Those who’ve gone camping several times since they were young may not be able to remember what it was like the first time they slept overnight in the wilderness. Those of us who first start camping when we’re much older have a wide range of feelings when we go camping for the first time, including excitement, nervousness, and confusion.
For your first camping trip, it’s generally a good idea to go with someone who’s gone camping multiple times. He or she can help you learn the ropes, and if things don’t go as planned—and they often don’t—they can help improvise so that everyone has a safe and enjoyable trip. Before you go camping, it’s a good idea to prepare and learn about what you should expect during your first time at the campsite. This will prevent you from getting surprised or finding out that you forgot to pack crucial supplies.
The Bathroom Situation
Though it may seem obvious to veteran campers, many people are unaware or simply don’t think about the availability of toilets when they are going camping. This will vary from place to place, but generally, you should expect to be much less comfortable than you would be in your bathroom at home. Nice campsites typically have flushable toilets as well as showers, but depending on where you go, there may only be outhouses for you to use. If you decide to go camping in the wild, there may not even be outhouses, and you will have to improvise.
Bugs and Critters
Living in tightly enclosed spaces, we often forget how large a role insects play in the natural environment. When you go camping, you will undoubtedly encounter insects all the time. With careful planning, you should be able to keep most of them out of your tent and food, but a few may get in occasionally. You should be prepared for this and not let it ruin your day. You should also remember to pack lots of bug spray. This will make your trip a lot more enjoyable.
It is also possible that you will encounter other animals during your time in the wild. To minimize your interaction with wild animals, make sure that you keep all of your trash in thick garbage bags. These bags should not be kept close to your tents and camping area. If possible, you should hang them from a tree, as that will be the best way to keep animals from getting into them.
Sleeping in the Wild
Some people love sleeping in the outdoors, but for a first time camper, it can be a stressful experience. That’s why it’s important to have the right expectations before you go. If you want a good night’s sleep, you should take time to invest in a good sleeping bag. If you don’t think you’ll be able to sleep on the ground, you may prefer to get an air mattress, as this might be more comfortable.
First time campers often underestimate how cold it will get at night, even during the summer. You should make sure that you pack enough clothes and layers to keep you comfortable at all times of day and when you go to sleep. Look for a sleeping bag that will prevent you from getting too hot or cold at night, and it’s a good idea to check the weather to get a good idea of what the temperature will be.
You should also be prepared for the sounds you’ll hear when sleeping at a campsite. Depending on the time of year and the location of your campsite, there may be lots of sounds coming from animals in the area. With the right preparation, these sounds won’t unsettle you or prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.
If you’ve spent your whole life in the big city, there’s a chance you’ve never really seen the stars. On a clear night in the country, you’ll see thousands of stars in the sky, and they will appear much brighter than they ever did from your bedroom window in the city or suburb. Unfortunately, it will be tough to get used to all the light pollution when your trip is over and you go back home, but you can always plan another trip!
Pre-camping checklists are an important part of any camper’s preparations. Once you find out that you’ve forgotten something, it will be too far and too late for you to go home and retrieve it, so it’s very important that you bring everything you need. To make sure that nothing gets left behind, you should make a checklist of everything that you absolutely need, and then double-check everything before you leave for the campsite. Forgetting one or two things is unavoidable, but as long as you don’t forget any of the most important equipment, you can still have a great trip.
The Joy of Cooking
As fun as cooking may be at home, it will be even better when you’re doing it outside. Imagine how much fun your life would be if every meal was a barbeque, and you’ll start to get an idea what campsite cooking is like. However, this is only true if you prepare and bring enough supplies. Whether you are using a campfire, charcoal grill, or a small propane grill, if you don’t bring the right equipment, food, and backup supplies, you may not be able to cook as much or as well as you planned.
You’ll Love It
Lifelong campers all wish that they could remember how it felt during their first great trip because the first time you get to spend a few nights outdoors, it’s a powerful experience. Camping is a perfect opportunity to spend time with family and friends, learn about yourself, and learn about the natural world, and it’s also a great chance to unplug from Wi-Fi and other modern trappings for a couple days. After your trip, you’ll feel refreshed, relaxed, and happy to have so many new memories.