For the complete novice camper, you’re in for a lot of fun and discovery. But first, you’ll need to understand a few things, and be willing to learn on your own much of what you’ll need to know. First things first. As a new camper, you’ll need to make some decisions such as:
1. Where is your first camping destination?
2. How long are you planning to camp?
3. Do you have the necessary equipment, or will you purchase what you need, or rent first before you buy?
Before starting out on your first camping venture, I strongly suggest searching online for free videos about starting out with camping. These videos will help you understand what to expect when you’re camping. For example, many people wouldn’t consider camping without running water and electricity. For these people, maybe a motor home would be a better idea! On the other hand, there are people who prefer sleeping directly under the stars without a tent, or maybe on a hammock. In any case, knowing what to expect and having an open mind will add to the fun and hopefully avoid unexpected circumstances that could spoil the fun.
On your first few excursions and until you’re more educated about camping, a campground might be a good place to start. Here, you may have facilities, a shower, and maybe a small camp store for supplies. This would also be a good time to practice making meals and learning how to survive without the amenities of home.
Once you’re acclimated to outdoor living you no doubt will have learned that even with the best laid plans, nothing will go as planned every time. So, contingencies must be planned for. For example, if you’re camping during cold weather months, preparations to keep warm and strong shelter must be considered. For heat, convenient propane heaters can heat your tent quickly but don’t plan on keeping the heat going while you’re sleeping! This is very dangerous and should never be considered. Having said that, be sure to have quality sleeping bags included in your gear along with heavy socks, thermal underwear, hats, gloves, down blankets and dry clothes. Carrying extras of these supplies is always a good idea in case you run into weather delays such as extreme cold, heavy snow, or rain. Don’t forget to pack first aid for unexpected medical needs.
Enjoying the outdoors with loved ones is perhaps one of the most enjoyable parts of camping. “Getting away from it all,” is a good way to put it! Camping creates fond memories and it’s where the great camping stories come from!