I remember our very first camping trip; we had absolutely no idea where to start.  I think in fact I was put off by camping with the family for years because I really had no clue where to even begin.  I mean, I had camped as a young lad with my friends around New Zealand, but that was so different compared to camping with a young family.

Over the years, I like to think I’ve learned a thing or two to make our camping trips easier.  In fact, I’m still learning how to make things easier, and it seems we improve our camping experience with every trip.

So below, I thought I’d provide some of my best camping tips for beginners which I’ve learnt over the years.  Hopefully with these first time camping tips, you’ll be less daunted by the thought of your taking your family out on their first camping adventure.

If you like to camp in Queensland, join our Queensland Camping FB group where you can talk with other campers, ask for advice and share your own camping experiences.

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Top 10 Best Camping Tips for Beginners

Camp with people who have camped before

One of my top tips for camping is that for your very first camping trip, go with someone else who has done it before.  This will help you ease into the camping experience but should also save you money as you won’t need to be completely decked out for your first camping trip as your mates will have all the gear.  All you’ll need is somewhere to sleep and sit.

During that first camping experience, watch and learn from your mates, ask them questions etc etc and you’ll feel much more confident when you decide to go on your own.

Choose a campground with good facilities

This is not overly important if your first camp trip you go camping with experienced campers, but it might be helpful for at least your first few camping trips to choose a campsite which has good facilities such as showers and toilets as well as a camp kitchen.  This will help you build up some confidence with your camping skills and also mean you don’t need to buy all the equipment first go as you can use the campground facilities.

Download a good camp checklist

Trying to figure out what you need for camping can be a real nightmare.  For those first few camping trips, we wrote a list every time we went on a trip.  Now we just have a master list that we tick off each time.  This saves us from worrying if we remembered everything.

And look – here’s one I prepared earlier….  you can download the checklist we use here.

Check your camping gear a few days before

I also recommend that you have a quick check of your camping gear a few days before your trip, in case you need to get anything.  One I think I always check is whether we have enough gas and that the connectors are working for the stove.  This has caught us out a few times in the past, so I always check it now.

Plus anything new you’ve bought, check it out.  Make sure you know how it works and that all the parts are there and in good working order.

Trial your tent

If you’ve never put up your tent before, be sure to have a trial run at home.  You’d hate to put it up at the campsite only to realise something was missing or you needed something extra.

Don’t buy everything straight up

So what I mean here is, don’t buy the best tent and the best sleeping bags and best camping chairs etc etc for the first trip.  What if you hate it and never go again?

Also I find that I like to check out other people’s tent sites and get ideas of things I might want to get in the future.  You’ll also find that you learn as you go camping what things work for you, you won’t know this before you’ve been camping a few times.

Plan meals and share with others in your group

If you are going camping with others, I highly recommend you set up a meal plan of some sort and share the load of who brings what.  This has many advantages, like not having to cook for every meal, sit back and relax while your mates cook one meal and you do the next.  Plus you’ll save space in the esky by not having to bring heaps of different meals along.

We’ve also learned from experience that when kids see their mates having something different to them, they’re likely to complain.  So much easier if everyone is eating the same thing.

Put food and rubbish away at night

Probably sound like common sense to everyone, but we learned the hard way when on one of our earlier camping trips, we woke to a bloody cow (yep a bloody cow!) in our campsite eating our food and going through our rubbish.  Whenever you leave your campsite or go to sleep, make sure all food and rubbish is well secured and out of sight for any animals wandering around.

Keep notes for next time

This probably sounds a bit strange, but we always make notes on our phone of things we forgot or might need for future camping trips – while we are camping.  Then when we return from our camping trip, we add the notes to our master list, so next time we are better prepared.

We find now we don’t tend to have many notes, as we appear to have got this camping gig down pat, but during those first few camping trips, we had stacks of notes.

Clean your equipment as you go

One mistake we learned the hard way, was taking the time to clean our camping equipment as we go.  If you just throw everything back into the car, you’ll need to unpack it and clean it all when you get home, which is so annoying.  I recommend you take your time packing up your campsite and cleaning all the equipment as you go.

When you get home, put everything away clean and neatly, so it’s ready for the next trip.

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And there you have it, just a few little camping tips and ideas to help you with your first camping trip.  But most of all –  have fun!  Camping really is a great experience.

If you like to camp in Queensland, join our Queensland Camping FB group where you can talk with other campers, ask for advice and share your own camping experiences.

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