A Beginner's Camping Guide
June 10, 2020

A Beginner's Camping Guide

Summer is here! The smell of fresh cut grass is lingering in the air, your swimsuits are in rotation drying on the line, the bbq is on and the smell of freshly skewered vegetables and chicken take over the backyard. Longer days filled with sunshine and beautiful evenings spent taking walks and eating outside are finally here and THIS is what life is all about. 

The list of things you can do in the summer is endless. From hiking, to kayaking, to surfing, to days spent on the beach, to family parties in the backyard, the list goes on. For me, my favorite thing of them all is to go camping. Once the summer hits, I can't get enough of it. 

Camping is one of the best ways to fully immerse yourself in nature and have the best summer experience. Whether it's your annual family camping trip, a guys weekend, a girl's glamping, or just good fun at random, you can't go wrong with being outdoors. 

If you're a first time camper or went once and had an ok experience, I encourage you to go! Think about a cool running river or a lake to swim in, frisbees, cookouts, s'mores by the fire, or laying beneath the stars. I can go on for days about the joys of camping however in order to make camping a successful, enjoyable, and fun experience, you must start with the basics. 

1. Use a tarp. 

In some cases, depending on the terrain and weather you could be fine without one. If you're beach camping you will be completely fine setting up your tent directly on the sand. However, it is always better to use a tarp and place it under your tent. It can prevent holes and tears from appearing on the bottom of the tent as well as prevent moisture from the ground from soaking into your tent and making your experience very uncomfortable. Putting a tarp will keep you and your bedding dry and keep your tent as good as new for longer. Sleep is extremely important not matter where you are so if you set yourself up as best you can, you won't spend your days yawning and wishing you slept better. 

2. Freeze your water before you leave.


This is a great trick, especially during those hot summer days! Freeze your water bottles before you leave and place them in your cooler instead of ice. This will keep your food colder longer and on top of that, when they start to thaw, they don't leak! Once they're melted you will have fresh cold water to refresh you from the summer heat.

This also will prevent more single use plastic from all of the bags of ice you would have to pre-buy before your trip. As a lover of outdoors and mother earth, I find it imperative to be more aware of plastic use. If you're using plastic water bottles, re-use them for all of your trips. Always remember to always put your cooler under the shade.

3. Keeping cool.

Being outdoors is great and all but if the days are super hot and you don't have air conditioning to keep you cool, it's important to do little tricks here and there to make yourself a bit more comfortable.

After a long day soaking in the sun you want to come back to a cool and refreshing tent. It is crucial to set up your tent under the shade. With summer temperatures rising you should look for a big tree to set up your tent beneath and never camp in direct sunlight. Always take your tent down during the day. Dissemble it when you wake up, and assemble it once again at sunset. This avoids your tent trapping in the heat all day. 

Try to select a tent with a lot of mesh. This is a double bonus because you have more air flowing into the tent and it prevents insects from entering. Get yourself a nice portable fan and you'll sleep like a baby. Don't forget to grab extra batteries because once you start with the fan, you won't be able to sleep without it! 

4. Power your adventure.

When the sun goes down and you are camping in the middle of nowhere, it is extremely important to light your campsite. The walk to go to the bathroom, having light when you're cooking, lighting up the path if your hike lasted longer than planned are just a few times you will be thankful for light! I NEVER leave without my headlamp. Hands free illumination in the outdoors is epic. 

Luckily there are many types of lighting gear for camping. Intervine's quality collection of lights meet all of your camping needs.

1. Led lanterns both small and large, portable lanterns to rechargeable lanterns with power bank functions.

2. Flashlights with both battery and usb charging options

3. Headlamps that are adjustable, comfortable, and battery powered.

Make sure to get the lighting gear that fits your needs. For example, a headlight leaves your hands free so you can start the fire, cook, set up the tent, or anything you need to do with ease. You can comfortably leave it on your head and switch it on and off when necessary. While if what you are looking for is to light up the outside of your tent to have dinner then a Led camping lantern would be better. Flashlights are great to have at hand when walking in the dark or searching for something. Always make sure that all your camping gear is high quality, you fully charge everything before you leave and bring back up batteries for longer trips.

5. Cooking.

Cooking while camping doesn't mean it can't be as just as delicious as if you were in your own kitchen. It requires good planning ahead about which types of foods you would like to bring and how much food you will need for the duration of your trip. If you're having trouble meal planning yourself there are A TON of grocery lists and recipes specially made for camping. Here is a great PDF printable checklist to use! Preparing soups/stew ahead of time, measuring out ingredients beforehand, rubbing your grill with oil to avoid food from sticking, and always storing your food in a high place to avoid unwanted visitors are a few of my absolute musts!

Make sure you pack a box of matches and a few lighters, bring your camping stove, or for even more fun, cook right over the campfire (if you are allowed to burn a campfire, s'mores anyone?). 

We are all beginner's at some point. You learn more and more every time you go and you'll always be adding little tips and tricks to your list.  Being surrounded by nature can lower your stress levels, improve your mood and most importantly create amazing memories! Now go out and breathe in that fresh air!