We live in a modern world surrounded by technology, which has made camping a much rarer pastime than it used to be. Even so, there’s still nothing like going on a trekking or camping trip into the woods or up the mountain every once in a while to break the monotony of daily life and see how it feels to actually live out one of the adventures that we so often read about or see in the movies. However, camping is not like going to the mall, so you will need to prepare yourself for the trip before really going out into the middle of the woods and spending a night or two in a tent. On that note, here are five essential tips which should help you with that.
Know Your Camping Gear
Since we are planning to get away from civilization here, you won’t likely find too much assistance if some of your gear turns out to be faulty or if you simply can’t figure out how to make something work. Therefore, familiarize yourself with the gear that you will be carrying to the campsite beforehand. One of the most important things to learn is how to set up the tent, which you will need for sleeping in overnight. While the basics are the same for most tents, the more accustomed you are to the setup process of your tent, the easier it will be for you to set it up when you are finally at the campsite. Make sure the tent you are buying is bigger than you think you’ll need because, since you are camping for the first time, you probably have no idea about how much space you and your fellow campers will actually require! Additionally, do check your flashlights, emergency lights, sleeping bags and everything else before setting out for the adventure.
Never Forget the Flashlight
Since this is your first camping trip, it might surprise you when you see for the first time how fast it can get dark in the absence of artificial lights, once the sun begins to set. Once the sun does set, it’s going to get darker than most first-time urban adventurers have ever seen. This is exactly why the flashlight is one of the most important things that you must never forget, whether it’s your first, second or 100th camping trip. Head over to the Fenix Store and get yourself at least two or three high-power flashlights because you need to have backups, in case you end up losing your primary flashlight. Also, bring additional sources of light such as electric lanterns that are designed for camping use. The flashlight is necessary for seeing in the dark and also for safety purposes because even fierce predators like bears generally do not like the light from a powerful flashlight shining in their eyes.
Arrive Early in the Morning
While you are in the lap of nature, sunlight is an essential resource that you need to maximize by arriving early at the campsite and starting on the day as soon as you possibly can. As a newcomer, you will need to learn the campsite rules and always remember that it will take you more time to do things like setting up camp and starting a campfire than it would for someone experienced. On the other hand, if you arrive late, you will always be in a hurry to get everything done and that would defeat the purpose of camping itself because it’s about getting away from stress, not bringing it with you to camp.
Beware the Weather
It may not start snowing in the middle of summer, but the weather can still get pretty cold at night because woods are generally a lot colder and windier at night than in the city. So, bring that jacket along for a particularly cold night, even if it is summer. However, what you must always be prepared for is rain because it can and most probably will start falling while you camp. It might just be a small drizzle or a long shower, but you should always bring waterproof bags and raincoats with you. In fact, most specialized camping equipment is water-resistant by default, though it never hurts to make sure of that before you leave the house. Extra clothes are also a must because once you do get drenched in the rain, you will need to have a fresh supply of clothes to change into.
Start with Something Less Intimidating
Whether you are camping with your friends or your family, if it’s your first trip into the woods and there is no one in the group who has much experience, always opt for a campsite that isn’t too intimidating. Choose a site that isn’t really that far from civilization and it could even be a place that’s a bit crowded. It might go against your dreams of camping in the middle-of-nowhere and experiencing the true bliss of nature, but there will be plenty of time for that later on. Initially, you will almost invariably need some assistance from experienced campers nearby, so it might be a good idea to have a few fellow campers around to help you out. After you get the hang of it and gain the necessary experience, then you can venture out to explore the more authentic but demanding campsites in the country.
Something else to keep in mind is that you need to be aware of any medical conditions that you or someone else in the group might have and carry precautions accordingly, in the form of appropriate meds. Also, a first aid box full of bandages, antiseptic creams, antacids, antihistamines, etc., is a must-have, whether someone has any medical condition or not. While there are plenty of other things that you will learn on your very first camping trip, these are the ground rules of having a safe and enjoyable camping experience. You will learn the rest slowly, with each camping trip.