Useful Camping Tips for Beginners

New to camping? Then you definitely need some useful camping tips for beginners!

Camping in a wood or forest is an extremely rewarding experience. There’s something very calming about getting away from city life and being surrounded by bird songs. Much more pleasant than the continuous drone of traffic.

Of course, there are some risks associated with camping in remote areas. The planning that goes into such trips is more involved than visiting a typical tourist camping resort.

Useful Camping Tips for Beginners

Some of the factors you will need to consider include:

Do you have permission to camp in the wood/forest?

Sometimes small woods may be privately owned or land may be owned by someone. To avoid being accused of trespassing, it may be prudent to check that you are allowed to camp there.

In most cases, land owners tend to be quite sympathetic to campers, provided that the campers are prepared to act responsibly and not leave litter or fire hazards. Reserve America’s campground directory is a good place to start if you are looking for a good campsite.

Make sure you tell people where you’re going

It’s maybe not as risky as going up a mountain, but any trip to remote surroundings can lead to injury or mishap.

It’s important, therefore, that you tell loved ones where you are going and when you expect to get back. This will enable them to raise the alarm if you haven’t returned by the appointed time.

Bring your mobile phone

If something does go wrong, it’s useful to have a mobile phone to be able to call for help. This might just be a case of being able to call for breakdown assistance if your car suffers a failure en route to your destination.

Some areas in the forest have poor or no service, but it’s still a good idea to bring your phone with. When you have good signal, check in with your family periodically. Let let them know you are safe (and where you are along the trail if you are hiking). Also, bring a battery charger for your phone. A variety of outdoor and/or solar-powered options are available.

Another item to consider bringing is a solar-powered camping radio. This will help you stay in tune with weather alerts in the area. The American Red Cross NOAA Weather Radio also features a built-in charger, flashlight, and emergency beacon.

Beware of natural threats

Depending on what part of the world you’re camping in, there may be wildlife to be careful of such as snakes, ants, bears, wolves, or other large predators. You should heed any warning signs or guidance given by locals.

It’s very unlikely that wild animals will attack you without provocation but some simple precautions are sensible, such as making sure that you don’t leave food lying about outside your tent at night.

Put together a medical kit

If you’ve travelled out to the countryside to find a wood or forest, the chances are that you may be a long distance from civilization. This means you are also remote from things we take for granted like pharmacies and hospitals.

Accidents occur, so it’s important to take a basic medical kit containing things like bandages, gauze, bug spray, and burn ointment. It’s best to be prepared for everything, including treating sunburn.

Pack an adequate supply of food and water

If you’re going away for a few days, make sure you bring an adequate supply of food and water. Don’t gamble on your ability to drink water from streams or forage from the land.

Dehydration can lead to all sorts of problems including dizziness and blurred vision. You need plenty of food to keep your strength up, too, especially if you are hiking or swimming during your trip.

Consider your comfort

While you want to pack light, a few items that make your trip more pleasant will be well appreciated. A favorite pillow or blanket is great to have when you are weary. Comfortable camping chairs are a nice luxury. Sometimes the little things matter more than you may think.

Include some fun essentials

You may think that you’ll be spending all of your time hiking, fishing or exploring. However, rainy days happen and bugs love to come out at night so you may have more tent time than planned. For these times, a good book, crossword puzzles, a deck of cards, or travel games can be a boredom buster!

Another thing you’ll want to consider is your campfire time. Fun foods like S’mores are a treat. A great bottle of wine to share can be awesome to have, too, for a chill night with friends by the fire. One of our favorite camping tools for such a time is the Corkpops Legacy Wine Opener. It’s light weight and has everything you need to effortlessly without affecting the taste of the wine or harming the environment.

Corkpops Legacy Wine Opener

Forget fashion, pack for the elements

Remember that it may get cold at night so make sure you pack some warm clothes, even if it’s warm during the day. Some waterproofs will also be a good idea in case it rains.

Remember, also, that to make the most of your camping experience you should make sure that you have the standard camping essentials such as a good sleeping bag, lanterns, a good quality tent and a gas stove for cooking your food. And also insect repellent and sun screen.

Hopefully, with all these preparations and precautions in place, you can enjoy a wonderful woodland camping holiday and will have loads of scenic photos and fond memories!

Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an the author of "Getting Laid" and "Getting Baked". A sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky, when she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s making tea and writing about country living and artisan culture.
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