Beginner’s Camping 101: Doing It Like A Hardened Pro

Camping is exciting, fun, and affordable all at the same time. Sleeping out under the stars, sitting around a campfire late into the night, and simply getting away from the pressures of modern life are all reasons why so many people love camping so much. A night or weekend camping can help you to reconnect with nature and can be a rejuvenating experience. Best of all, it’s a very affordable activity.

If you are planning your first big camping trip, what do you need to know to do it like a pro? Preparing for it may seem like a lot of hassle, but it’s actually very easy to do. Here’s a guide to all you need to know.

Choose Your Destination

Don’t know where you can go camping in your area? Then start looking! Even if you live in the middle of a city, you can still find somewhere to go. Start by searching online. Visit the websites of the nearest national parks, check out the maps, or visit a forum for outdoor pursuits. If you still can’t find somewhere suitable, go to your nearest camping or outdoors store and ask there.

The truth is, you will probably have a large choice of places to go camping, and the difficulty will be choosing between them. The campsite you should choose will depend in part upon how much comfort you want to enjoy. Whereas some will have showers, hot water, and electricity, others will be far more basic.

Also think about what you will want to do when you arrive. Do you want to spend some time hiking, fishing, or kayaking, for example? Will you be travelling with kids? If so, is it kid friendly?

Mongolia Trekking

Once you find somewhere suitable, make sure you reserve your campsite, especially during the summer months. You may need to do this well in advance for particularly popular campsites.

What to Pack

You can take as much as you can carry when you go camping, but often you don’t need much more than the basics. Some of the most common items on the checklist include:

  •  Tent
  • Blow-up mattress
  • Sleeping bag
  • Flashlight
  • Insect repellent
  • Food and water
  • Emergency supplies
  • Good first aid kit
  • Phone for emergencies
  • Pocketknife
  • Folding chairs
  • A spade

Make sure you also pack suitable outdoor clothing. This should include something warmer for the evening, a hat to keep the sun off, sunglasses, swimming gear if you plan to take a dip, and any specialist hiking equipment like hiking boots and a wind-resistant jacket.

Tsenkher Jiguur, Tsenkher Hot Springs

[Tsenkher Jiguur, Tsenkher Hot Springs, Mongolia]

Keep Busy with Activities

There are plenty of outdoor activities available at many campsites in Canada, so it really depends upon what you want to do. Hiking is a very popular activity, but if you stay in a national park, there may be many other activities to enjoy like fishing, cycling, kayaking, or rafting.

Alternatively, you may just want to make your own fun. If you’re camping with kids, make sure you take some games with you, a pack of cards, a ball and rackets, and anything else you can think of to keep everyone happy.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

There are few activities that are as affordable and as fun as camping. Follow the above steps for your first big camping trip, and you’ll realize just how easy it is. You’ll probably find that you want to start planning your next camping trip as soon as you return home.

Dan Howell is an avid camper. He often writes about the basics of camping methods and safety on outdoor and camping blogs.

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