Interested in spending some time in the outdoors? Here's some tips & tricks for preparing your first camping adventure.
Going camping for the first time can be really exciting but also nerve-racking. There is a lot to prepare, and it's definitely a little weird living away from electricity if it is not something you are used to. I was lucky enough to grow up camping and going on trips with my family, so a lot of the things I have learned to do when preparing for a trip comes from my parents, plus learning from a few personal experiences on trips without them.
The first thing that I do when preparing for a camping trip is test and set up my equipment at home, I can’t tell you how many times I have been out setting up camp and realize something went wrong or I forgot something essential, this way checking before I leave allows me to avoid mess ups.
I usually start with setting my tent up in the backyard. I then blow up the air mattress to check for any holes, because there is nothing worse than falling asleep on an inflated air mattress and waking up on sticks and rocks in the morning. It is also important to check your cooking supplies as well as make sure your flashlights and lanterns are all set to go, no one wants to be left hungry and in the dark.
Packing for camping is some of the easiest packing I've ever done, I basically just bring the bare minimum when it comes to clothing. The hardest part is probably choosing between what leggings I want to take and what ones I want to leave home.
My main focus when it comes to camping clothing is bringing things to do some outdoor yoga, hiking, kayaking, or bike riding and luckily all those clothing types go together. Leggings are always a must (especially Apex Leggings) because they can be worn for any type of activity as well as just hanging around the campsite. I also bring things like tanks and t-shirts, and shorts because you never really know what the weather will be like - and most importantly a bathing suit!
It is also super important to pack warm clothes when heading out on a camping trip. I always make sure to fill my bag with lots of warm socks, sweaters, sweatpants and sweatshirts. It can get really cold during the night so having warm stuff handy will keep you prepared for anything.
Shoes are definitely the easiest and most important packing that will be done for your trip. I always bring my chacos, hiking boots, and some running shoes. If there's room, bring all three. If you have to be choosy, go with the hiking boots for maximum protection and support.
...And most importantly, don’t forget your clothes bag at home! I promise I'm not speaking from experience on this one... ....
Cooking while camping can sometimes be tricky, so I like to try and prepare meals at home that just have to be heated up at the campsite. Some of my favorite camping meals are chili, baked mac and cheese, and goulash. I also love eating raw veggies and fruits, so I found it to be convenient to cut up fruits and veggies at home and bring them in storage bins, that way all you have to do is eat with minimal preparation.
Snacks are the most important, at least for me anyways. Snacks are great for camping because you are normally active and on your feet which is going to make you hungry. I like to bring snacks that are protein packed, but still flavorful and not too heavy. Trail mix has always been my go-to camping snack, I normally make a huge bin of it filled with yummy bites of chocolate, nuts, dried fruit, and cheerios, that way I can put in everything I want. Oatmeal is another great option, same with cereal if you have the means of keeping milk cold. This should go without saying, but pack plenty of water!
Even if it is your first camping trip, you should still create a checklist a few days before you pack to make sure you do not forget anything you might need.
The most important supplies would be a tent, sleeping bags, air mattress/sleeping pads, pillows, bug spray, camping stove (and whatever you need to power it), flashlights/lanterns, tarps (in case it rains), chairs, and a lighter to start a fire. You'll be able to find kindling and branches in the woods, and most legitimate campgrounds sell their own supply of firewood, but that is something you should clarify beforehand. It is easy enough to grab a couple bundles of wood from your local grocery store or gas station.
Next on the list - entertainment. I always bring some sort of card game, crafts (normally some sort of bracelet making), and you can never go wrong with bringing a book. All of these activities are perfect to help unwind after a long day of exploring or to help fill in some time on a rainy day. If you are camping near water, fishing can be a fun option or other water activities like SUP or kayaking.
The best advice I can pass on to anyone planning their first camping trip is to have fun and take things as they come! 😀
Guest Writer, Delaney Forgette @delaneyforgette
About the Author
"My love for the outdoors started when I was a little girl, my parents love to go camping so I spent my summers exploring. Today, my adventures take me all over the place!"