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camping basics

6 Helpful Camping Basics For The Newbie Camper

A good camping trip is a special activity for individuals and families alike. It offers the opportunity to spend time in the great outdoors, bringing you closer to nature and each other. Even though camping is very different from lounging about in your swimsuit on the beach, it can still be meditative in its own right. That said, there are some comping basics you should know before you venture out. Let’s take a look at the top things you need to know to be prepared, safe, and comfortable.

Plan Your Trip 

camping basicsYou need to think about more than just camping when planning a trip. Ask yourself what will you do when you get there.  How will you get to activities? A lot of people choose to camp near the ocean and plan their trips around water activities like swimming or surfing. Others enjoy hiking in places near mountains and hiking trails. Think about what kind of environment you want to be in before you book your camping trip. Plan enough activities to keep everyone busy, especially children. Some campgrounds are in the middle of nowhere, so you may have to travel a long way to get to attractions. 


Camping promotes simplicity and forces us to walk away from many creature comforts. Though you will be leaving the microwave, bathtub, and running water behind, you’ll need to bring along some necessary items to acclimate to your temporary primitive home.

One of the most important camping basics is “don’t forget anything”. If you do happen to forget something on your first few camping trips, you might be able to shop at a local store. However, as you progress and venture further into the wilderness for longer periods, it becomes increasingly crucial to pack carefully and not forget any essential items. I recommended that you write down your supply list, then check things off as you pack them.


On any kind of camping trip, your stuff has to be packable and movable. Lightweight, durable clothing and shoes are usually your best option. Take enough to have a change of clothes in case of an emergency, but try to keep it simple. This is especially helpful if you are transporting everything in a single backpack. It might also be helpful to have bright, matching shirts if you are taking a large group or have a big family. Custom printed t-shirts from Mato & Hash could be fun to design and wear on your trip.

Here are the camping basics, as far as clothing, which are considered necessary, depending on the season and location.

  •  a waterproof jacket that can be rolled up
  • extra socks/wool socks
  • a quality pair of waterproof shoes for hiking
  • a lightweight hat/warm hat
  • water shoes, bathing suit
  • sunglasses
  • various clothing options for weather changes 
  • bandana for wiping sweat


happy camoerThe type of camping you do determines the amount of food and equipment you need to take with you. For example, if you go backpacking in the woods, you wouldn’t be able to take much with you. Adversely, staying at a campsite with your family would allow you to take in several days worth of food and supplies. Keep in mind you need to have a way to keep food cold, as well as cook it. Most campgrounds have grills, but make sure before you pack up. If you plan to fish and eat your catches, don’t forget to bring seasoning and condiments for a seafood dinner. Let’s take a look at several food items that are convenient and easy to store.

  • protein bars
  • protein powder
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • handy snacks
  • apples/oranges/grapes
  • smores
  • cereal
  • rice
  • eggs and bacon
  • tuna
  • beans


When you go camping, there are a lot of things you need to think about. What you can take and what you need will depend on the kind of camping you do. Some things to think about:

  • Tent: Big enough to hold food, equipment, and sleep the right number of people
  • GPS, cellphone, compass, and map 
  • Solar charger
  • Flashlights (And extra batteries) 
  • Sleeping bags, pads, or a light air mattress to sleep on
  • Chairs and a table that fold up (if car camping)
  • Pocket knife for cutting things quickly

Other Miscellaneous Items

  • pan
  • spatula
  • coffee pot
  • hand sanitizer
  • sunscreen
  • toilet paper
  • towels
  • bug spray
  • first aid kit
  • flares
  • radio
  • toiletries

I highly recommend that you ask an experienced camper about their tips and secrets. That first trip can be a little intimidating, so it’s better to be over-prepared. It might suit you and your family to get your camping feet wet at a quality campground that has facilities and a nearby store. After all, you want to feel confident that you will have fun, be safe, and have everything you need. Happy Camping!


About Caroline Stewart

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