Beginner’s Guide to Camping
Imagine the sound of birds singing all around as the breeze echoes a soft melody through the leaves. You slowly open up your tent and see a beautiful sunrise cascading across a blue sky. For a moment, your heart seems to stop, and you simply appreciate the awesome landscape around you.
This might sound like a dream.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Camping, that sounds like a lot of effort…”
But it isn’t!
In fact, with only a few supplies and a little know-how, you can be out in the wilderness in no time. Camping for beginners may seem daunting, but read this guide and you’ll see how easy it truly is.
The Four Things to Remember
When camping, all that really matters is survival (and obviously having fun!). But If we break apart everything we own into two categories, we buy things to help us survive or to entertain us. Humans don’t do much more than animals except get bored, so we build televisions and iPhones. But in the wilderness, technology is only truly useful in emergency situations when someone might end up hurt and medical help is needed.
Surviving in the wilderness, however, comes down to about four basic ingredients:
Provide for these four essential things and camping for beginners becomes a breeze.
The easiest form of shelter to build when camping is a tent. There are several different types of tents, but the three primary varieties are:
• Ridge Tents: With limited headroom, these tents rise up like pyramids to provide limited protection from the elements.
• Dome Tents use flexible poles that intersect and weave through the fabric to create a dome-like figure. Sturdier than ridge tents, these still only offer limited protection. Strong winds can tear one apart with ease.
• Geodesic and semi-geodesic tents: Using intricate triangular patterns, these tents are the sturdiest and can even protect you on Mt. Everest.
In warm or hot temperate climates, other forms of shelter might include a hammock or a simple sleeping bag laid across the Earth. The sleeping bag, of course, can also be laid out in your tent and provide extra protection from bugs, climate, wind, and critters.
When choosing a sleeping bag, make sure it’s rated for the temperatures you expect to face. If you get one that is for cold temperatures and you are in a hot climate, you will sweat all night. On the other hand, you’ll freeze if you’re in a cold climate without a bag thick enough to protect you.
For comfort, you might also bring a sleeping mat. Some of these are inflatable and can offer a very cushy surface for rest. It’s a good investment if you don’t want to sleep on the ground.
To stay warm, ensure that you bring at least one extra pair of clothes for you for emergencies such as a rain storm. It’s wise to bring shorts, jeans, closed toed shoes, socks, underwear, short sleeved streets, and long sleeved shirts or jackets. The climate can change fast in the wilderness and its best to be prepared. For colder climates, boots, hats, gloves, and other winter gear is recommended.
A fire is also needed if you wish to stay warm. Bring wood or the tools to chop wood onsite if it is allowed. Always check rules and regulations about building fires, or you could face a hefty fine. If you don’t know how to build a fire, try practicing in your backyard before you leave on your journey.
And remember that lighter fluid, newspaper, and a lighter can be used to start a fire. Just do not go crazy with the lighter fluid. It’s dangerous.
Pack Plenty of Food and Water
Some campsites have wells or other sources of water available for your use. Others do not. Before leaving, double check to see if yours does. If they do not, then purchase several gallons of water to take with you.
Food is something else that you’ll want to pack. The best way to do this is to figure out how many days you will be camping. Then make a list of meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each of these days. Include snack time as well if you’d like. Figure out ways to make the same ingredients work for different meals and purchase what you need. Frozen items must go in a cooler with ice and other food can be stored in whatever way is convenient. Do not let food sit out, however, or you may find a pack of raccoons stalking your site.
If you follow these simple tips and remember to pack for shelter, warmth, food, and water, then you will be safe and will have great time!
If you’re looking for people to go camping with, share this article with your friends. Once they are convinced camping can be fun, easy and safe, you’ll find camping partners in no time.