The fun and simplicity of camping in the wilderness cannot be overstated. There’s something so great about being in the great outdoors from all your worries back home.
For beginners ( and even for veterans) there are certain things you should know to help improve your trip and keep from something putting a damper on the weekend such a a dead battery or a leaky tent or even bringing the wrong gear. Below we go over some tricks and advice we’ve acquired over our years of camping.
Top Camping Advice
Our top advice for camping in tents and RVs
Create a list of everything you have and will need
Preparing to take a camping trip can seem overwhelming. However, being thoughtful and taking the time to plan is important.
Staying organized is key when you’re on the go with your camping gear. Make a checklist to ensure that all you need is ready and packed into your backpack.
Ideas to think about:
- Footwear(multiple pairs per person)
- Sleeping bags
- How to deal with trash(bears and issue?)
- First aid
- Paper towels/towels/wipes
- Tent gear
Starting fires (not a forest fire!)
Be prepared. Be responsible with fire.
Make sure you have all the essentials: some fire starters, paper and newspaper, matches, a propane stove, a skillet, utensils, cooking tools, dishes, and a few buckets of sand and water.
If a campsite allows campfires , be sure to use fire rings.
Camping is full of routine. Make meal planning a top priority when you’re heading out to camp and stick to it. If you’re making food for the whole group, start with menu ideas a few days before camp. Here is a great list.
Pack ahead of time so the food won’t spoil when you arrive. Don’t buy snacks on the way to the campground, because you can never find anything open on campground sites.
Have multiple sources of light
Grabbing a couple lights from the dusty basement or your keychain flashlight wont cut it!
Consider the lumen output of any camp light you’re interested in.
Unlike wattage (which only measures energy usage and not brightness), the lumen rating provides an objective level of a light’s brightness.
For reference, consider that a traditional 60-watt household bulb puts out about 800 lumens.
That’s overkill for most campsite usage, which is why ambient camp lighting like string or rope lights is usually around 75 to 100 lumens, most outdoor headlamps are in the 200-400 range, and the brightest camp lanterns are 500 lumens or more.
If you’d like to see more on camping lights check out our top pics here.
Chose the right camping bag
The best advice on sleeping bags for the backcountry is this: choose one appropriate for the season.
A lightweight sleeping bag will do in warmer months but in the winter you’ll need one that’s got a lower temperature rating.
Always go with one that will keep you toasty in a lower temperature range than you actually plan to camp in, just in case the temp drops.
We also highly recommend placing a pad, air mattress or cot under your sleeping bag
Create an emergency survival kit
Make sure you have a well rated, reputable first aid kit. One that as the ability to cover multiple different ailments.
When faced with a survival scenario, you need a little extra preparation.
To stay safe from the environment, you’ll not only want to have water-purifying tablets, but also a metal bowl, a survival knife, and waterproof matches.
With this amount of care in mind, one should always keep an eye on things that can make or break a survival situation.
Setting up your camp
Choosing a good park at an established campground is easy; just pull your trailer down any of the designated campsites.
If you’re tent camping, you’re also able to choose a “walk-in” site closer to the road or parking lot, but they don’t have vehicle access.
If your setting up in a not camping site Choose a high ground area that isn’t prone to flash flooding.
If you’re camping in an area that’s prone to flash floods, make sure you’re not camping in a wash or arroyo that could flood.
If the terrain around your campsite has mud or runoff, that would be a major issue.
Be careful about choosing a place above any low-lying areas where water could pool up.
We hope this helped you get a head start on planning your trip camping. While this list goes over some generic but also specific things the most important part is you’re aware that you need to plan your trip and check all of your gear.
Going camping without any preparedness is just hoping you get lucky and not running into problems.
Enjoy your trip!