Posted on September 12 2018
Are you and your family thinking of making that first big camping trip? For many people, there's nothing more enjoyable than getting away from it all for a few days and becoming "one with nature." Whether you plan to use a tent, an RV, or other facilities, camping can be a great way to hit the reset button on your life.
Even so, you may feel somewhat apprehensive about your first camping trip. This is completely understandable since camping involves a lot of unknowns for first-timers. However, rest assured that with a little advance planning, you can do a lot to reduce your anxiety and make for an enjoyable experience. In fact, you may well fall in love with camping after you get that first trip under your belt!
So, how can you get started? Here are five things to consider when planning your first camping trip.
As with buying real estate, when it comes to planning your first big camping trip, you'll want to consider location, location, location! The right location can make all the difference in how enjoyable your camping trip turns out to be.
How can you find favorable options for locations to camp? A good place to start is this government website. There you will find information on public camping spots available nationwide. To find other spots, such as private campgrounds or RV parks, simply fire up your favorite search engine or mapping program and search for "camping near me." Or you might consider word-of-mouth, asking around from among friends, family, and other experienced campers.
When to go
Next to location, timing is one of the biggest factors to consider. Why? Consider this: If you go in the summertime, the weather is warmer. This is great if you like warm temperatures. Bear in mind, though, that many other people have similar preferences, so camping spots may be more crowded. Also, extremely warm temperatures can be uncomfortable. Yet, summertime camping can be an enjoyable experience for many people.
On the other hand, Spring and Fall bring cooler temperatures but possibly fewer opportunities, depending on your schedule. Even so, you may find that the camping locations are less crowded, and you may have fewer problems with wildlife during these time periods.
The bottom line: Consider the pros and cons and then choose the timeframe that works best for you.
Who to bring
They say you never really know someone until you travel with them. If that's true of travel in general, it's doubly true of camping! Generally speaking, it's good to bring along people who are not only comfortable with camping but who also make you comfortable—people you enjoy spending time with.
What to bring
Buying supplies for your first camping trip can seem a bit daunting. However, it doesn't have to be so overwhelming. Start with the basics, such as a tent or RV, non-perishable food, and toiletries. Bring appropriate clothing, which may vary depending on the time of year and whether you plan to also go hiking, swimming, and so forth. From there, you can work your way up to more advanced supplies and equipment, such as a generator or fishing gear. Diesel generators are going to be important if you perceive yourself needing any power or energy throughout the trip. This includes things such as charging your phone or needing to power a small stove. Once you know what to look for, buying supplies becomes a lot easier.
This is probably the most important step, so be sure to allow enough time to plan it in advance. Proper safety planning includes these steps:
- Make sure you have basic first aid supplies.
- Bring any medication you or your family may need.
- Learn about the area you will be camping in and any potential issues with wildlife, such as bears, snakes, and ticks.
- Let someone know where you will be and when you plan to return.
- Make sure that you will have a cell phone signal and/or access to a pay phone in case of emergencies.
- Know the location of the nearest emergency response units, such as police, fire, and EMTs or hospitals.
As you can see, there are some basic things that you will definitely want to consider before embarking on your first camping adventure. Even so, it doesn't have to be a terribly frightening experience.
On the contrary, with a little effort and planning in advance, you can have an enjoyable and memorable first camping trip that leads to many, many more. Why not start planning your trip today?