9 ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR STRESS-FREE CAMPING FOR BEGINNERS
Camping is a lot of fun, but it can be very stressful if you’re in charge of planning and packing, especially if you are new to it. To make your next, or your first, camping trip comfortable and enjoyable, it’s essential to determine what you need to bring and what you can live without for the trip.
To help streamline the process, here are nine essential tips for a stress-free camping experience for beginners.
CREATE A CHECKLIST
Start the packing process by creating a checklist. If you’re not sure of what you need to pack, there are a lot of great checklists that can be found online, including this website. You can start there and customise depending on the specific details of your trip. If you are a camping beginner, I recommend doing this a few weeks before the camping trip, so you can make the necessary changes depending on your needs.
When it comes to clothes, remember to pack light. Just stick to the basics and pack what’s essential. Ask yourself, what will help keep me warm or cool and dry? Bring clothes you can easily layer and outerwear that will protect you from wind and rain or clothing that will protect you in the heat without making you uncomfortable. Also, don’t be afraid to get a little dirty. Camping is all about roughing it out, after all.
PREPARE SIMPLE MEALS
Regarding food, stick to meals that are simple and easy to prepare. Some of the usual options are eggs, hot dogs, instant noodles, canned foods, trail mix and granola bars. In case you want to cook, stick to tried-and-tested recipes. This is not the time to try out new types of food. Also, consider pre-preparing some of the meals so you won’t have to bring too much crockery.
BRING APPROPRIATE GEAR
When choosing a tent, make sure it’s easy to set up and that the size is just right for everybody. Also, be sure to check your gear ahead of time. Don’t put it off at the last minute as this is a guaranteed source of stress. You might discover that some of your gear is damaged or something is missing, and you need a quick delivery solution.
As for your setting up your sleeping area, you might want to bring some of the bedding, such as pillows and blankets from your bedroom. Many people find that this helps them get a good night’s sleep.
CHECK THE WEATHER
Check the weather conditions at your proposed campsite. Does it typically rain there even in the summer? What has the temperature been like for the past week? Do a little more than just look at the weather forecast. Talk to others who know the region or contact the campsite operators directly. There is nothing like local advice.
PICK A CONVENIENT LOCATION
If you’re really new to camping or are bringing along small children, you might want to stick to a campsite that is close to home. This might sound a little silly but camping for the first time close to home does make some sense. In a worst-case scenario, you can even run back home and get something you need.
BE PREPARED FOR THE UNEXPECTED
Even if you perfect the packing process, you can’t really guarantee that everything will run smoothly. If you already account for the unexpected, you won’t be stressed if these situations to pop up. In case of emergencies, make sure you have a first aid kit. Some helpful items include aloe vera for sunburn or cuts, wet wipes if there’s no water source near you, airtight containers to keep matches dry as well as empty bags for rubbish and dirty clothes. If you have young children, you can bring glow sticks, so they won’t be afraid of the dark.
PLAN EASY ACTIVITIES
Come up with activities that won’t require too much additional gear. Some simple but fun activities include swimming, roasting smores, playing board games, animal watching and a nature-themed activity like a scavenger hunt. Even just sitting by the campfire with a good book can be quite enjoyable.
You don’t have to carry the burden of planning and packing for your upcoming camping trip alone. I recommend delegating responsibilities, especially if the kids are older and capable of keeping track of their checklists. If someone wants to bring non-essential items, such as a guitar or camera, they’ll have to be responsible for them themselves.
By following these essential tips, you can make camping an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Ultimately, though, the primary goal of these trips is to be able to get back to the basics of life and enjoy the great outdoors. So, just relax and don’t stress too much if things don’t go according to plan. Remember these tips for stress-free camping, and you’re guaranteed to have a memorable time.
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