How To Prepare For Your First Camping Trip — Tips For Newbie Campers

Have you somehow managed to evade the simple joys of camping for most of your life?

Not to worry! If you’ve never really camped as a kid or have heard horror stories from friends and relatives, you may have always found the idea of camping conjuring up images that make you cringe whenever you think about it. So it makes sense that you you maybe unfairly decided never to give it a fair go.

Thankfully you find that a bit of advance preparation can help mitigate some of your anxiety. Though some of these tasks may seem tedious to prepare — especially to experienced campers who find preparing to camp more second-nature (no pun intended) — if camping makes you nervous, some simple prep should help you out.

Here are 30 Things To Prepare Before You Go On Your First Camping Trip:

1. Gather all your camping equipment in a corner of a room and keep adding to it as you think of it.

2. Use basket shelves in your car for easy storage.

3. Store your clothes in sports duffel bags.

4. Make sure all heavy items are secure and are packed at the bottom of your car trunk with lighter items on top.

5. Take one prepared meal in a freezer meal that can be easily reheated on arrival at your destination.

6. Make sure you have everything you need for a snack break like cooled drinks, tea bags, instant coffee, sugar, creamer, snacks, a large bottle of water, matches, kettle, napkins, wet wipes, and your camping stove.

7. If you are going away for a short trip prepare your hot dishes in Tupperwares for quick reheating so that you have more time to relax at your camp site and enjoy yourself.

8. Stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables at every chance. A great thing is that they can do fine without refrigeration for a few days.

9. List everything you will eat on the number of days you are away, making sure you either have it packed or know how you’ll get it while you’re out.

10. Keep extras of cheap easy-to-cook food on hand. Dry packed foods like thin pasta, ramen, rice, beans and lentils pack small and last a long time.

11. Remember long life milk — available as boxed “shelf-stable” milk in the USA. (2-3 cartons of long life milk per day should be sufficient for a family of two children and two adults as a guide).

12. Try camping in your backyard to see how you feel about your tent and sleeping bags etc. After you’ve gotten a few rounds of practice, try popping the tent in the dark and getting everything set up with a just a flashlight.

13. Your first camping gear does not have to be expensive. It is more important that it is durable and keeps you protected from all weather conditions. You’ll bring a piece of tarp with you to put under your tent, and you’ll want to pitch the tent in an area protected from excess wind and rain. The main thing to consider when choosing the tent is the size, ie. the number of people who are going to be sharing the tent. There should be room for yourselves and your packs.

14. Take kitchen utensils with you that are old and definitely won’t be missed if it doesn’t come home with you. If necessary, you can pick some up a set in a thrift store for under a dollar total. (You can probably even find some cookware as well.)

15. Keep utensils separate from cookware by placing them in plastic containers with lids or wrapped in a paper towel in a plastic bag.

List of items of utensils and cookware that may be useful for your next camping trip.

16. A fork, knife, teaspoon and soup spoon should be enough for each person.

17. Have a serrated edge knife that can also be used as a bread knife.

18. Vegetable peeler and knife.

19. Metal egg lifter. Egg rings.

20. A large aluminium coffee pot, the larger the better.

21. Barbeque tongs.

22. Cast iron skillet.

23. Cooking pot – Just large enough to boil pasta, eggs, etc.

24. A sharp knife and sharpener.

25. Can opener.

26. Large serving spoon and wooden spoon.

27. Make sure you have an enamel cup, bowl, and plate for every person.

28. Use an enamel plate next to the fire to warm food.

29. Use an enamel plate as a base for food in your camp oven.

30. Bring paper plates in case you are in an area where water is scarce, and be sure to take your rubbish with you.

If you plan to cook with a camp fire:

31. Barbecue skewers

32. Extra fire wood with kindling. (It’s not always easy to find, and it may be too wet when you need it.)

33. Fire pan to contain your ashes to minimize your impact. A large broiling pan can work really well.

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