjoy nature.

What Clothes to Wear

What Clothes to Wear

In this scenario getting your clothes dirty should be the last thing you should worry about. Rather your trip should be about it.

Don’t go on wearing posh clothes as it won’t be long until they are dirty. Likewise, don’t go for cotton clothes as they will be a problem for you.

Bring a cozy and warm coat, long underwear, some gloves, and a beanie. You can also take some warm socks with you to keep yourself warm at night and a raincoat in case of a downpour.

Also, wear good-quality shoes that fit nicely to your feet and some slippers for a casual stroll.

Toiletries

If you are someone who takes medicines, you will have to bring them with you and some hygienic items.

Don’t forget a first aid kit as it is imperative you bring it with you and should consist of all the necessary stuff like bandages, regular medicines, etc.

Some sunscreen always helps your skin from the sun so bring that with you and a bug repellent to keep the bugs at bay. Other toiletry essentials include hand sanitizer, soap, toilet paper, and a towel.

Meal Prep For Camping

Meal Prep doesn’t have to be hard if you know what item to take with you. Likewise, you don’t have to be a chef to make a proper meal plan.

You can decide to dine out on your way to camp and make yourself some fantastic breakfast the next and some lunch as well. Canned food is not a bad idea in combination with some fresh fruits and produce. So, make sure you get yourself all of these.

Don’t be shy in bringing snacks with you, and if the tea and coffee lovers can’t stay without their tea or coffee, you get some instant coffee and tea bags and make it in a teakettle.

And at last, you have to make sure that your security is tight. By which we mean keep your food secure in a big box or keep them locked in your car before you go for a stroll or just hanging around the area.

What Place Should you Pick to Go Camping?

These days you can quickly go anywhere you want to go camping. You can choose many diverse camp locations or campsites like national parks, picnic parks, parks, etc.

You should always be proactive in reserving your campground. There are many private campgrounds that you can find on many online websites, but a quick Google Maps search also works. Furthermore, you can also have first-come, first-served service in campgrounds, which don’t need any early reservations.

You also have the option of going to some more developed campgrounds where you will have some excellent facilities.

Check for campgrounds where you will get good quality running water and bathrooms. What’s also good is that you will get treated water from a faucet as natural water can have some complications.

When choosing a location, it is also essential to know your aim and why you are going on this particular camping trip. For example, is it just for fun, to experience new pastures, or to see historical places?

Another critical factor is the season, and you must pick the right location to suit the season.

What do you Need for Camping?

You will need many things when you go out camping, so make sure to make a checklist and keep on ticking things as you gather them. Some of the camping basics include the usual tent, sleeping bags, food, toiletries, cooking equipment, cutlery, etc. If you want to go deep into this topic and see all the camping essentials that you need, be sure to refer to what you need for camping. Everything in this guide is simplified and systematically explained, so make sure to read.

Additional Camping Tips for Beginners

  • We cannot stress how important it is to test your new gear at home. As for everything, this will be a good practice for you which will help you when you do it in the woods, and you can see for yourself if there are any possible defects in your tent.
  • You can also celebrate some significant moments while camping like a birthday party, get-togethers, anniversaries, family reunion, etc.
  • There is no problem if you wish to camp at random seasons because camping is something you can do when there is spring around the corner, or even autumn and winter.
  • What’s camping without a little bit of fun, so make you bring the gear for outdoor or indoor activities. Some of the most iconic camping outdoor activities include hiking, fishing, biking, rock climbing, kayaking, boating, sightseeing, etc. Even the downpour should not stop the fun as you can play cards, board games, or read books as well.
  • And at last, just learn something new and make the most of your natural experience.

FAQs

Should you leave your tent when camping?

As with everything in general, we should always follow good security habits, and camping is no different. You should never leave your valuables open to the world in a public space, and that is precisely how it works for camping as well.

What is the purpose of using a ground cover tarp with a tent?

A ground cover tarp is an essential piece of the puzzle with a tent as it helps keep out the moisture from seeping through your tent, which is not suitable for your gear as it will make it wet, which is excellent for your tent’s longevity. However, we all know that the ground is not very smooth and is very abrasive, which really badly damages your tent’s floor regardless of how good its durability is. That is why you must use a ground cover or tarp to protect your tent.

Final Thoughts

We hope our tent camping beginners guide will help you and guide you in your upcoming camping trip. Just make sure you follow all the tips we have mentioned and have some fun in the wild.

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