Sleeping under the stars next to a campfire sounds adventurous and exciting. It is a picturesque moment only if you plan and make sure there are no surprises along the way. If you are new to the world of camping and outdoor activities then you may feel overwhelmed by all the information. This means you shouldn’t rush it. It is something you want to try for yourself and there is no deadline for it.
Here you will get useful advice on making the most out of your camping trip as a beginner. Of course, the more you camp the more you learn but having a good head start is always welcome.
Learn and plan
Introduce yourself to the outdoors by learning as much as possible. Research everything – from telling the time to how to start a fire. These are things you’ll need to know at any moment. Plan where you would like to go and when. If you are a newbie, you should stay close to urban locations and pick a sunny day if possible. Start small by being away for one night. It is easier to build up later. Don’t get too ambitious because it gets overwhelming for a beginner.
When you plan your route, always leave a copy of your whereabouts to your family or friends. Have an hourly plan written down so they know when to expect you back home. In case you have no phone service, they will know where to find you in cases of emergency. You need to remember – prepare for the worst-case scenario. That is when you will feel safe.
Have a list of the essentials
Make a list of things needed for camping such as GPS, maps, satellite phone, flashlight with spare batteries, and so on. When it comes to food and water, take more than you think you’ll need. It is an environment where you spend more energy than usual due to cold weather, strenuous physical activity, and even stress. In cases of a medical emergency, an absolute must is a first aid kit. If you need to treat any open wounds, you need to do that properly. Get ready for camping by attending an online CPR and First Aid training so you are at ease knowing you’ll do your best to help the injured. No matter how difficult it may be to pack it all, these items are a priority.
Be mindful of nature
Respect the environment. It is the reason why you are outside anyway. It’s your chance to enjoy what nature has to offer – amazing landscapes, deep forests, and wild animals. It would be a shame to destroy that wonderful picture with the trash that is usually left behind. Spending time in nature means you appreciate it so the least you can do is collect your cans and plastic bags. Cleaning up before leaving is important for the safety of the animals as well. Getting tangled up in plastic bags is a possibility that would make them unable to walk or even breathe properly.
As mentioned earlier, it is better to camp near urban areas since you are a beginner. This means you don’t have to drive to your camping location. You can minimize your eco-footprint by hiking. Every small step you take makes a difference for the planet.
Test your equipment at home
No, you won’t look silly if you assemble your tent or sleeping bag at home. It means you are taking all the precautionary measures, so there are no unpleasant surprises. This is what experienced campers do all the time. Check all your gear – if the flashlights are working, if your phone and GPS are ready and if the sleeping bag is warm enough for the cold nights. You need to ensure everything is working properly and is ready to use.
Bring kitchen tools
You don’t need to invest in a camping kitchen set yet. Test out your skills with what you already have in your kitchen. Bring versatile pots and pans because you can make a great dish even in the wilderness. There are various affordable portable cooking stoves or grills, so you don’t have to worry about cooking on an open fire. Of course, don’t forget a coffee maker for the avid coffee drinker in your life.
Never leave food unattended
So you enjoyed the meal and went to sleep. But leftover food is scattered around your campsite. This is one of the main reasons campers encounter dangerous wild animals. Their sense of smell is stronger than humans so it is no surprise they came for the smell of tasty food. Follow instructions and signs regarding food safety so you avoid any dangerous situations.
There are a lot of things to consider before setting off for your first camping night. Think of your safety first. Are you mentally and physically prepared for the outdoors? We have been estranged from the wilderness due to our busy lifestyles so it takes time to adapt again. Start slowly and you’ll call yourself an experienced and skillful camper soon enough. Admire and respect what nature has to offer.