Statistics show that over 40 million Americans participated in tent camping in 2018. The pastime is equally significant in other parts of the world, such as Canada, Australia, and the UK.
Camping has not gained such popularity without good reason. Whether going alone, with your family, or as part of a friend group, tent camping is a fun and rewarding way to get outdoors and enjoy nature.
However, if you’re new to tent camping, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Read on as we share our seven essential tips for beginners to tent camping.
1. Make Sure to Pack All the Essentials
There’s a reason why “Be Prepared,” is the worldwide Scout motto. If you’re venturing into the wild, make sure you have all the necessary equipment.
To this end, one of your priorities should be a checklist. Write down all the things you’ll need on a piece of paper or your phone.
When it comes to leaving for your trip, refer to this list to make sure you’ve got all the essential bits of kit.
The following are some of the basic requirements for a tent camping trip.
- Rain gear
- Water bottles
- Campfire supplies
- Camping chairs
If you’re not sure how you’ll be able to bring all this with you, it might be a good idea to consider getting a roof rack for your car.
2. Test Your Gear Before You Leave
There’s not much point in having all your gear if it doesn’t work correctly.
Ensure that all your essential equipment works as it should before you set off. Test water bottles for leaks, ensure that your torches work, and see that there are no holes in your wet gear.
This is a task that only takes a few minutes. However, failure to do it correctly could spell disaster for your trip.
3. Always Pick Your Campsite Ahead of Time
Before you think about packing your bag, you’ll need to decide where exactly you’re going to camp.
For beginner campers, we recommend dedicated campsites rather than wild camping. Proper campsites are a much safer option, as you’ll have a reliable point of contact with emergency services if anything should go wrong.
A lot of campsites take bookings. If you don’t inquire early enough, the one you want might be booked out. This is especially important if you’re going to camp in a popular spot during peak camping season (that is, summer).
If you want to camp around the time of a big calendar event, this is especially important.
4. Plan Activities
Some people go tent camping simply to breathe clean air and get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. However, that’s not to say there aren’t some great activities you can get up to on a camping trip.
What you do for fun will depend on who you’re going with.
If you’re going camping with a group of adult friends, you may be content to bring some beers and relax on your camping chairs. There’s nothing like catching up with old buddies underneath the stars!
However, if you’re bringing the kids along, you’ll need to think ahead to keep them engaged. You don’t want them to spend the entire trip on their smartphones.
Do some research to see if there are any family-friendly activities you could do in the area, such as hiking, kayaking, fishing, or pleasure boating.
5. Practice Starting Your Campfire Beforehand
A campfire is one of the best things about a tent camping trip. There’s nothing quite like huddling around a warm, crackling fire in the great outdoors.
However, starting a fire can be more complicated than it looks. This is especially true if weather conditions are less than ideal.
With this in mind, it’s a good idea to practice building a campfire before setting off into the great outdoors. Simply gather up all the necessary materials and have a crack at it in your backyard.
To make sure you’ve got the hang of it, wait until a windy, rainy night to practice!
While you should be able to find suitable wood to build a fire near your campsite, there’s nothing wrong with bringing firelighters and kindling from home to save time.
Also, make sure to remember matches or a lighter. Creating sparks with dry wood is, unfortunately, a lot harder than they make it look in the movies!
6. Think About Food
In times gone by, those living in the outdoors might have hunted or foraged for their breakfast. As a first-time camper in the 21st century, however, it might be a better idea to bring food along with you.
You’ll need to think carefully about what sort of food to bring. Remember, you’re not going to have your regular cooking facilities at hand.
With this in mind, food that comes ready to eat is your best friend on a camping trip. Bring plenty of nutritious fruit, nuts, and energy bars. Some chocolate or potato chips might also be a good idea.
Of course, no camping trip would be complete without s’ mores, so be sure to pack marshmallows and crackers!
7. Take Nothing but Memories, Leave Nothing but Footprints
Our natural world offers us many different camping opportunities. However, we all have a role to play in making sure those opportunities are available in years and generations to come.
To this end, camp responsibly. Bring all your trash with you when you’re leaving.
Do your best not to disturb the surrounding nature while you’re out camping.
Follow this Guide to Become a Tent Camping Pro!
Tent camping is one of the best ways to get closer to nature. If you’ve never done it before, don’t worry! The skills involved are all easy to pick up if you do a little research, and this guide is a great place to start.
If you’d like more information about the tent camping goods you can buy on our website, contact us today.