10 Essential Camping Tips For Beginners
There’s nothing quite like waking up and opening your tent to see a breathtaking vista of majestic grey-blue peaks, shimmering lakes and lush pockets of evergreen. If you’re tired of camping on the flat, pitching in the mountains offers a very different experience. However, as such, it will require some planning in advance especially if this is your first time camping or even if you have been before.
There are lots of things to consider before departing including checking plans, equipment and supplies. If you are keen to go camping and go out and explore the great outdoors check out our top tips and recommendations for staying safe in the wild, these tips should also help you enjoy a more stress free experience.
Check our top ten tips for campers below...
1. Choose your Perfect Destination
If you’re holidaying with your kids, there are plenty of family-friendly mountain campsites offering on-site entertainment and all mod-cons. At the other end of the spectrum, intrepid adult adventurers looking for a real thrill can try actual mountainside camping, which involves staying in a hanging tent hooked into a precipice. Nope, not for everyone! Between those extremes, though, you’ll still need to decide whether you want a cabin or you’re happier with the traditional camping experience, and how far you’d like to travel.
2. Go Prepared
Even if you’re planning to glamp it, you still need a decent pair of walking boots, a sturdy coat, cooking utensils, a waterproof tent and a warm sleepingbag. Depending on the terrain, a stick can be useful too. One downside of mountains is that they can get a bit cold, so a good camping blanket is a must. A waterproof camping blanket can handily double as an emergency covering, too, if you get caught in the rain while stargazing.
3. Take a Map & Phone
Even in the best supervised and/or guided conditions, it’s possible to get lost on a mountainside trail. Make sure everyone in your party has some kind of mapping device and that it has a signal. At the very least, pack a compass and a paper map if your phone’s GPRS isn’t working and make sure you know how to use them. After all, nothing ruins a good mountain camping holiday like losing a member of your party.
4. Consider a Working Holiday
You might even want to consider using your mountain break to flesh out your CV. If you work as a tour guide or climbing instructor, for instance, your skills will be needed all year round and you can always build on your basic training to take it further and even make a career out of it. Another advantage of a working holiday is that, although you sometimes need to put down a fee first, you get your meals and accommodation provided and the chance to make new friends from amongst your colleagues.
5. Pack Sunscreen
Going walking or trekking at high alltitudes will increase your chances of beng exposed to the sun. Use sunscreen everyday, even in winter and when it is cloudy just to be on the safe side. You should also pack moisturiser dryskin and sunburnt can happen no matter what time of the year it is.
6. Don't Go Alone
Your experience will be more fun and also safer if you travel with friends or your family. You could join a walking group, there are lots of organisations which organise camping tours in the USA and other worldwide locations. These types of tours offer the chance to explore new destinations and make new friends.
7. Inform Others
Let family or friends know where you are going camping just incase anything happens they will have an idea where to find you.
8. Plan Meals in Advance
See how long you are going to be away for and then work out how much food you will need. Be sure to pack water and energy foods like bananas and chocolate. Meals like pasta and noodles are also recommended as they are light to carry.
9. Practice Putting Your Tent Up
This might sound silly but before departing practise putting together your tent up before you depart. This will make it easier when you arrive at your destination and save you time.
10. Check the Weather
Before departing it is essential to check the weather before departing just to make sure conditions will be okay for you to be camping. If there is a terrible storm or snow on the horizon then possible change your dates or plan accordingly.