Camping For Beginners – Tips To Enjoy Camping This Summer

Last Updated on July 28, 2022

Camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and spend time with family and friends. However, for first-timers, camping can be a daunting task. Don’t worry! We are here to help you make the most of your camping experience. In this blog post, we will provide tips on how to enjoy camping this summer.

For us, a wonderful journey means a lot of camping on our road trips. There’s nothing quite like being surrounded by nature while sleeping beneath the stars. We adore the sensation of allowing our kids to play freely in nature. There’s nothing better than seeing the kids enjoy nature, not be afraid of getting their hands dirty, and exploring. I hope they never lose their sense of wonder. Some of our kids’ greatest moments have been spent “around a campfire.”

We love when there’s a great lake! (Alouette Lake, BC)

Know Your Type Of Camping

You might be shocked to learn that there is more than one form of camping. When people think about camping, the first thing that comes to mind is a tent set up and a fire, which is only one aspect of a much larger picture.

Whether you’re going on an overnight excursion outside, a weekend getaway, or simply a day trip, you may check out the following popular sorts of camping to make sure you are preparing for a camping trip that you will enjoy!

The advantages and drawbacks of each type of camping vary. We’ll go through these various sorts of camping, so you can have a better sense of what sort you’d enjoy.

Adventure camping: This is a form of camping that emphasizes activities like racing and mountain biking. Camping at night is done in an uncomplicated and basic way.

Backpacking: Backpacking is an excellent method to get away from it all and experience nature. It’s perfect for those with previous wilderness camping experience. Backpacking can be done in a huge range of conditions and styles. There are also extremely light backpacking trips, in which hikers only carry the minimal camping equipment needed. Whatever it is, backpacking necessitates greater strength and effort than an overnight stay at camp.

Dry camping: In a nutshell, dry camping is when you camp in an area with no access to natural water, such as a desert. Water must be carefully prepared in advance for dry campers.

Themed camping: The manner in which camping is conducted is referred to as camping style. Glamping (which means luxurious camping) and festival camping are examples of this type of camping.

Vehicle camping: Vehicle camping refers to the use of a specific sort of vehicles on your camping excursion. It might be a bicycle, a car, a canoe, or an RV. Some people like to bring their cars along for further mobility, but it comes at the cost of heavier baggage and weight.

Get The Right Gear

For your first time camping, stick to the basics. There really is no reason to go all out on fancy equipment that seasoned campers would invest in. We still stick to the basics, because really, we are a pretty simple family. The most important of those basics is your tent. Pick a tent that is simple to set up; let’s make sure that this will not be your last time camping! When it comes to a tent, size does matter. Select a tent that is slightly larger than what you require for a little extra comfort. As a family of six, we use this eight-person tent. If you do not need one quite as big, take a look at a four-person tent. Also, you likely will not want to sleep with your sleeping bag directly on the ground, or you will wake up feeling sore. Find a sleeping camping pad, or for extra luxury, an air mattress.

Also, headlamps may look a little silly, but once you get over that, they are the most convenient to be hands-free in the dark — especially if you need to wander to the washroom!

Elk Island, Alberta

Give The Gear A Whirl At Home

First, you don’t want to be trying to set up a tent for the first time when you’re already exhausted from a long day of hiking or driving. So, it’s always a good idea to practice setting up your tent and other gear at home before you go on your trip. That way, you can avoid any stressful surprises when you’re out in the wilderness.

Try out the sleeping bag to make sure it is comfortable enough for you. Assemble the tent to learn how it all fits together, ensure all the parts are there, and learn the tricks to compact it back up. Try out the lanterns to make sure they properly work and ensure you have extra batteries. Being stuck in the dark when you’re camping as a newbie would not be fun.

Another big one is the camping stove. Try it out at home to make yourself a meal; making sure the camping stove is adequate is important. A comfy sleeping pad will also help you get better sleep!

Dress In Layers

The key to comfortable camping is to dress in layers. This way, you can easily remove or add clothing as needed to adjust to the changing temperature.

Start with a base layer made of synthetic material or wool. These materials will help wick away sweat and moisture, keeping you dry and comfortable. Next, add a middle layer for insulation. This can be a fleece jacket or sweater. Finally, top it off with a waterproof and windproof outer layer.

Related StoryCamping Essentials: The Gear You Should Have

Be Bear Aware

If you’re camping in an area that is known to have bears, it’s important to take some extra precautions. Make sure all of your food is properly stored and keep your campsite clean. Bears are attracted to trash and food, so if you make sure to keep things clean, you’ll be less likely to have a run-in with one.

Leave No Trace

Always leave a campsite better than you found it. Clean up after yourself! This is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that everyone enjoys camping. When you pack up to leave, make sure that all of your trash is disposed of properly.

Bring A First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is an absolute must for any camping trip. You never know when you might need it! Be sure to pack bandages, antiseptic, pain relievers, and any other items that you might need in the event of an injury.

We also like to bring along our Jase Case with emergency antibiotics for any unexpected emergencies. It has already saved us from so many problems when we are traveling or off on an adventure away from fast help.

Weather Forecast

Be sure to check the weather forecast before you leave for your trip. This will help you pack the appropriate clothing and gear. It can also help you plan your activities around the expected weather conditions.

Plan Out Your Meals

Organizing your food ahead of time is generally a good idea when you’re camping. It’s also wise to plan how you’ll prepare at the campsite ahead of time so that it runs smoothly. You may also do a brief research on the neighborhood for possible restaurants or businesses to have as backup choices if you are not too deep into the wilderness.

Also, prep the food as much as you can! Pre-make pancake mix etc. It will save you a lot of prep time, leaving you more time for relaxing or adventuring.

Create some innovative goodies! We also think that preparing and enjoying meals outside enhances the flavor of food. Seriously, there’s something special about breathing fresh air while cooking on a campfire or camping stove.

Our favorite breakfast is making pancakes, eggs, and sausages. It is so easy to make, and nobody complains! You can pre-make the pancake mix, put it in the cooler in a ziplock bag, and then all that is needed is to clip the corner with scissors and it is a fast and easy breakfast.

Make A Checklist

This is probably the most important tip of them all. Make a packing list of everything you’ll need for your trip and check it twice (or even three times!) before you leave. That way, you can be sure that you haven’t forgotten anything essential. A few other things to remember are bug spray, sunscreen, a first-aid kit, and a flashlight.  Never feel embarrassed to use a list. It is so easy to get overwhelmed when packing and forget some key items you will wish you had. It is much more enjoyable if you get to your campsite with your essentials. However, remember that unless you have planned a trip far from civilization, chances are you can pick up some minor forgotten items.

Also, make sure your checklist is reasonable. Leave the fancy shoes and clothing behind in favor of comfortable athletic wear and hiking shoes or runners (and flip-flops for around the campsite).

Make Bathrooms A Priority

We always travel with a potty for the little kids for when an emergency happens and they cannot make it to the campsite toilets, be it outhouses or flushable, but making toilets a priority is not a bad thing. Assuming that if you are reading this you are a first-time camper, you will probably want to make sure your toilet situation is something that you can be comfortable with. If you are at a campground, you should also be able to check reviews to see if any comments have been made, good or bad.

Be Prepared To Disconnect

One of the best things about camping is that it allows you to disconnect from technology and enjoy the outdoors. However, we understand that some people might not be able to completely disconnect. That’s why it’s important to be prepared before you leave.

If you must, make sure you have downloaded any movies or shows that you want to watch on your laptop or tablet. You should also charge all of your devices before you leave so that you can use them as needed. And don’t forget to pack any adapters or chargers that you might need!

Bring some games for some after-dark fun!

Bring Some Entertainment

Aside from hiking, time at the lake, or other outdoor activities depending on your surroundings, you may be glad you brought along a book, some board games, and a deck of cards. A popular card game with the kids is UNO.

Soaking in all the nature can be wonderful, but you may welcome a slow morning or a way to wind down before bed.

You may even be able to find some unique camping options, where you would have to worry about bringing a little bit less — Sundance Lodges, Alberta

Check The Forecast

You do not want to be miserable camping. If you feel you are a fair-weather camper, make sure you check to see what the forecast is. If there is rain, ensure you bring a tarp or two, or a shelter to set up so you do not have to spend your entire time soaked, or wake up sleeping in a big puddle, because well, that is not any fun.

Clean Up After Yourself

Always leave the campsite better than you found it on arrival. If you brought it, take it with you when you leave. We cannot stress the importance of this enough.

Book In Advance

If you are a first-time camper, you will find it helpful to pick your campsite in advance by picking a campsite that offers online reservations.  Take advantage of that — it will make things a lot less stressful while you learn about camping. After that, if you want to try first-come-first-served spots, or do some real wilderness camping, you’ll feel more prepared and knowledgeable.

Give Camping A Fair Chance …

We are sure you can find some aspects of the camping experience that you love. Waking up to the fresh cool air and a warm hot chocolate and going to bed with a belly full of s’mores with the sky full of stars, is enough to leave us rejuvenated and happy campers. We love the feeling of freedom to do whatever we want when we want. It is relaxing to not have a set schedule and to have the ability to make it up as we go.

And, if things do not go according to your plan, take a deep breath, have a laugh about it, and remember that some of the best memories are made when things don’t go according to plan.  Embrace the messiness that can be life!


What are some of your camping worries? Anything else you would like to know?