Camping is one of the most enjoyable things you can do as a group or even as a couple. While it is a ton of fun, there are some things you really need to know before you head out into the wilderness without a plan. There are some basics you need to learn. Here is a quick look at some of the more important things you need to know as a beginner:
Beginners Checklist and Guide to Camping
Do Your Homework
Going out into the woods is not always easy. You have to know the weather possibilities, the terrain, the wildlife and even the water sources at a minimum. These basics are vital to you being prepared and they should serve as a template for your camping experience.
To begin, look at the weather report for the days coming. Different areas provide different challenges and you need to prepare for cold, rain, snow, heat and any other weather anomalies. When it comes to weather, it is best to be over prepared than to come up short of what you need.
The terrain is important because you need to know where you will be and what you will have to travel through. Knowing exactly where you will camp and how you will get there is a big key here. Make sure someone knows where you are going and when you should be back if you are roughing it. Also map out several water sources so that you have that very important resource in an emergency.
Knowing the wildlife is important for obvious reasons. You need to know who you are sharing the forest with when you go camping. Familiarize yourself with any dangerous animals, insects, plants and so on that are common to your area. Learn the basics of how to share space with them safely and what to do in an encounter.
Pack The Basics
Food, water and warmth are all keys here. Think about the various things you could need in the woods and then pack according to the homework mentioned above. The camping kit changes with each location but you will always need the following:
–Axe or Sharp Knife
–Tarps and Coverings
–Sleeping Bags, Sheets, Blankets, Pillows
–Storage Bags, Plastic Bags, Ziploc baggies, Trash Bags
–Pots, Pans, Eating Utensils and Plates (Paper)
–Water Jugs and Canteens
–Firestarting equipment, Matches, Lighters, etc
–Dish Soap and Rags
–Weather appropriate clothing
–Personal hygiene products
–Lantern and Flashlights
–Compass and Maps (GPS when possible)
–Bug Spray, Bear Spray, Whistle
–First Aid Kit
–Cell Phone w/Extra Chargers
–Plenty of Cordage
This list is a fairly comprehensive one but doesn’t really address creature comforts. Pick and choose these wants wisely because you have to carry them all to and from the campsite most of the time.
Use Your Common Sense
The biggest lesson in beginner camping is to use common sense. Don’t try to do things you are not equipped or knowledgeable enough to do. This can lead to all kinds of problems that can turn your camping experience into a nightmare.
Following these simple rules and tips will get you started but camping is an experienced based activity. That is…you will learn more each time you head out into the woods. It is one of the most enjoyable activities you can do when done safely, so head out and enjoy!
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