GoCampingAmerica.com | Posted April 12th, 2022

The Non-Campers Guide to Camping

Happy Camper Blog

So you’ve been guilted into camping with your outdoorsy friend. You’ve never gone camping before and don’t really want to start, but you’ve finally given in to keep the peace (and your friendship). Here are a few things you need to know that can make your trip easier. But watch out—you just might surprise yourself and discover how much you really love camping.  


Start with a short trip, close to home. The thought of starting out with a week-long camping trip might seem daunting, but you can handle a weekend, right? Starting out with a 2–3-day trip that’s a relatively short drive from home will raise your comfort level.


Check the weather before you go. You’ll be much more comfortable if you come prepared for any variations in weather that may come up. That may mean bringing a rainproof jacket as well as clothing that can be layered so you can make quick adjustments as the day goes on. Also, comfortable shoes that can withstand dust, mud and/or puddles are a must.


Plan ahead for your meals and snacks. To save yourself time at the campground, do any prep work that you can at home such as cutting up vegetables and grinding coffee. Then store everything in resealable bags and containers for easy access.


Don’t overpack. Sure, it may be tempting to just throw a lot of things in the car to have them “just in case,” but that can actually make your trip more stressful if you’re always searching for something. Just pack what you think you’ll need and leave it at that. The world won’t end if your favorite flannel shirt or hiking shorts didn’t make it into your bag.


Be ready for rain. This is just a smart thing to do, even if rain isn’t in the forecast. In addition to a rainproof jacket and shoes, bring along a tarp and some waterproof bags to protect your electronics and other valuables. Better to be safe than sorry. You also might want to bring along some card games or other activities to help pass the time in your tent or camper until the skies clear.


Come prepared. Bring along some bug repellant, sunscreen and a first aid kit. They’ll help make your camping experience more comfortable.


Let there be light. Small portable lanterns, headlamps and/or solar lights can come in handy when you’re trying to find your way around an unfamiliar place at night.


Practice fire safety. We’ve all heard the stories about wildfires started by careless campers. Don’t be one of them. If you start a campfire, make sure it is completely extinguished before you go to bed for the night or leave the campground.


Leave no trace. This is the mantra for all campers, whether they’re first-timers like you or old pros. Take your trash with you or deposit it in approved receptacles and make sure you leave your campsite in pristine condition for the next campers.


Enjoy the journey. This may be one of the most important tips of all. Take time to enjoy the fresh air and the sights and sounds of nature. Take a break from your screens and feel the stress start to melt away. Go for a hike or enjoy the art of simply doing nothing. And don’t forget to look up at the night sky to see the show put on by the stars and planets.


Since you haven’t done a lot of camping before, you might be surprised to learn about the wide variety of campgrounds and camping accommodations that are available to you. To get a good idea, go to GoCampingAmerica.com and enter in a destination you’d like to visit. Before you know it, you’ll be picking out a campground for your next camping adventure. Have fun!