There are a lot of things to prepare when you have decided to go camping for the first time. There are the basics for camping and then there are things you might not know to prepare for if you have never been before. Planning your camping trip ahead of time can make the overall experience way better, but be sure to leave space for relaxation, as camping is supposed to be a time to wind down!
1. Decide What “Type” Of Camping You Are Doing
First things first: decide how you want to experience your first time camping, whether it be in a camper, RV, tent, or cabin, you have to plan ahead here. Most likely the first time will be in a rented cabin or tent camping unless you have friends with campers or an RV, or you’re just going all out for your first time camping! Regardless of which one you choose, you will need to make these plans ahead of time and plan accordingly for everything each one entails.
2. Know What Animals Are In The Area
You will need to know what type of wildlife is in the area you are staying at. Some places have more dangerous animals than others, and you definitely don’t want to be caught off guard when it comes to this. Camping is a fun experience but you need to remember to be safe. Know just a few safety tips for the wildlife in the area before heading out for your camping trip!
3. Don’t Leave Any Food Out
This tip relates back to our last one, but it is just as important. If you don’t want to attract animals at night or when you aren’t at the campsite, be sure to put all your food and drinks up. Even making sure the trash has been taken to the dumpster before going to bed will be important if you don’t want animals to get in your stuff when you are sleeping!
4. Prep The Right Foods
Camping foods are pretty commonly known, with hot dogs, hamburgers, steak and potatoes, pasta salad, potato salad, chips and dip, and of course, s’mores. You want to be sure to have prepared foods that won’t go bad if they are out in the heat for a long time. If you are tent camping, there are limited options for storing your food away from the natural climate, so you will have to bring the right storage containers for all your food.
5. Bring Fun Games
Playing games is one of the best ways to pass time in between hikes or meals, or just for fun! When thinking of things to prepare for camping, sometimes we are so focused on the nature aspect of it that we forget to pack some fun games. A deck of cards, board games, cornhole, baseball and gloves, and horseshoes are all great games to bring and play when camping! Have a nice variety of games so everyone has something fun to do!
6. See What Is Available To Rent
Depending on the area or campsite that you choose, there is a strong chance you will be able to rent out different things, mainly on the lake, by the hour or day. Since it is your first time camping, you probably won’t have all these things that people who go camping all the time might have, so look ahead and see what is available. Paddleboards, canoes, kayaks, fishing gear, jet skis, and pontoon boats are common things that are available to rent when camping.
7. Grab Your Technology
We try to stay away from technology as much as possible when we’re camping. After all, the whole point is to rewind and relax in nature, but there are some technology gadgets that are super helpful to have when camping. If you have a Fitbit or an Apple Watch, you will want to have those on to track your hikes and heartrate. You will need plenty of flashlights on hand, even if you think you have enough, you can never have too many when camping. Lanterns are great for putting on the table or up in the tent when staying up at night with family and friends!
8. Be Safe
We want to have a fun time while camping, but we need to be safe as well. Having a first aid kit on hand will be crucial, since you are quite literally out in the woods. Sunscreen and bug sprays are must-have purchases. Even if it is cold, never forget the sunscreen! Also, knowing a little bit about certain types of bugs or insects in the area will be important if you get bites after a hike or by the fire!
9. Look Up Trails And Print Out Maps
Before you head out for your first time camping, you will want to look up what kind of trails the site has to offer. There are different levels of trails, easy, medium, and hard, and trust me, there is no shame in taking the easy trail! But, before you take on this hike, print out the map! There is nothing worse than going out on your first hike and not knowing how to get back to your campsite. You will also want to know the distance so you can best prepare for your hike!
10. Buy The Essentials
There are certain things to prepare for camping that might seem obvious, but it is not fun when you forget it. Picking up some firewood and ice at the convenience store before going to your campsite will save you from a lot of unnecessary hassle. Having a lighter will be essential if you want to easily start a fire. Buy a few rolls of toilet paper before making your trip! Small yet very important items will make a huge difference in making your trip run smoothly!