You have finally decided to take the plunge and see why everyone raves about camping. I mean, seriously… what’s the big deal? Before I camped over a 100 days in 2013, I had maybe camped a dozen times in my life. I loved going out into nature, but give me a warm cozy bed at the end of the night, not the cold, hard ground. I am here to tell you that camping does something to you, opens you up and connects you to nature in a way that no hotel can. Check out my tips for first time tent campers.
Don’t Buy a Cheap Tent. Seriously, don’t do it. Go to REI and buy a good, 2- or 4-person tent. If anything happens to that tent (like a squirrel eating it – true story), they will replace it. Their tents pop-up in minutes and don’t require a PhD to put together.
Buy a 20-Degree Sleeping Bag. When I first started out, I bought a 45-degree bag in Phoenix, because, well, that was considered cold! After living in Alaska, I would recommend a 20-degree bag to anyone weekend camping and a 0-degree bag to anyone camping in the winter. Get the double if you are like me and like to spread out.
Air Mattress or Air Pad. For two years, I had a self-inflating air pad. I moved up to an Aerobed as the ground in AK is a wee bit colder. One camping hack I learned was to put the air pad under the air mattress to give another layer of insulation from the ground.
Related: Camping Memory Match Game
Tent Liners. You need a plastic liner down before you setup your tent. You can buy a tent footprint, that costs $25+, or you can use a tarp as well. In a pinch, pickup those cheap shower curtain liners.
Ice it Down. One bag of ice lasts roughly one day. A good tip if you are going away for the weekend is to have an extra ice chest filled with ice that you can transfer to the beverage and food coolers. This is especially important if you are going somewhere that doesn’t have a store nearby. And yes, have a separate cooler for your food and drinks as you will get into the drink one much more often and melt that ice faster.
Turn Your Phone Off. Escaping into nature is a great way to set the tech down and experience the world around you. Instead of having headphones in, listen to the water in the stream, the birds chirping, and all the other sounds of nature.
Ask me any questions you have about camping in the comments! Happy camping. 🙂