My family camped all the time when I was a child, but my parents handled all the logistics. As a parent myself, the idea of planning a camping trip was a bit scary. Don’t let concerns over how to camp stop you from enjoying a family camping trip. Leave behind the technology and worries of your busy life with this first-time camping guide.
Worried about finding a spot? See if the campground allows reservations. If you book far enough in advance, you can get your choice of spots. Choose a place close to the restrooms or with a lake view. With a reservation, you won’t have to circle the campground or end up without a spot at all.
When you’re choosing a campground, take a look at the amenities. If you don’t want to totally rough it, choose a campground with modern bathrooms and showers. This will help you feel a little more at home even if you’re in a tent.
Not sure if you’re going to camp often? Do a test run with borrowed supplies. Ask a friend who camps often if you can borrow a tent and sleeping bags. This gives you a chance to check out the options and see if camping is really for you. You might also be able to rent camping supplies in your area.
Do a Test Run
Don’t wait until you get to the campground to try setting up the tent. The process can be difficult. Do a test run at home so you know how all of the pieces go together. If you can’t figure it out at the campground, you may start panicking because you need to get it set up to have a place to sleep. Bring the instructions along with you even if the test run goes well.
Bring the Essentials
One of the best ways to have a successful camping trip is to remember the essentials. This about your most important needs: food, shelter and protection. You’ll need to pack enough food to last the camping trip. You’ll also need a cooler with ice for any perishable food items. Pack utensils and pans for cooking, as well as any bowls and measuring utensils you’ll need.
For your shelter, you’ll need a tent and all of the tools to set up the tent. You’ll also need blankets or sleeping bags. Air mattresses make sleeping easier.
Don’t forget enough clothes to cover the camping trip. You might need both warm and cool clothes depending on the weather. Other items to pack include toiletries, insect repellent, sunscreen, lights and chairs.
Keep It Simple
You don’t have to go all out when you first try out camping. Stick close to home. Don’t plan too many activities at the campground. Plan simple meals for your time at the campground. You can bring foods that don’t need cooked, such as cereal, fruit and donuts, for breakfast. Deli meats work well for lunch or dinner. You can also roast hot dogs over the campfire or cook hamburgers on a grate over the flames.