Series: The Beginer's Guide to Camping
First Time for Everything
There’s always a first time for everything and that includes camping. Whether you’re an adult or a young person your first camping trip might feel a little overwhelming. There appears to be a lot of tasks and tools to be considered before trekking into the great out of doors.
I remember my first “camping” trip quite well. I was about 12 and my folks agreed to let my younger brother and I take our tipi inspired tent in the backyard and sleep outside by ourselves. I’m pretty sure we had a couple of flashlights, some books, a canteen of water and some sleeping bags.
We were just kids who did what seemed fun; we didn’t put to much thought into our actions. As a new camper you should do the same. To many times new campers get bogged down in trying to plan for every eventuality and “needing” — read wanting — to buy all the coolest gadgets. But that makes camping a chore; chores are not fun!
The instinct to prepare for every eventuality while away from home is a good thing, it helps keep you safe. But new campers need to remind themselves that they simply don’t know what those events will be, they have no experience to dictate for what they should prepare. The key is keep it simple and build on your experience as you go.
- Choose your first camping location close to home. If the camp fire just won’t start in the morning you can always just drive home for breakfast, and that’s OK.
- Choose simple things for meals. Bring charcoal, bread for toast and sausage links to cook in the camp ground’s provided grill. Do you really expect trying to make pan biscuits and gravy over a wood fire will be “fun” on your first trip? Probably not.
- Keep your plans simple. There may be a lake for swimming, trails for hiking, lots of dead trees for gathering firewood, but you’re not going to get to all of those in one day. You will just get frustrated if you try to plan every detail of the day out. Instead, formulate in your mind what tasks will be essential (see below) for providing a safe and happy camp site and make those must do’s happen. Then just let the fun stuff happen as they may.