The Essentials For First Time Campers

A kid and her dog ready to go camping

Camping is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy nature. It’s also a great way to improve your overall mental health. Camping has been  connected to the production of serotonin , a hormone that contributes to feelings of happiness and well-being. Spending time in nature has also been linked to decreased stress and improved mood. In addition, camping can provide opportunities for physical activity, which can further improve mental health.

So, grab your tent and sleeping bag and head out into the wilderness for camping fun and a boost in mental well-being. But if you’ve never been camping before, it can be a bit daunting. There are so many things to think about! Where will you camp? What will you bring? How will you stay safe?

Don’t worry. Given the right information, you will be able to experience your first camping trip with no hiccups. So whether you’re an experienced camper or a total novice, read on for the top tips for first-time campers.

Where To Camp

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make when planning your camping trip is where to camp. There are a few options available, and the best option for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. Here are a few of the most popular choices:

State Parks

State parks offer various camping options, from primitive sites with no amenities to developed areas with water and electricity hookups. State parks also  offer a variety of activities , so if you’re looking for more than just camping, they may be a good option for you.

Private Campgrounds

Private campgrounds offer more amenities than state parks, such as swimming pools and laundry facilities. However, they often come with a higher price tag. Additionally, private campgrounds often come with more rules and regulations.

Dispersed Camping

Dispersed camping, also known as primitive or backcountry camping, is on public lands without established facilities or amenities. This option requires more planning and preparation, as you will need to bring all your supplies and be prepared to pack out any trash you generate. However, dispersed camping often provides a more secluded and immersive nature experience.

Now that you know where to camp let’s talk about what kind of gear you’ll need for your trip.

Camping underneat the stars

What Gear To Bring

The gear you’ll need will depend on the camping you’re doing, and the time you plan to spend in the wilderness. If you’re car camping or going to a developed campsite, you won’t need much beyond the basics. But if you’re backpacking or doing any primitive camping, you’ll need to be prepared with all the essential gear. Here’s a list of must-haves for all types of campers:

Shelter and Sleeping

You’ll first need a few things for your shelter. The most common option is a tent and sleeping bag.


A tent is essential for any camper, whether you’re car camping or backpacking. Make sure to choose a tent appropriate for the season and the number of people at your party. A good alternative is a hammock, which can provide a comfortable and lightweight sleeping option.

Sleeping Bag

A warm and comfortable sleeping bag will ensure you have a good night’s sleep outdoors. Choose a pack appropriate for the weather conditions you’ll be facing.

Other shelter options include tarps or bivy sacks for more minimalist options. However, stick with tents if it’s your first time.

Cooking Supplies

You’ll also need cooking supplies to prepare meals at your campsite. Here are the essentials you’ll need for cooking:


A fire starter is crucial to building a fire while camping. Of course, matches are always a good choice, but other options are available if you prefer something more lightweight.

Camp stove

A camp stove helps cook hot meals, but you can also cook over a fire if necessary. Just make sure to bring the appropriate pots and pans for cooking.

Water supply

Make sure to bring a water bottle or container for each party member. It’s also a good idea to get a water filter or purification tablets if you need to drink from natural water sources while camping.

Trash Bags

If you’re doing dispersed camping, then you’ll need trash bags. First, ensure that you collect any trash you’ve generated during cooking; this includes cooking oil and yellow grease. Yellow grease is a biodegradable oil that can damage surrounding ecosystems if not disposed of properly. You can put this in a bag and contact a  yellow grease collection service  near your area. They can get the yellow grease from you, so you don’t have to carry it around.

First Aid Kit

Lastly, don’t forget to bring emergency supplies with you. A first aid kit is always a good idea, no matter where or how long you’re camping. Be sure to include essential items like bandages, antiseptic, and any prescription medications you may need.

Camping is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy nature. But if you’ve never been camping before, it can be a bit daunting. However, by following the tips above, you can have a successful and enjoyable first camping trip.



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