Camping: 3 Tips For First-Time Campers 

Make Your First Camping Experience Memorable

By: Todd Smekens

BLOG — If you haven’t been camping before, then you’re missing out. A camping trip for you and your family has both mentally and physically benefits. Not only are you unplugged from any technology, which can be very relaxing, you’re also burning calories from physical activity. Studies by Stanford University found that being outdoors can reduce rumination, the obsessive, negative thinking that can lead to mental illness. Nonprofit organization PLOS found that immersing yourself in nature can increase your creativity and problem-solving skills by more than 50 percent. So why are you still waiting?

For first-time campers, the experience of living in the outdoors can be a bit daunting. But by being prepared and knowledgeable, you’ll be able to enjoy your trip and reap the benefits of camping. Let’s take a look at some quick tips to help you get there.

1. Pick A Comfortable Location

Sleeping in nature can put many people out of their comfort zone, so try and pick a comfortable location for your first time camping. Many campgrounds have RVs, which are great for first-timers as you still technically have a roof over your head. However, if you’re set on sleeping in a tent, you could try campsites with permanent tent structures or choose a site with a variety of amenities such as bathrooms, barbecues, picnic tables and electrical outlets. As a general rule for your first trip, try and pick somewhere relatively close to your home, or close to suburbia, so just in case you forget something essential or struggle a little bit, you have the comfort of knowing you’re close to civilization.

2. Create a Packing Checklist

For any camper, packing is probably the most critical step to ensuring a successful trip. Starting with your tent, buy one that has plenty of room for all people, and is protected from potential rain and wildlife entering. When it comes to clothes, always pack warm clothing, windbreakers, regular hiking shoes or runners, flip-flops for showers, hats, and gloves — being comfortable and warm in your gear will be a lifesaver. Try to avoid bringing too much make-up as this can leave you feeling dirty when mixed with the constant exposure to the outdoors. Then all the extra gadgets can make camping a lot easier: bug spray, sunscreen, torches, wet wipes, swimmers, first aid kit, water, food, and games. Consider your personal needs and wants when packing, and make sure you don’t rush as this often lead to forgetfulness.

3. Plan Your Meals

When it comes to camping, it’s essential to plan for every meal before leaving. You’ll usually have limited equipment, so simplicity is key — try packing a mixture of canned food, dried snacks and one-pot meals like pasta or rice mixes that you can just add some meat and vegetables too. Creating your fire is probably one of the most challenging camping tasks, so make sure you bring extra wood and try choosing a location with designated fire pits. If you don’t feel up to the task, you can always invest in something like the Outland Fire Bowl, which does all the work for you.

Camping is a great experience. Whether you’re with friends or family, being outdoors is a trip that is unique and memorable, and offers many mental and physical benefits. If you haven’t been yet, then plan to soon and follow these quick tips for success.

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Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.

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