Beginner's Camping Guide
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The Beginner’s Camping Guide: How to Get Started and Have Fun, Too

Out of the United States’ millions of people, over 14% of them go camping at least once a year. 

After the year we’ve all had, you probably have the itch to join those numbers, especially if you’ve never camped before. 

But, where do you start? 

Spending a few days outside and ditching the inside world can seem daunting. You have to know where to go, what to bring, and you have to know how to do things like get a campfire going, pitch a tent, or stay safe.

You want camping to be relaxing, refreshing, and fun. But it can seem pretty stressful without guidance. 

Don’t worry. We’re here to help. 

You’ll be looking up camp songs and making s’mores in no time. Follow along for a camping guide for beginners. 

Tent Poles or Trailer Tires?

The first thing you need to nail down is what kind of camping you’re aiming for when you begin preparations. 

Camping, by definition, only means spending time away from the city outside. On your first go-around, you’re not obligated to dive right into pitching a tent and bearing the weather in a sleeping bag with less separating you from… bears. 

But if you want to go all out, there are tried-and-true tactics to keep bears and other animals away.

However, you might not like the idea of adding another list to your first-weekend camping. 

RV owners use their campers at least 30 days a year on average. And over 1 million people in the U.S. live in RVs. 

So if you’re in this for the long-haul and want to consider looking at trailers for sale, you might like it so much that you decide to join those numbers, too. 

You’ll need to know this when you make a reservation at any of the campgrounds you might already have your eye on. 

Know What You Need

Without advice, it’s easy to worry and pack a lot of stuff you might not need. The biggest part of a camping guide is to gear you up for knowing what you need to pack.

If you’re taking the tent route, you’ll need a few more things than if you plan to truck to a campsite with a trailer. For example, you’ll need:

  • sleeping bags
  • pillows
  • a tarp
  • materials to keep animals away from your bed
  • cooking and cleaning materials

If you choose to ride it out in an RV or trailer, that list gets a little shorter. 

But outside of those things, you’ll still need:

  • flashlights
  • lighters
  • firewood
  • personal hygiene supplies
  • cleaning supplies 
  • a canopy
  • bug spray
  • a first aid kit

It’s a good idea to compare camping checklists easily found on the internet. We found a good one to start with found here.

The Fun Side to a Camping Guide

Knowing what you need to pack is the best way to unpack a lot of that first-timer stress you might feel. 

An RV might seem like a big investment, but it takes away a lot of that pressure (and bears). And it’s never a bad option to have an extra house if you need it—one you can take anywhere

But it doesn’t matter if you’re pitching a tent or parking a camper. The goal of any camping guide is the same as any camping trip: to make sure you can relax, feel refreshed, and have fun

So go ahead and look through lists of campgrounds and make that reservation. At the least, don’t forget the marshmallows.