Try Camping: A Beginner's Guide

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So you’ve had it with civilization and figure it’s time to head to the peace and tranquility of camping outdoors? Slow down, you need to get a few things straight so that you make sure your first time “roughing it” so it isn’t so rough!

It’s always best for your first time to tag along with an experienced camper, but if that isn’t available, follow these tips:

First, keep things simple. Don’t overstock yourself.

You’ll need a tent. Again, keep it simple, a three-person tent is ideal for a couple while a six-person tent comfortably houses a family of four. Check the tent height, and give yourself plenty of headroom. when you’re trying to change your clothes, you’ll be glad you did. Practice setting up your tent at home. Being out at a campsite is the wrong time to discover the manufacturer left you a few pegs short.

Next, a sleeping bag. After finding the proper size, it is important to determine what temperature rating you want for the bag. If you’re planning on only going fair-weather camping, a summer bag is probably all you’ll need, Underneath that, you’ll want a good sleeping pad. It is not only more comfortable, the pad will act as insulation to keep you from losing body heat on the cold, wet ground.

Other necessary gear includes:
• Proper clothing (remember, it gets cold at night and can rain at any time)
• A lantern or flashlight – your cell phone has a flashlight, but we’re camping – so try to use your phone as little as possible (we dare you)
• A two-burner propane stove
• Cooler with ice
• Pot, plates, cups, and utensils
• Bottle and can openers
• Camp chairs
• Toiletries
• Bug spray
• Sunscreen
• First-aid kit
• Plenty of food and water
• Trash bags

The most important thing to bring is simply common sense. Avoid wild animals, don’t leave a mess, be courteous to other campers and exercise all basic safety precautions.