10 Things First Time Campers Must Do

Planning your first camping trip is bound to be exciting. There’s nothing better than pitching a tent, building a fire and sleeping under the stars.

It can feel like there are too many things to do to prepare for a trip and unfortunately, some first-time campers can make big mistakes during preparation, only to realize when it is too late. That’s why we’re offering ten top tips for first-time campers.

  1. Buy Affordable Camping Gear

You have never gone camping before so don’t invest too much money on equipment. Camping isn’t always for everyone. While the thought of sleeping under the stars might sound peaceful, you may not like the reality.

For this reason, don’t buy expensive camping gear until you know you want to camp on a regular basis. You could even ask a friend if you can borrow their tent or camping gear. If none of your friends like camping, we suggest visiting an online auction website or affordable retailer for bargain sleeping bags, tents and cooking supplies.

  1. Invest in Out-of-Season Equipment

If you decide camping is for you, hold off buying camping gear until after camping season. Prices tend to much higher during the summer months, so wait until the cold weather kicks in to invest in expensive camping supplies. There will be many superb deals for you to take advantage of during winter or early spring, so use the second-hand or borrowed equipment until you find a good deal.

  1. Take a Spacious Tent

A tent provides a private space for sleeping, undressing or relaxing. For this reason, aim to buy a tent that offers plenty of room to move around and preferably with different sections in. For example, if you are planning to share a four-man tent with friends or family, a four-person tent might not suit your needs. After all, many campers will take camp beds, air mattresses and personal items with them, so you’ll want plenty of space to move. Living in a condensed space can make you feel cranky or claustrophobic, so a bigger tent is often a must when camping with a group.

  1. Plan Your Activities

Keep boredom at bay by planning activities before a camping trip. Research the campsite and its surrounding areas to identify the best activities for your family or friends. For instance, there could be a superb nature trail your children will love or an unforgettable hiking trail that will allow you to enjoy the great outdoors. From kayaking to board games, create an itinerary that will ensure you enjoy the experience from start to finish.

  1. Prepare Your Meals

Know what you are going to cook and how you are going to cook it when heading off on your first camping trip. For example, a camping stove can help you create delicious dishes for all the family. There are also many great pie iron recipes that will allow you to make mouth-watering meals that everyone will enjoy. Label containers with ingredients to organize your meals for each day, which will ensure you have enough food to last throughout a trip.

  1. Research Different Campsites

The campsite you book will make or break the outdoor experience. Consider everything from the onsite facilities to how far you want to travel. While some may provide creature comforts, such as a toilet, shower and electricity, others may offer next to no facilities in a secluded wilderness. Think carefully about the camping trip you would enjoy before you make a booking. There is a camping experience for everyone. You simply need to find the right campsite to suit your personality.

  1. Be Prepared

It’s important to be prepared for every eventuality during a camping trip. For instance, take extra batteries for a flashlight, as well as a first aid kit should you experience an accident. Camping can be a little unpredictable, so pack a box of essential products to ensure you have a quick solution for an unexpected problem. You’ll be glad you did.

  1. A Digital Detox

No-one will care how your hair looks during a camping trip, so leave your straighteners at home where they belong. Camping allows an opportunity to disconnect from modern technology to become close to nature. Leave the laptops and tablets either in the car or a secure space within the home. If you do want to take a smartphone in the event of an emergency, invest in a solar charger for a portable, inexpensive solution that utilizes your natural surroundings.

  1. Learn How to Pack

What’s the first thing you will need as soon as you reach the campsite? Your tent! It should, therefore, be the last thing you pack in your car, so you can take it out as soon as you arrive. You will be happy you did if it is raining. You may want to pack a stove, kettle and drinking supplies last, too, as you can enjoy a nice cup of tea or coffee before you pitch your tent.

We also recommend packing your camping supplies in plastic boxes with a lid. Rain can drench cardboard boxes that can cause them to fall apart. What’s more, you can use a plastic box as a table once you arrive at the campsite.

  1. Practice Your Pitching

The last thing you will want is to arrive at the campsite only to struggle to pitch a tent. We suggest practicing your tent pitching skills in your garden before a trip. Not only will this improve your camping skills, but you may also discover you have bought a faulty tent, so you can either return or replace it ahead of the camping experience.

It’s important to find the perfect place to pitch a tent. Always camp on level ground, away from sticks and stones that could cause an uncomfortable night’s sleep. Also, avoid pitching a tent under a tree, at the bottom of a hill or next to hedges.

Do you have any top tips for first-time campers? Please feel free to write a comment below to share your helpful advice.



  1. Also don’t forget Smores! 😉

  2. I am just starting out as a camper and this article is very direct and organised, unlike other sources in the internet.

    Thank you for sharing.

  3. Super helpful article you have here especially for newbie campers like myself. Very resourceful.


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