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A Beginner’s Guide to Camping
When economies slow down, one of the first things most people cut on is luxury goods and services. This includes vacation trips abroad or even weekend trips in a hotel elsewhere in the country. It’s, therefore, no surprise that more and more people opt to take a camping trip as opposed to spending large amounts of money on the luscious vacations abroad.
Maybe you’d like to go camping but lack the experience and are held back by it. No worries, this is a beginner’s guide to camping.
Essentially, the 3 main ingredients that make a successful camping trip are:
- Having a Good Tent
- Eating Good Food
- Paying Attention to Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
We will begin by discussing how to determine the right tent for you and your camping party.
First, let me say that the packaging on the tent displays can be somewhat misleading. I have personally found that if a tent and says it’s a two-person tent than in fact, two people can sleep in that tent, but that’s it.
This means there is no room for your gear or supplies. If it’s just you plus one other person, this type of tent would only work if you stash all your gear in a vehicle.
I suggest buying a tent made for the number of people that are going on the trip + two more. This means a family of four should purchase a tent that advertises the room for six people. This will ensure that there’s plenty of room for everyone including your gear. Camping is new and different enough for a beginner so the last thing you’ll want to do is cramp your surroundings. Of course, you can split your party across multiple tents as well but it takes away from the family experience and your kids might not be old enough to sleep in their own tent.
TENTS GENERALLY COME IN 3 TYPES:
A-frames are generally very durable but small. They usually only fit 2 or 3 people and they can be a pain in you know what to set up.
Dome tents are usually roomy – particularly in the center – which is mainly due to their sloping sides. These tents are also able to handle strong winds because of their shape. Moreover, they are by far the easiest to set up and pack away. This is, therefore, the tent I suggest for beginners.
Cabin tents tend to be very roomy with separate areas partitioned off. Unfortunately, a major drawback is the fact that they can be difficult and time-consuming to assemble or take down and pack away. If you’re planning on staying in the same spot for more than a few days, however, this is definitely a winner.
Although cooking over a campfire is part of the camping experience, you’ll make your life easier by investing in a two-burner camp stove. I’ll leave it at that as you’ll easily figure out for yourself how handy these are. As for the food – you’re going to want to keep things relatively simple. If you’re bringing the children or grandchildren along, involve them in the menu planning!
Potatoes, corn on the cob, cabbage, and onions can all be seasoned at home and wrapped in tin foil before cooking them in the embers of the campfire. Simple yet tasty! Other campfire favorites are marshmallows as well as hot dogs. Don’t forget about using hot dogs with baked beans – kids love that!
Cut up some vegetables and have some dip available. Keep some fruit in your cooler – they make for great quick snacks. Cold cut sandwiches are also great for in-between meals.
Other favorites are cheese & crackers or peanut butter & crackers. Peanuts in the shell are also great for camping.
A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
Now for that good night’s sleep. First of all, you need to plan ahead. Keep in mind that the nights are always cooler than the days so be sure to dress for that. Buy warm sleeping bags. Keep in mind that the ground is most likely not as soft as your bed at home.
Another great purchase would be a sleeping pad which you’ll place right under your sleeping bag, trust me, this will make a difference. Another option is to use an air mattress or purchase a sleeping bag that has a built-in air mattress.
Planning ahead is what it’s all about. If you get an air mattress of any kind, for example, make sure you have some way of inflating it. If you do end up forgetting your inflation device your lungs serve as a backup but it’s not easy or convenient that way.
Following the tips to cover the three basic components of camping should get you off to a good start to a safe, rewarding, and unforgettable camping trip.
Have a wonderful time and be sure to read our other articles!