A Beginner’s Guide to Packing for Your First Camping Trip
The weather is beautiful and you want to get outside and enjoy every moment of it. What better way to do that than going camping? If you’ve never been on a camping trip before, you may not know what you should bring with you. We’ve got you covered. In this guide you’ll find everything you need for a great camping trip.
Are you preparing to go on a camping trip for the very first time? If so, you’re going to have the time of your life!
At least, you’re going to have the time of your life…if you remember to pack everything that you’ll need to bring. While most people know that they’ll need a tent and a sleeping bag, there are so many other items that you’ll need to have with you in order to have a successful camping trip.
Before you load up the car and head off to your camping site, you should put together a list of the necessary things for camping and then make sure they’re tucked away in your trunk. It’ll help your trip go off without a hitch.
Here is your guide for taking your first camping trip.
Pack Your Tent and Everything That Goes Along With It
The No. 1 thing that you’ll need on a camping trip is obviously a tent. If you go camping and forget your tent, you’re pretty much going to be forced to turn around and go back home.
You should invest in a sturdy tent that’s easy to put up and take down. It should also provide you with either enough warmth in the winter or enough venting in the summer to keep your comfortable.
In addition to the tent itself, you’ll also need the things that go along with it to hold it in place.
That includes the tent poles, stakes, and footprint that goes underneath the tent.
You should practice assembling your tent at home so that you can put it up as soon as you arrive at your camping site without any issues. It’ll get your camping trip off to a smooth start.
Find a Sleeping Bag That’ll Keep You Comfortable at Night
While a tent will provide you and your fellow campers with protection from the elements and the wildlife you’ll encounter while camping, you’ll need to put a sleeping bag inside of it to ensure your comfort at night.
You should pick a sleeping bag that will work well in the current climate. That means that, if it’s cold out, you should pick a sleeping bag that’s on the heavier side. If it’s very warm, a light sleeping bag that zippers open would probably be best.
Either way, you shouldn’t skimp out on buying a high-quality sleeping bag. You’re going to have a lot of restless nights in it if it doesn’t keep you comfy.
Bring More Clothes Than You’ll Actually Need
If you’re going camping for three days, you might be tempted to pack three changes of clothes.
After all, that’s all you’ll need to survive a few days in the wild, right?
While you might only end up needing three pairs of clothes over the course of three days, you never know what’s going to happen during a camping trip. You could end up getting drenched by rain five minutes after setting your tent up and have to change right away.
You should pack more than enough clothing for your trip and take more than you think you’ll need. You should also consider packing things like:
- A swimsuit
- A raincoat
- Hiking shoes
- Clothes that can be used for layering
- And more!
The goal is to stay comfortable while you’re camping. You should pack whatever clothes you think you’ll need to accomplish that.
Load Food and Drinks Up in a Cooler
Once you reach your camping site, you’re probably going to be miles and miles away from the closest grocery store or restaurant. Unless you plan on really roughing it and foraging for food, you should plan to bring plenty to eat and drink.
You should load up a cooler with meats to cook as well as things like beef jerky, trail mix, and other foods that don’t require refrigeration.
As far as drinks go, you’ll want lots of water. You’ll also want electrolyte-based beverages that can replenish you as you camp.
Just make sure you have something to protect all your food as you camp. It’s best to keep it in a cooler that will mask the odor of whatever is inside.
Load Waterproof Matches and a Firestarter Up, Too
One of the best parts about taking a camping trip is making a campfire. You can use the campfire to provide warmth, to cook meals, and to set the scene. You’ll have a blast sitting around the campfire at night talking with your fellow campers.
But you might be surprised by how many people plan out the perfect campfire and then realize that they forgot matches at home. You should purchase waterproof matches that will light in any condition. It’s also a good idea to bring a firestarter to get your campfire going.
Consider Bringing an Outdoor Stove or Grill for Cooking
When people think about camping for the first time, they think about sitting by a fire roasting hot dogs over it. You might have fun doing this once or twice, but before long, you’re going to wish you had brought a stove or grill along to cook.
You should buy a small outdoor stove or grill to do the majority of your cooking. You can make the same kinds of meals you make at home when you have a stove or grill at your disposal. You just need to make sure you have gas or propane to heat it up.
You should test your outdoor stove or grill at home before you leave to make sure it works.
Otherwise, you could end up having a long camping trip if your stove or grill gives out on you.
Keep a First-Aid Kit Handy at All Times
When you camp, you’re not always going to have quick and easy access to an urgent care center or hospital. Those things could be many miles away.
Therefore, you need to be prepared to handle any health scares on your own. You can take care of many of them with a first-aid kit.
You should pack a new first-aid kit for your first camping trip. It should include:
- Adhesive bandages
- Butterfly bandages
- Gauze pads
- Sterile wipes
- Antiseptic cream
- Pain medication
- Ace bandages
- Scissors and a knife
Unless you have a medical background, you won’t be able to perform extensive treatments or anything. But if you’re ever in an emergency, a first-aid kit will increase your chances of being able to take care of a medical problem.
Put Sunscreen and Insect Repellent in Your Bag
If you’re camping in the summer, you’re going to be exposed to a lot of sun and a lot of bugs.
You’re going to want to apply sunscreen and insect repellent on a regular basis to protect yourself from both.
A bad sunburn could potentially cut your camping trip short. It could also leave you in a lot of pain.
Likewise, bug bites could prove to be very dangerous if you’re not careful. Mosquitos will be more of a nuisance than anything else. But if you come into contact with ticks, Lyme disease is a very real possibility.
At any rate, you don’t want to camp without a steady supply of sunscreen and insect repellent.
Find a Place for Your Toiletries
You’re probably not going to be able to take a hot shower while you’re on a camping trip. But you may be able to figure out a way to wash up, depending on where you’re planning to camp.
You should, therefore, plan to bring some soap along with you. You should also bring a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and other toiletries to make yourself presentable.
You don’t necessarily need to pack your entire medicine cabinet. But you should try to maintain good hygiene when you can while camping.
Don’t Forget a Map and a Compass!
In the event that you get lost while camping, you’re going to want to have a map and a compass on you. They could very well be the only tools that you can use to find your way back to civilization.
Don’t count on your cell phone to work when you’re out in the middle of nowhere. It might not have any service, which would put you in a conundrum if you ever were to wander off the beaten path.
Come Armed With a Camera As Well
Generally speaking, you should try to leave as much of your technology as you can at home. Most of it won’t work out in the wild, and even if it does, you should give it a break and learn to connect with nature instead of playing on your phone or tablet.
The one exception to this rule is a camera. You should take as many photos as you can so that you’ll always remember your first camping trip. There is so much to see out there in the world, and you’ll be blown away by it all.
You can discover more here about some of the best reasons to go on a camping trip today.
Get Ready to Go On Your First Camping Trip
Has all this talk about camping gotten you really excited to go on your first camping trip?
You should find a great place for first-time campers. Then, you should start loading up your car and get ready to have the time of your life. You’ll love everything about your first foray into camping.
Check out our blog for more great tips about traveling the world.