One good thing about this pesky virus is that is has given families more time to spend in the great outdoors. It has been wonderful to see so many families get out and go fishing, boating, hiking and camping. Many of the families who are starting to enjoy these pastimes are families who have never done those things before. We know how overwhelming it can be when you start a new hobby and we would love to help give you tips in this Beginners Guide to Camping.
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The most essential piece of equipment in this Beginners Guide to Camping that you will need is a tent, camper, or RV. Someplace to sleep at night. When it comes to purchasing any of these you will need to take the size you need into consideration. If you are going camping in a tent you will want to make sure that the tent is big enough to sleep everyone but not so big that there is excess room. Once you start loading in all your sleeping gear it is easy for a tent to fill up quickly. However, when you have too much unoccupied room it is easier for your tent to get too cold. You will also want to take into account the season that you are planning on camping in. It is ideal to get a three or even a four season tent that comes with mesh panels and a rain-fly.
Tip – Set up your tent at home before you leave. Make sure you have everything you need, and if you have a ground sheet, sleeping pad and/or inflatable mattress you will want to make sure they fit properly before you are on the mountain. Also don’t forget to pack along a hammer or mallet to pound in those tent stakes.
Tip #2 – Air Mattresses are very tempting and look like they will be much more comfortable. But just know that they might make your night a little colder then you might like. Do your research before settling on an air mattress alone.
Sleeping Bags are another essential. When purchasing a sleeping bag you will want to take a few things into consideration; what is the temperature going to be. Chances are, that this time of year you might be fine in a Summer sleeping bag. But if you would like to also go camping in spring or fall then a 3 season bag would be best. If you would like to do more investigating into your sleeping bags then you can also look into gender specific bags, the shape of the bag (rectangular or mummy), and the type of filling that the bags are filled with. Synthetic will dry faster if wet vs. the down which is much lighter to carry but will take awhile to dry if wet. Also, don’t forget your pillow!
Tip – Set up your tent and all of your sleeping gear as soon as you get to your camping spot. You do not want to be doing it in the dark when you are tired from a long day of fun. Also make sure that your tent is fully zipped up once it’s put up. You will also not want to come back to a tent filled with mosquitoes.
Right now we are in a fire ban that prohibits camp fires that are not in designated fire pits. With that being said you will want to make sure you have a propane camp stove or something similar that you can safely cook your meals while you are camping. Bringing extra fuel and a lighter is also a wise idea. You will also need pots, pans, mugs and utensils.
Tip – Don’t forget a can opener. It is one of the #1 forgotten items on a camping trip.
Don’t forget to plan out all of your meals and snacks for while you are away. You will also want to keep your perishables in a nice insulated cooler filled with ice that will keep things from spoiling. Also, don’t forget to bring extra water along with you! You will need it for more then just drinking. Think washing hands and cleaning up your dishes.
Tip – Seal up everything and do not leave anything out overnight. You will attract critters and possibly bears if you leave out food of any kind.
When camping you do not want to underestimate how cool the mountains can get at night. Make sure you pack along extra clothing that you can dress in layers. You will also want to make sure that you pack along some good footwear. You might see a trail or two that you want to hike. Or you might like to spend the day fishing. You will want footwear that not only keeps you comfortable but will also keep your toes dry and give you the ankle support you will need while walking on unlevel ground.
Tip – Buy some nice wool socks when you go camping. They will help to keep your feet warm and dry.
Other Miscellaneous Items
Other items you will want to make sure you have on hand are:
- Bug Spray
- Camp chairs
- camp sink
- pocket knife
- First Aid Kit
- maps of the area you are camping in
- hand soap
- dish soap
- scrub sponge
- paper towels
- hand towels
- trash bags
- prescription medication
Clean up after yourself!
One of the most important rules to camping is making sure you leave your camping spot looking better then you found it. I can not stress this enough, please make sure your fires are put ALL THE WAY out and clean up after yourself!
If it is your first camping trip we recommend trying out something close to home. For a list of close to home camping spots check out our post on Local Colorado Western Slope Camping Spots.
We hope you enjoyed this Beginners Guide to Camping post. We would love to hear about your camping adventures! Comment below and tell us how they went!