7 Essential Tips For First-Time Campers

Get Outdoors and Explore Nature

For those who’ve never slept under the stars, you should know that camping is so much more than dirt and bugs. It’s a chance to be in touch with nature, something most city-dwellers don’t even think about, but love once they do it.

If you’re interested in taking the camping plunge, here are a few tips to help make sure your first time camping isn’t your last.

  • Get Crocs

They may not be your city-wear, but crocs are invaluable when you’re out in the woods. They are easy to slip on and off when nature calls in the middle of the night. They’re hygienic when you’re in the campground showers or swimming pools. They wear well in canoes, kayaks and hanging around the edge of the lake. They dry fast, don’t hold bacteria, and are inexpensive enough that you don’t have to worry about losing one.

  • Put A Tarp Under Your Tent

Inexperienced campers often set up their tents right on the ground, and learn quickly that there is a better option. A simple, lightweight tarp underneath will keep the bottom of your tent dry, and insulate it from getting cut by rocks and twigs. Make sure to fold the edges under so water doesn’t pool between the tarp and tent if it rains.

  • A Sleeping Pad Is A Must

Something soft to sleep on can make all the difference in your camping experience. A sleeping pad isn’t only more comfortable to sleep on, but it will keep you warmer and protect you from any moisture on the bottom of your tent.

  • Lanterns Light Your Way

If you’ve never been camping, you may not be prepared for how dark it can get in nature. It gets dark. Very, very, dark. Having a headlamp is great for walking around your campsite, cooking and bathroom breaks. A campfire will provide minimal light a few feet around. But a few inexpensive, LED lanterns will go a long way in helping you find your way around your campsite at night. Pack a couple of ropes so you can hang them from nearby trees.

  • Pick A Roomy Tent

A two-person tent is only just big enough for two people to sleep in. Most first-time campers will want a bigger tent. Remember that your tent isn’t just for sleeping. It’s where you’ll put your gear, where you might store valuables, and where you’ll hang out when it’s raining. Dome roofs and tents with vestibules add to the roominess of your space.

  • Bring Dryer Lint For Starting Fires

Better than twigs, woodchips and leaves, (all of which may not even be useful if it’s been raining) dryer lint is every campers dream fire starter. It’s cheap, lightweight, and free. Collect it for a few weeks before, and make starting your campfire quick and easy.

  • Comfortable Camp Chairs

First-time campers may picture themselves sitting on logs, roasting marshmallows over campfires on sticks they whittled themselves. And while the campfire, marshmallows and sticks are all easy enough, that log will get very uncomfortable very quickly. Simple, foldable camp chairs are inexpensive, easy to put in your car, and will keep you comfortable around your campfire for hours. Bonus: Most new ones come with cup holders.