A Beginner’s Guide to Camping: 10 Things You Should Know Before Going Camping
A Beginner’s Guide to Camping: 10 Things You Should Know Before Going Camping
You are going camping for the first time. You are both excited and nervous. Well, number 1, it is because you have never been to the great outdoors and number 2, trying things for the first time is always scary. There is a lot that you don’t know, and the worst part is, you don’t even know what it is that you need to know.
You get what I mean, right?
You are having a lot of questions in your mind, wondering about this and that, sometimes up to a point that you are panicking and starting to change your mind about the whole camping trip. The closer you are to the day, the stronger the urge to just call everything off.
I know the feeling. I have been there. So not to worry, I’ve got your back.
Here are the 10 things that you need to know before going camping
#1 Research Campsite
First thing first, you need to know where to go – well, duh. You also need to know everything about the site you’re going to. It is best to dig up some information about its facilities, the distance from home, the road, the distance from the carpark to the site – will you need to hike a little?
Try to gather up as much information and reviews about the place as much as you can until you have some idea what to expect from the site. This will help with your packing and selecting tents later.
Here’s one way to do it: ask Uncle Google! It’s 2021, you can google up almost everything.
But here’s a pro tip:
Get yourself to join the camping community and get them to share their opinions about the site you’re going to. They should be able to help you and provide some tips & tricks.
How to do this: Join Facebook Groups!
Here’s some recommendation for you:
#2 The Perfect Tent
Okay, now that you have had your campsite down, it is time to pick out your tent. You will honestly be surprised at how many kinds of tent there is out there – or maybe that’s just me.
You can read about the types of tenthere:
But oh my god, how would you choose which one would be perfect for you? Okay, okay, don’t freak out just yet.
Ask yourself these questions:
1. How many people will be joining the trip?
2. How many people will be sharing a tent?
3. Do you prefer comfort and having enough space?
4. Your budget?
Don’t buy your own tent first, rent or find a site that provide tents. Get the feel first before investing into a good tent. We suggest renting because you would have the freedom to choose your tent.
#3 Make a Checklist
The best camping trip is the properly planned trip. It is never fun to arrive at the campsite and realizing that you had forgotten something. You’re off to a camping trip to get away from the bustling city and release some pent-up tensions, so let’s not add more stresses during the trip.
So, avoid that by planning and making a checklist of all the items you will need and want to have with you during the trip. Using it while packing and ticking off every item as you go can help you to make sure nothing gets left behind.
#4 Plan your Meals
Cooking and meal prep can be a hassle, especially when you’re out there on the campsite and might have limited utensils as compared to when you’re at home. Hence, it is best to plan out your meals. This can help to make sure that you have all the ingredients needed as well as optimise your budget and your backpack or transport space.
What to consider when planning your meals:
1. How many meals will you be making?
2. For how many people? – And the size of their portion?
Cooking at the campsite can take up a much longer time. So, remember to pack up snacks or light food you can munch on while waiting.
Also remember to pack some ready to eat meals or food that doesn’t require cooking in case there are any problems in firing up the stove or fire pit.
Need some inspirations? You can check out some recipes on our YouTube channel.
#5 Pack Suitable Clothing
Some might disagree on this, but it is still very important to be comfortable during your camping trips. Especially if you are new to camping. Being uncomfortable throughout the trip would be the number 1 reason for you to bail out of it. Therefore, make sure you pack up suitable clothing. Avoid heavy materials such as cotton and denim and opt for a lighter, odour-resistant, and quick-drying materials instead.
Things you need to consider while packing your clothing:
1. The weather conditions – you might want to have some rain gears ready, have dry spares, and keep those dry spares in waterproof containers.
2. The activities – different activities may require different kind of clothing. You need swimsuits to swim, right?
Please also remember to pack up enough clothing for the whole trip – including spares – as there is no laundry services out there.
#6 Practice Setting Up Your Tent
Pitching your tent for the first time in your life can be a struggle. It is best to practice setting up and taking down your tent at home before going on the actual trip. This will help you to figure out how to set up the tent correctly and get the feel of how it is supposed to look like. You can also take this opportunity to check the tent for rips and holes.
This will also help you to save time and energy during the actual camping trip.
Don’t just stop at the tents. Practice and get familiar with all of your camping gears too. This can help you to avoid wasting time struggling and figuring out how each gear works. Use the time to also check if they are working properly. It’s no fun finding out that your camping gears are broken once you’re at the campsite, right?
#7 Camp Close to Home
It’s your first time camping. It can be scary. You might change your mind halfway and want to return home early. Camping close to home can give you the freedom of bailing out of it whenever you want. It’s okay, you can try again next time 😉
Not only that, camping close to home also makes it easier to return home in the case that you had forgotten some items or run out of food. In addition, going to a closer campsite means that it requires less planning, easier commute, and even allows you to have a more flexible scheduling.
#8 Prepare for the Weather
Although the weather in Malaysia is quite consistent – it’s either sunny or raining all year round -- it is still best to check the weather forecast before going on your camping trip. This can help you to prepare for the weather, which helps with your packing.
If it’s going to rain, maybe you’ll need some extra items and spare clothing. If it’s going to be hot all day, maybe you can reduce some of the loads. Got it?
In addition, checking the weather can also help you to plan your journey and avoid any unwanted incidents such as watershed (malay: kepala air).
#9 Leave no Trace
You’re supposed to take your trash with you and dispose of them properly, at the right site.
Some sites may provide garbage disposal site. But most does not. So always remember to pack up some trash bags or reuse plastic bags to collect your trash and take them home. Also make sure to extinguish your campfire properly and leave absolutely no trace behind.
Remember, it is a shared space. So, be considerate of other campers too!
#10 Bring Along an Experienced Camper
And finally, get a friend or any person with camping experience to tag along with you. They can act as a guide and help you to learn things quicker. You can also take the chance to squeeze out as many tips and tricks from them as much as possible.
Anyway, having an experienced camper with you means it will be less of a hassle and you don’t have to waste time trying to figure things out yourself. Be smart, take an experienced camper with you and you’ll get a shortcut to the camping world.
Where to find them:
1. Ask Newt Scamander :p
2. Join the camping community on social media, especially Facebook Groups & Twitter.
Don’t stress too much about getting things perfect. It is after all, your first time. Just go out there, have some fun, make some mistakes, and enjoy the great outdoors.
Until next time,