This is our comprehensive list of the best camping tips for beginners. We hope this guide will help your summer glamping trip go as smoothly as possible.
This list isn’t everything you need to know before going on a glamping trip, but it should give you a good starting point. Check back before you go, and you might find some things you’ve missed.
We hope you find this list of our best camping tips for beginners helpful. Go forth and explore!
Top 25 Best Camping Tips for Beginners
Before You Go
Prepare for Emergencies
The best way to handle emergencies is before they happen. Make a plan for the worst, and hopefully you won’t need to act on it.
What will you do if someone gets cut or burned? Or has an allergic reaction? What if you need to get to a hospital fast.
Asking yourself these worst-case-scenario questions now could save a life later
Call Your State Park or Forestry Service
Call whatever park service oversees the area you are going to be camping in. They are staffed with experts who are willing to help with any information you need.
Specifically, be sure to ask about wildlife and poisonous plants in the area. This will help you to be better prepared for anything you might come across.
Buy a Two-Room Tent
A two-room tent is a lifesaver for your mental state while camping. Use one room as a changing room, and the other for a bedroom. It keeps your utilitarian stuff separate from your relaxation area.
Think of your home. Do you want to do laundry in your bedroom? I didn’t think so.
Also, if you are taking the whole family camping, consider getting the kids their own tent. They get some independence and you get some alone-time.
Write a Menu Plan/ Prep Meals Before you go.
This is a big one. If you plan your meals before your trip, you’ll have a much better time. I promise.
Write out all your big meals. At least breakfast and dinner. Then, prep as much as possible ahead of time.
When I’m prepping our meals for a trip, I try to have every breakfast and dinner pre-prepared in a Ziploc bag. Then when I’m camping I can just pour the contents into a skillet and eat.
Do a Trial Tent Setup
This is also a very important tip. Set your tent up before you go camping, even if you used it the year before. You may find some small holes that need to be patched, broken zippers, or torn window mesh.
Even if there’s no problems, my tent can always use a good sweeping.
There’s a lot of things to consider when packing for your trip.
First, double the amount of food you were planning on bringing. Triple the amount of water. Bug spray and sunblock; double it. Too much is way better than not enough
Put things that can be damaged by water in waterproof containers
Pack stuff to entertain you and your kids during the drive. Four hours in the car can go a lot faster with a couple car games.
Lastly, be sure to put things you’ll need first, like the tent supplies, in the car last. This way they’ll be easy to take out first when you arrive.
Bring Ear Plugs!
I love the sounds of nature, but not necessarily while I’m trying to sleep. I always bring a pair of ear plugs camping with me. If you every have a grouse nest near your tent, you’ll learn this lesson quickly!
Bring a Playpen for Toddlers
If you have small children, be sure to bring some type of playpen. It’s important to keep them contained when you aren’t watching them, so they don’t get lost or wander too near the fire.
Check the Forecast
Bad weather happens, and usually you can just camp through it. However, it’s a lot easier to deal with when you know it’s coming.
Look Up Nearby Hotels in Case of Bad Weather
This is a tip I always tell new campers; plan for everything. Know where you can stay if something takes a turn for the worst and you need an alternative.
Break in Hiking Boots Before You Go
Never break in hiking boots on a camping trip. This is time to enjoy yourself. Break your boots in while mowing the lawn at home.
Bring Outdoor Activities like soccer, football, Frisbee, ladder gold, and badminton. Also cards and simple board games
Basically, list activities you enjoy doing, and pack for them. I’ve mentioned I love watching movies and writing while camping, so I bring my laptop. But outdoor activities are also important.
If you bring a good mix of things to do, your family can pick and choose what to do when, and boredom won’t set in.
When You Arrive
Move in Before any Activities
There will be plenty of time during your stay for all the activities you have planned. First, you need to move in.
Find a place for everything. If it was important enough to bring, it’s important enough to be put away properly. This alleviates the fight over where the sunblock went. It’s in its spot, where it belongs.
Put a Tarp Under Your Tent
Nowadays, most tents do well to keep out water from above. However, most of them also have poor waterproofing from below.
A tarp underneath your tent will keep you from soaking up ground water. It’s also an added layer of protection from insects.
Make an Escape Plan
One of the first things I do when I get to a campsite is figure out how we can leave quickly if there’s an emergency.
Last summer, my husband and I were caught in a severe storm with our dogs, and our tent was hit by a falling tree. We threw our electronics in a waterproof backpack, my husband grabbed a dog under each arm, and we were driving away in less than two minutes. We came back for the rest of our stuff in the morning.
Again, being prepared for emergencies will minimize their impact.
While You’re There
Put Food in Your Tent at Night -Never Store Food in Your Tent
This is a tip I’ve learned the hard way. Never leave your cooler in the open over night. Never, ever store your food in your tent.
Racoons will find your cooler and get it open. They’re smart little jerks.
A bear will also smell your food. And, it it’s in your tent, you’ll be in a very dangerous situation.
Neither will smell the food in a cooler in your car. Load it up before bed and unload it when you wake up. It’s not hard and it can keep your campsite safe.
Exercise Fire Safety
Wildfires in America are getting worse year after year. And, most of them are preventable.
Build a good wall of stone around and under your fire. Never leave a fire burning. Dowse a fire with water to put it out. Stir the ashes with a stick and continue dowsing it.
You can leave a fire behind when you can hold your hand a few inches away and feel no heat. Do not put your hand in the ashes to test them.
Clean as You Go
Cleaning as you go will make your departure a dream. Nobody likes cleaning up a bunch on the last day. Do it as you go, and be as packed up and clean as possible on the last night.
Before You Leave
Pack Things in Your Empty Coolers
I like having as much breathing room as possible on the drive home. Anything you can fit into something else is a little more leg room.
Leave the Campsite At Least as Good as You Found It
You may have noticed I said at least as good as you found it. Basically, there should be no sign someone was camping there.
If your campsite is covered in garbage and old food when you get there, I’m sorry. Truly. The people before you were dicks.
But, you have to clean up their mess.
It’s all of our responsibility to keep nature great. I want my kids to have nice campsites to go to with their kids someday. This means doing more than your fair share to keep then nice.
When You Get Home
Dry Out Your Tent
Even if you don’t think your tent is wet, spread it out on the driveway. It’s probably damp at the least. Leave it in the sun for a couple hours and you won’t need to worry about mold.
Wash Your Clothes and Dishes.
Don’t put this off. Things need to be washed. You should be able to do this in a couple hours, don’t leave this until next Thursday. Do it right away and relax when you’re done.
A Few More Things
Teach Kids to Stay Put if they Get Lost
Make sure everyone in your group knows what to do if they get lost; stay where you are. Call out, and someone will come for you. Even if it’s a couple days, you’ll be found faster if you stay put.
Consider Protective Measures
I don’t bring a firearm with me when I go camping, but I have friends who do. While I don’t encourage this, it’s something for you to consider.
Before bringing anything like that to your campsite, check their rules about such things.
I also have friends who bring bear mace camping. I’ve never done that, because we mainly have black bear in my state, but it’s another protective measure you can take.
Plan a Vacation from Your Vacation
I don’t know about you, but I’m always worn out after a vacation. It’s a weird sensation, to be tired from relaxing, but it’s hard to go back to work the next day.
I always try to end my camping trips on Sunday, and take Monday and Tuesday off from work. I use this time to get my house back in order and relax my mind before getting back to the grind.
Summary – Top 25 Best Camping Tips for Beginners
Well, that’s my list of the best glamping tips and tricks for beginners. This is just the things I’ve noted during our camping trips.
Do you have some camping tips for beginners we missed? Leave a comment below, and keep the conversation going!