Camping for Beginners: Things to Know Before You Go
Choosing a Perfect Tent
If you’re an outdoor type of person, then you probably like to camp and when camping you probably enjoy outdoor activities and games. Perhaps you want to hike, hunt, or fish along with the real outdoor sleeping in tents, right?
Having a tent that meets your specific needs can make your camping experience much more enjoyable. Choosing the right tent for you and your family requires some research. Tents come in all shapes and sizes. I suggest that you go to a well-stocked sporting goods store and check them out. After making a choice, check online stores first as you’ll often be able to find the same tents at much lower prices, and a lot of outdoor/camping-sites offer free shipping.
Don’t crowd it
You will find small one-person-sized tents, several choices in two- and three-person tents, and even multi-room family-sized tents in which you can stand up straight are available. Before making a choice, consider how many people will be using the space.
What type of tent should you choose?
First let me say that the packaging on the tent displays can be somewhat misleading. I have personally found that if a tent ad says it’s a two-person tent, then, in fact, two people can sleep in that tent, but that’s it.
This means there is no room for your gear or supplies. If you and one other person go for camping, this type of tent will work only if you keep your gear in a vehicle.
I suggest that you buy a tent made for the number of people going plus two more. That would mean if you have a family of four, you should purchase a tent made for six. This will ensure that there’s plenty of room for everyone, including your gear. Camping is new and different enough for a beginner, so the last thing you’ll want to do is cramp your surroundings.
Tents generally are available in these types:
A-frames are usually small and very durable. They generally only fit 2 or 3 people, and they can be troublesome to set up.
Dome tents have sloping sides. They are usually roomy, particularly in the center. They are also able to handle strong winds because of their shape. Moreover, they are probably the easiest to set up and pack away. This is, therefore, the tent I suggest for beginners.
Cabin tents can be very roomy with separate areas partitioned off. The major drawback is that they can be time-consuming and challenging to assemble and to take apart and pack away. If you’re planning on staying in the same spot for more than a few days, this is a winner.
Other tents include tree tents, bed-tents, and unusual shapes and sizes. I’ve even seen a custom-made tent in the shape of a car!
Your comfort when camping is essential
Remember, when camping, you will be sleeping in sleeping bags, so at best, your comfort level will probably be less than you are used to. To achieve maximum comfort during your camping adventure, do not choose a tent that will be too small.
Not only do you have to consider how many people will be sleeping in your tent, but also consider the storage space you’re going to need. You’ll probably be bringing a lot of gear along. Keep in mind about things such as backpacks, fishing and or hunting gear, duffle bags, coolers, food. Well, this list could go on, but I think you get the idea.
Most campers end up keeping a lot of things inside the tent at night, so it is wise to plan beforehand. Before making your purchase, it is best if you can see the tent set up in the store or at least one similar size in shape. It’s hard to tell just by reading a box that is well suited to meet your needs. So, it’s best to look for them in a store and then order online for the best value.
Consider how often you will be camping
If you’re an occasional camper – you camp four or fewer times per year – then you may not want to splurge on the top of the line tent. Instead, a less durable model may be ideal for you; it is advisable to get a rain flap that has tension adjustments. Be sure that this goes all the way to the ground: getting wet while camping is not fun!
If you are a year-round camper, you will need to get a tent that will hold up to all seasons. Be sure that it is firm and durable.
Pitch your tent at home
My advice is to always set your tent up at home before your camping adventure. This allows you to practice the set-up, to check for the functionality of the tent, and to find out if you left behind any parts on your last camping trip.
There’s nothing more annoying than arriving at your destination only to find out you’re missing a crucial part of your tent – I speak from experience.
Likewise, it is much better to find a broken zipper on a door flap before you get to the campsite than to discover it when you plan to retire for the night. Mosquitoes and other pests can make your night miserable, so be sure to have a way to lock them out. By the way, it’s also a wise idea to check out all the other camping gear before you leave home.
Through careful planning and consideration, you can find the perfect tent for your needs, and having a tent that accommodates your needs can mean the difference between a pleasant camping trip and one that is tortuous. Additionally, a few best camping chairs that are foldable will also go a long way in making your trip highly memorable.
Always Follow These Six Essential Camping Tips
Let Someone Know
Inform someone of your camping plans, including the location, even if you’re going out for just one night. An unexpected accident in the middle of nowhere with one night’s supply of food could lead to dire consequences if no one knows where to look for you.
Ever experienced hypothermia? I have. Never get caught in a storm during your camping or hiking trip without any dry clothes to put on. Even in summertime, a violent hailstorm can make temperatures drop to well below comfortable levels, so come prepared and wrap some warm backup clothing in a waterproof duffle bag or similar.
Check The Weather
It is vital to check the weather forecast well before departing on a camping trip. Mother Nature can be surprisingly violent with hail that will penetrate your tent, flash floods, snow, or winds that can easily blow your tent – and possibly you – away. Furthermore, camping is generally just no fun with crappy weather.
Check 5 days before your planned departure date and check every day. Never slack off because that day’s weather is excellent, as the day after could be the exact opposite.
Especially in countries like Australia, you must have fresh drinking water available. When spending more than a couple of days out in the wild, it’s highly advisable to take at least two five-gallon containers with fresh water.
Another essential item in addition to water. Depending on where you’re going and how you intend to get there (hike or drive?) will determine what foods to take. Specific Camping Grounds might have a small store so you can get yourselves some fresh supplies, but don’t presume or rely on this and always bring backup food just in case.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to take a fridge full of steaks if you’re planning on hiking in remote areas. Dried fruits, beef jerky, nuts, and exclusive high energy bars are your best bet as they are lightweight but high in nutrients.
Another danger of summertime (and wintertime in some places) camping are fires. If you build a campfire, make sure you control it beyond what’s needed, well beyond. Clear an area of at least 18 feet around your fire. You’d be surprised how a sudden gust of wind can let embers fly and flames crawl in a flash with no way of stopping it.
You wouldn’t want to be the cause of the next major fire to hit California, Florida, or wherever now would you?
Also, keep an eye on the surrounding area all the time. Sudden thick smoke can be fired up ahead. Even if you think the fire is still far away, keep in mind that fire has the potential to travel at dangerous speeds, especially in very dry conditions.
I hope this article will make your camping trip enjoyable. Happy camping!