Camping is a great way to escape from everyday life and take in the beauty of nature. There is nothing quite like the feeling of waking up in the crisp morning air surrounded by birds singing, with the promise of an exciting day ahead. It’s an experience every nature enthusiast should enjoy. But for those who are new to camping, it can be intimidating to know where to start. What equipment will you need? Where can you book a campsite? How do you stay within your budget?

Here are some camping tips for beginners to make your first camping trip a success.  

Equipment 

Up first, the camping equipment you’ll need. Before you set out on your adventure, it’s important that you have all the necessary gear, such as a tent, sleeping bag, cooking area, chairs, and eating utensils, so you don’t find yourself stranded in the wilderness with nothing. Other handy items include flashlights, a first-aid kit, and biodegradable soaps.

Tent 

A tent is one of the most obvious pieces of camping equipment, but also one of the most important. Not all tents are equal when it comes to camping, so it’s important to find a tent that’s suited best to your needs. Ask yourself: how many people are you camping with? Do you want a waterproof or light-weight tent? Do you need any extra features, such as a screened-in porch or additional vents?

Sleeping Bag 

The right sleeping bag will help ensure you stay toasty and comfortable after a long day of adventuring. Before purchasing a sleeping bag, consider the type of climate you’ll be in and how cold it gets at night. Also think about how much compressing you need—do you prefer a lighter compact bag, or something bulkier and more comfortable.

Cooking Area 

Pack a portable propane stove and all the necessary pans, utensils, and cookware for easy meals on the go. Even a small setup can be a great way to enjoy some hot food and drinks, without having to worry about starting a fire.

Chairs 

Chairs will come in handy when you’re ready to relax and enjoy the view. Most campgrounds have tables available, but usually no chairs, so bring some lightweight camping chairs for added convenience. Don’t forget a few folding tables for prepping food and playing cards.

Booking 

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary equipment, it’s time to book your campsite. Availability and rates vary depending on the season and the location, so it’s best to book as early as possible.

National Parks 

National parks offer some of the best camping experiences. They typically have many campgrounds available to accommodate campers of all levels, from seasoned outdoorsmen to first-time campers. Before booking your trip, make sure to check the park’s camping regulations and obtain any required camping permits.

Campgrounds 

Campgrounds usually feature a range of options for campers. Some offer cabins and recreational vehicles, while others have a more primitive setup with pitches for tents and basic amenities. If you’re looking for a secluded spot, check out a campground off the beaten path.

Campsites 

Once you’ve decided on a campground, it’s time to find a campsite. Consider the size of your group and how close you want to be to amenities. If you’re seeking a little more privacy, look for sites further away from the main road or crowd. Remember, not all campsites are created equal—check for sights, sounds, and cleanliness.

Online Resources 

Online resources, such as camping reservation sites, offer a great way to quickly compare prices and find available campsites. Many offer detailed mapping, photos, and descriptions of the campsites, so you’ll know exactly what to expect. For national parks, you can check either the park’s website or its concessionaire’s website for more info.

Budget Tips   

Although a camping trip can be a great way to save money, it’s also important to stay within your budget. Here are a few tips to keep costs low.

Bring Your Own Food 

Instead of eating out, buy food that’s easy to prepare while camping. Non-perishable items such as pasta, canned beans, and noodles make great meals. If you’re going on a long camping trip, freeze some food beforehand that you can then thaw as you’re eating.

Shop Around 

Do some comparison shopping before booking your trip to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Look up national and state parks, private campgrounds, and other sites to compare prices. Also, keep an eye out for discounts and rewards programs.

Rent Gear 

If you don’t have all the camping gear needed for your trip, consider renting. There are many companies that rent camping gear, which can save a lot of money in the long run.

Camp in Group 

If you’re going with a large group of people, try to split the cost of campsites, as well as the cost of equipment and food. This will significantly reduce the cost of the trip overall.

Camping can be a wonderful experience for nature lovers, but it takes some preparation. By bringing the right camping equipment, booking the best campsite, and staying within budget, you can easily enjoy the great outdoors and make your first camping trip a success.