What should you know before you go camping?

Before you set off on a camping trip, there are a few things you need to know. This includes what camping is, why people like it, what gear you need, what types of camping there are, what skills you need, how to camp with your family and dog, what food to take, how the weather affects conditions, what fun activities you can enjoy, what precautions you need to take as a female camper, camping customs and traditions, what the risks are, how to take care of hygiene, how to plan a trip, and where to go.  

What is camping?

Camping is a form of outdoor recreation that involves spending nights in either a tent, hammock, or RV.

Why do people go camping?

People go camping to get away from the stresses of everyday life, for community, fitness, the scenery, the ability to connect with nature, and to spend quality time with family and friends. 

What is the main difference between hiking and camping?

Camping involves staying in a tent in either the frontcountry or backcountry, while hiking involves walking on a backcountry trail.

What is the difference between backpacking and camping?

Camping entails staying at the same campsite and arriving there either by vehicle or after a short journey on foot. Backpacking, involves staying at different camping spots over multiple nights and traveling between these on foot.

Why do people like camping?

People enjoy camping because it’s a great way to unwind, be in nature, spend time with family and friends, learn new skills, disconnect from technology, and for the solitude and sense of adventure.

What are the benefits of camping?

Camping is a more affordable way to spend vacations and see more than you might if staying in a hotel. It’s also a great way to reconnect with nature, disconnect from technology, get healthy exercise, and reap the other physical and psychological benefits of time spent outdoors.

How can camping improve your mental health?

Several studies have shown that camping can help reduce stress and mental fatigue, mitigate depression and anxiety, and is conducive to higher self-esteem and better moods.

How can camping improve your physical health?

Research has demonstrated that camping can boost your immune system, protect your vision, reduce inflammation, and help reduce the risk of heart disease, dementia, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, and multiple sclerosis by boosting your body’s Vitamin D levels.

What equipment do you need to go camping?

The most important items of camping gear new campers need to invest in include a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, camp pillow, camp stove, knife or multitool, pots and pans, first aid kit, and a headlamp. 

What are the camping essentials?

Any camping essentials checklist should cover sleeping gear, tools, kitchen, clothing, and hygiene.

  • Sleeping Gear. Tent, tent stakes/pegs, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, pillow, headlamp, lantern.
  • Tools. Multi-tool, saw or axe, duct tape, repair kit for tent poles and fabric, repair kit for sleeping pad, accessory cord, knife.
  • Camp Kitchen. Stove and fuel, matches or lighter, pots and pans, cutting board, eating and cooking utensils, plates, bowls, mugs, cooler and ice, water or water purification system (if needed), biodegradable soap, camp sink or wash bins, sponges, trash bags, dishtowels.
  • Clothing. Breathable, non-cotton underwear, t-shirts and shirts, hiking pants, shorts, fleece or jacket, socks (synthetic or wool), boots or shoes, camp slippers, pajamas, rainwear (jacket and pants), sun hat.
  • Hygiene. Toilet paper, toothbrush and toothpaste, biodegradable soap, wipes, period products, prescription medications, first-aid kit or first-aid supplies (see First-Aid Checklist), hand sanitizer, quick-drying towel, sunscreen, insect repellent, cosmetics.
  • Personal and Optional Extras. Cash and card(s), cellphone, ID, earplugs, dry bags, map and compass and/or GPS, power bank, books, games, camp chair.

What are the top camping brands?

Some of the best camping brands are listed below.

  • Coleman
  • Big Agnes
  • NEMO
  • MSR
  • The North Face
  • Black Diamond
  • REI
  • Sea to Summit
  • GSI Outdoors
  • Alps Mountaineering
  • YETI
  • Therm-a-Rest
  • Kelty
  • Exped

How to choose a camping tent?

When choosing between different tents and shelters for camping, you need to find a balance between weight, livability, waterproofing, ventilation, ease of use, durability, and features.

What are the different tent types?

The main types of camping tents are Dome Tents, A-Frame Tent/Ridge Tents, Geodesic and Semi-Geodesic Tents, Cabin Tents, Tunnel Tent, Backpacking Tents, Teepee Tents, Pop-Up or Instant Tents, Multi-Room Tent, Inflatable Tent, Suspended Tents/Hammock Tents, Rooftop Tents & Car-Top Tents, Bathroom Tents, Canvas Tents, Bivy Tents, and Canopy Tents.

What is a camping sleep system?

Camping sleeping systems are, simply put, the sleeping equipment you bring camping. This includes your sleeping bag, mattress or pad, and your pillow. 

How do you sleep comfortably in a camping tent?

To sleep comfortably in your tent, bring a comfortable sleeping pad or mattress, a warm sleeping bag, and a camping pillow. Choose a flat, sheltered spot to pitch your tent, open the vents and windows to avoid stuffiness and condensation, and keep all mesh panels closed to keep the bugs out.

Before hitting the hay, do a few light exercises to warm up, avoid drinking too much to limit toilet trips, and wear earplugs and an eye mask to block out noise and light from flashlights or headlamps. 

What essential equipment do you need for your camp kitchen?

The main items needed in a camp kitchen are a camping stove and fuel, matches or lighter, pots and pans, a knife, a cutting board, cooking utensils, a can opener, plates, bowls, cups, forks, knives, and spoons, a cooler and ice, a camp sink, a food storage container, soap and sponge, trash bags, a dishtowel, and seasoning and spices.

How to organize a camping kitchen?

The best way to organize all of the equipment is to buy or make a DIY camp kitchen with a solid worktop and plenty of storage.

What clothes should you wear camping?

When deciding what to wear camping, weather conditions are all-important.

When camping in spring, summer, or fall, you should wear quick-drying, breathable underwear, socks, pants, t-shirts, and shirts, and carry or wear a lightweight fleece or jacket. In cooler temperatures, you should also bring a beanie, a puffy jacket, and gloves. With an iffy forecast, rainwear is also a must.  

Are jeans OK for camping?

Wearing jeans camping is perfectly fine but we highly recommend bringing another change of pants – jeans aren’t suitable for hiking and take an age to dry out when wet.

Is a hammock better than a tent for camping?

Hammocks are often a better option than tents, especially if you’re camping in warm conditions, in buggy locations, or don’t like sleeping on bumpy ground. Tents, however, offer more shelter, more living space, and more privacy. That said, you can buy extra hammock gear to make your set up a little roomier, more private, and bug-free.

What are the disadvantages of hammock camping?

The most notable disadvantages of hammock camping are listed below.

  • You have far less livable space
  • You need two trees
  • You have to sleep alone
  • Hammocks sleep colder than tents
  • Less privacy
  • You can’t bring gear inside with you

What types of camping are there?

Below, we’ve listed all of the different camping styles.

  • Tent camping
  • Hammock camping
  • Tarp camping
  • Car camping
  • Backcountry camping
  • Frontcountry camping
  • Glamping
  • Dispersed camping
  • Stealth camping
  • Overlanding
  • Canoe camping
  • Truck camping
  • Bicycle touring
  • Survival camping
  • Backpacking
  • RV/Van camping
  • Ultralight camping
  • Bivvy camping
  • Winter camping

What is dispersed camping?

Any kind of camping you do outside of a designated campground is referred to as dispersed camping.

What other names is dispersed camping called?

Dispersed camping is also known as “wild camping”, “dry camping”, and “boondocking”.

What is car camping?

Car camping is simply camping at a location where you can drive and park your car.

What to bring car camping?

The most important car camping essentials are a tent, tent stakes, sleeping bags, sleeping pad, first aid kit, water bottles, water filter or purifier, map and compass, sunscreen, bug spray, knife, headlamp or flashlight, camping stove, cooler, cooking set, cutlery, collapsible sink, towels, matches/lighter, camp shovel, trash bags, camp chairs, and a camping table.

What is motorcycle camping?

Motorcycle camping involves camping at locations that can be reached by motorcycles.

What is glamping?

Glamping is a form of camping that involves staying in more comfortable and luxurious accommodation, such as yurts, treehouses, and teepees equipped with amenities. 

What is stealth camping?

Stealth camping is camping covertly in locations where camping is not permitted.

What is backcountry camping?

Backcountry camping is camping in locations that are not near a road or a developed area. In most cases, these locations do not have amenities.

What is truck camping?

Truck camping is a form of camping in which you sleep inside or on top of your vehicle instead of a regular ground tent.

What is canoe camping?

Canoe camping involves canoeing to or between camping spots, usually in remote backcountry locations.

What are the basic skills in camping?

The most important camping skills to learn are how to pitch a tent, how to start a campfire,

how to purify water, how to administer first aid, wildfire safety, wildlife safety, how to adhere to Leave No Trace principles, trip planning, and how to cook on a camping stove or campfire

What are some useful camping tips for a first-time camper?

Just a few of our favorite camping hacks include soaking cotton balls in petroleum jelly to make failsafe firestarters, cracking eggs into a bottle at home to avoid spillage, packing unused clothing inside a stuff sack to make a pillow, bringing a pee bottle into your tent at night to save having to get out, burning sage to repel bugs, collapsing your tent in the daytime to keep it cool, making single-use soap by shaving a bar with a veggie peeler, making a lantern with a headlamp and jug of water, and using your Nalgene as a hot water bottle.

How do you start camping?

Many organizations (NOLS, REI, Outbound) offer courses on camping for beginners. Alternatively, you should go with an experienced friend for your first few trips. 

If you choose to go alone, you should choose a destination that’s close to home, go in good weather, borrow or rent gear, practice using your gear at home before setting off, pack all of the Ten Essentials, and have a backup plan in case you run into trouble.

How do you set up camp?

To set up camp successfully, try to arrive early so you’re pitching your tent in daylight, and choose a good, flat spot for your tent. Once you’ve pitched your tent, create a designated kitchen area and  a campfire area (or ensure the designated campfire is) at least 20 ft from your tent. Next, locate a spot to store food (at least 200 ft from your tent in bear country) and find a toilet area – this should be at least 200 ft from any water source, campsite, or trail.

With that taken care of, your next steps are to sort out your lighting, place essentials like your headlamp in your tent’s inside pockets, inflate your sleeping pads and place your sleeping bags inside the tent. Finally, make sure everyone knows where different gear items are and keep them there.

How do you pack up your campsite?

The list below offers our top tips for packing up your campsite.

  • Extinguish your campfire properly.
  • Empty your tent and dry it off as best you can. 
  • Put all trash in bins or trash bags to carry it out.
  • Ensure you have left no food scraps for wildlife.
  • Sweep the area for any leftover gear like tent pegs. 
  • Leave no trace – do a final check to make sure the campsite is as you found it. 

How do you tie camping knots?

The best place to learn to tie camping knots is at home, before you set off on your trip. The most important knots for camping to learn are the clove hitch, trucker’s hitch, sheet bend, figure 8, and the square knot.

Why take your family camping?

Family camping trips are a great way to spend time together, unwind, learn about nature, learn new skills, and take part in all the fun activities associated with camping, such as hiking, campfire building, campfire games, and scavenger hunts.

How to prepare for a family camping trip?

Below, we’ve made a list of our top tips for preparing for a camping trip with your family.

  • Research your destination.
  • Make a reservation.
  • Have a ‘Plan B’.
  • Create a detailed gear checklist.
  • Test out your gear.
  • Plan activities.
  • Plans snacks and meals.
  • Stock up on first aid supplies, camping stove fuel, water, and food. 
  • Bring rain gear for everyone.

How to keep your family entertained while camping?

Before setting off, make a list of games and activities you can play or do at camp. This might include things like hiking, biking, cards, highlining, campfire games, frisbee, skill learning, or identifying plants and animals. 

How to make family camping educational for kids?

Below, we’ve listed a few ways in which you can make a camping trip educational for your kids.

  • Create a scavenger hunt
  • Bring field guides for plants and wildlife
  • Teach them new skills – whittling, starting a fire, tying camping knots
  • Plan daily activities together
  • Bring a star chart for stargazing

What is the best age to take your kids camping?

There is no perfect age to start camping with kids. The best time is, simply, whenever you feel comfortable. 

Can I camp with my dog?

It’s both feasible and fun to camp with dogs, but dog owners should be aware that many camping areas – most U.S. national parks, for example – do not allow dogs in their campsites.

Where do dogs sleep when camping?

The best place for your dog to sleep when camping is inside the tent with you or in the vestibule. They could sleep outside but you run the risk of them smelling or hearing wildlife and going AWOL.

What is the best food to take camping?

The best camping foods are generally those that keep well and aren’t affected by the heat. This includes rice, pasta, beans, canned tuna, canned meats, canned vegetables, cereal, jams, nut spreads, crackers, protein or energy bars, nuts, and fresh or dried fruit.

How much food should I bring on a camping trip?

As a rule of thumb, you’ll need around 1.5 lbs of food per person per day. This figure, however, will increase if you are hiking, biking, or doing other outdoor activities. To be on the safe side, we recommend bringing an extra day’s worth of food on any trip.

What are some easy meals to cook while camping?

Some of our favorite easy camping recipes are Breakfast Frittata,

Cheesy Sausage Pull-Apart Breakfast Bake, Campfire Nachos, Pizza Sandwiches, Steak and Sweet Potato Hash, Cheesy Skillet Spaghetti, Chicken Fajitas, Cowboy Sausages and Beans,

Skillet Cornbread, and Spaghetti Bolognese

How to prepare meals for camping in advance?

There are dozens of tasty make-ahead camping meals to choose from. Some of our favorites are Make-Ahead Pancake Mix, Overnight Oats, Cold Pasta Salad, Mini Quiches, Skewered Beef, Chicken, or Veggies, Chili Bowl, Campfire Pizza Log, No-Bake S’mores Bars, and S’mores Nachos.

What are some healthy camping food ideas?

Our favorite healthy camping foods are veggie sticks and guacamole, chicken and veg foil packets, chicken/steak quesadillas, blueberry overnight oats, campfire-roasted stuffed peppers,

campfire kabobs (veg, tofu, chicken, steak), and Greek yogurt fruit salad.

What are some vegan camping food ideas?

Some of our favorite vegan camping meals are Banana Coconut French Toast, Tofu Breakfast Scramble, Kabobs with Tofu, Spicy Chickpea Veggie Burgers, One-Pot Mushroom Pasta, Campfire Chili, Make-ahead Couscous, Sweet Potato Fajitas, Red Lentil Sloppy Joes, Artichoke Paella, and Foil-Wrapped Sweet Potatoes.

What snacks to bring camping?

Some of our favorite camping snacks are chips ‘n’ dip, beef jerky, trail mix, fruit leathers, energy bars/balls, dried fruit, hard-boiled eggs, nuts and seeds.

How to store food when camping?

In the daytime, keep all of your food stored in a cooler or inside your car. If you’re in bear country, then keep your food and trash in a bear canister.

How to keep food cold while camping?

The best way to keep your food cold when camping is with an insulated cooler like the YETI Tundra or Rtic 52 QT.

What camping foods keep well without refrigeration?

Some of the best foods for camping without a refrigerator are canned chili and potatoes, canned soup, baked beans, instant noodles, canned chicken, ramen, pasta and sauce, baked potatoes, pasta, rice, quinoa, couscous, instant potatoes, tortellini, boxed mac ‘n’ cheese, and cans of corned beef hash.

How to make coffee while camping?

There are various ways to brew coffee while camping. This includes instant coffee, coffee in a bag, the sock method, single serving pour-overs, pour-over drip stands, and cowboy coffee, and with an AeroPress, French press coffee maker, percolator, integrated cook system, or moka pot.

How does camping vary throughout the year?

Camping conditions vary significantly based on where you camp, when you camp, and day-to-day weather changes. 

In winter, you’ll most likely have to use a 4-season tent and 4-season sleeping bag and be prepared to deal with snow and ice.

In summer, the main challenges are the heat and bugs.

In spring and fall, it’s usually best to be prepared for any eventuality as temperatures and conditions are highly variable. 

What are the typical weather conditions for camping in winter?

Winter camping generally entails having to deal with snow, ice, and freezing temperatures.

How to stay warm when winter camping?

Our top winter camping tips and must-dos are buy 4-season gear, bring extra layers, pitch your tent in a sheltered spot, insulate your tent, do a few exercises before bed, eat late, bring a hot water bottle, bring a sleeping bag liner, invest in a tent heater, and use two sleeping pads for added insulation.

What are the typical weather conditions for camping in summer?

Summer camping generally entails having to deal with heat, humidity, bugs, and the odd afternoon thunderstorm. 

How to stay cool while camping?

To keep cool when camping in high temps, make sure you buy a well-ventilated tent. At your campsite, try to pitch in the shade and near water if possible, and ensure your tent door is facing the breeze. Take your tent down during the day to limit the “greenhouse effect” or use mylar blankets to reflect heat away from your tent walls. For sweltering evenings, we also recommend investing in a good tent fan. 

What are the typical weather conditions for camping in fall?

When camping in fall, you can usually expect less extreme weather and mild temperatures. In most locations, there’ll be a higher chance of rainfall but a lower risk of thunderstorms.

How to stay dry when camping in the rain?

To stay dry when camping in the rain, buy a three-season tent (with a large vestibule), use a groundsheet, use a tarp at the entrance to your tent, put a tarp over your tent, and make sure you pitch your tent properly. Store all gear in dry bags, bring a change of clothes, pack a waterproof jacket and pants, and open vents to limit condensation. It’s also wise to reproof your tent at the start of each camping season to optimize your wet-weather defenses. 

Are you allowed to camp on the beach?

Laws regarding beach camping vary from state to state. In California, for example, it is generally illegal to camp on the beach unless you have a permit or are at a reserved campsite. In Oregon, beach camping is not permitted within state parks or on beaches within major city limits. In North Carolina, beach camping is permitted at designated campgrounds.

How does beach camping differ from other types of camping?

The main difference between beach camping and regular camping is the terrain. When beach camping, your campsite may be tidal, and you’ll need sand anchors to keep your tent grounded rather than standard stakes or pegs.

Can you go camping in a desert?

Yes, camping in the desert is a unique and fun experience with the right gear and mindset.

How do you camp in a desert?

Our top tips for desert camping are listed below.

  • Pack plenty of water
  • Bring sand stakes or sand anchors
  • Stick to designated trails to avoid getting lost
  • Stay out of the sun between 10am and 4pm
  • Wear loose, lighter-colored clothing and a sunhat
  • Bring plenty of sunscreen
  • Bring a tarp to create a little shade
  • Bring a cooler

What special gear is necessary for mountain camping?

Specialized gear required for camping in the mountains might include snow stakes, a robust tent to deal with high winds, and a barometer to warn of incoming thunderstorms.

How does altitude affect camping conditions?

At elevations over 3,000 feet, you can expect to experience slight shortness of breath, fatigue, reduced energy levels, and headaches. Water will also take longer to boil, and if you have a generator, it will run less efficiently.

What are some challenges or difficulties of mountain camping?

When camping in the mountains, you may have to deal with snow, high winds, and afternoon thunderstorms. Above 3,000 feet, you’ll have the added challenge of altitude, which can make you feel breathless and sluggish.

How to choose a safe and legal campsite in the forest?

To ensure it’s legal to camp in any spot, check the forestry service website for the area before setting off. To make sure it’s safe, check wildfire forecasts, research the area’s wildlife, and don’t camp directly under any trees with loose or dead branches.

How to deal with wildlife when forest camping?

Below, we’ve listed some tips to help keep you safe from wildlife when forest camping.

  • Keep food stored in designated boxes or bear-proof containers
  • Make noise to deter wildlife.
  • Never approach or feed wildlife.
  • Keep pets on a leash.
  • Keep your campsite clean.
  • Store all scented items in scent-proof containers.
  • Learn bear safety practices.
  • Keep an eye out for animal tracks and droppings/scat.
  • Put a bear bell on your pet’s collar.

What are fun camping activities?

Some of our favorite fun camping activities are listed below.

  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Bird-watching
  • Geocaching
  • Playing Capture the Flag
  • A nature scavenger hunt
  • Tag
  • Mountain biking
  • Photography
  • Paddleboarding
  • Cornhole
  • Whittling
  • Stargazing

What games can you play while camping?

Some of the most enjoyable camping games are Flashlight Tag Cornholes, Frisbee, Charades, Hot Potato, The Name Game, Who Am I?, Tag, Ladder Toss, and Boules

What are some camping games for adults?

Some of the best grown-up camping games are Name That Song, Two Truths and a Lie, Fruits, Werewolves, Empire, Murder by Winking, Geography Game, Charades, Who Am I?, Would You Rather…?, The Voting Game, Twenty Questions, Sevens, 15/20, and I’m Going to the Bar.

What are some camping games for kids?

Some of our favorite camping games for kids are I Spy, Frog, Hot Potato, Charades, Chubby Bunny, Once Upon a Time, Skits, and Chinese Whispers.

How do you make a camping scavenger hunt?

To make a nature scavenger hunt, create a pictured list of plants, insects, rock types, and other items your kids can find in the area where you will be camping. At camp, brief your kids on the task and accompany them on their hunt!

What games can you play around a campfire?

Some of the best campfire games include The Telephone Game / Chinese whispers, I Went To Market, Once Upon A Time, Whistling Crackers, Stick Limbo, Hot Potato, The Name Game, Two Truths And A Lie, 20 Questions, Fortunately & Unfortunately, Make Me Laugh, Would You Rather, Who Am I?, Numbers, Tap the Stick, Charades, Skits, Chubby Bunny, and Truth or Dare.

What are some popular camping songs?

Some of the best camping songs are “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, Wild Mountain Thyme, “Take Me Home Country Roads” by John Denver, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King, “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash, “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show, “No Rain” by Blind Melon, “American Pie” by Don McLean, and “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond.

What’s the best way to learn star constellations when you’re camping?

The best way to learn the constellations is to download a stargazing app like SkySafari or Stellarium. 

What should women know about camping alone?

Camping alone as a woman camper is no more dangerous than doing anything else alone as a woman. There are, however, precautions you can take to make the experience safer, such as carrying pepper spray, not advertising that you’ll be alone, steering clear of any suspect characters you encounter, and carrying something (a phone or messaging GPS) to contact the outside world.

What safety precautions should women take when camping?

To stay safe when camping, there are a few extra precautions women campers can take. These include camping with a friend if possible, leaving an itinerary with a family member or friend, never advertising (online or elsewhere) that you’re alone, trusting your instincts (if you come across any suspect characters, steer clear of them and head to safety if need be), carrying a cell phone or a GPS device with two-way messaging capabilities, and carrying pepper spray (if legal in the area).

How can women maintain hygiene during camping?

To avoid urinary tract infections or yeast infections, bring plenty of extra underwear and wet wipes to stay clean on your trip. Make sure you take a Ziploc bag to dispose of the wipes and use antibacterial gel to sanitize your hands.

What are some common customs or traditions in camping communities?

The camping community has several unofficial customs and traditions observed by campers almost everywhere. The most important of these are listed below.

  • Camp songs
  • Eating s’mores by the campfire
  • Toasting marshmallows
  • Earning a trail or camp name
  • Telling spooky stories around the campfire
  • Campsite games (cornhole, flashlight tag, charades)

Is there any etiquette to follow in the camping community?

A few basic rules of camping etiquette are listed below.

  • Respect your neighbors
  • Keep your campsite clean
  • Keep the noise down and respect “quiet time” hours
  • Abide by Leave No Trace principles
  • Don’t cut through other sites
  • Respect the facilities
  • Control pets
  • Keep your lighting under control

What is the history and evolution of camping?

Camping as a recreational activity took off in the Victorian Era in Britain. The first known campground in the US, the Gunnery Camp in Washington, Connecticut, was founded in 1861 by Frederick Gunn. 

Camping continued to popularize in the early 1900s until the National Park Service created 34 Recreation Demonstration Areas (campgrounds) in the 1930s. 

Are there any famous campers?

The following is a list of celebrities who are known to indulge in a spot of camping.

  • Jonah Hill
  • Matthew McConaughey
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Jeff Daniels
  • Natalia Portman
  • Jennifer Connelly
  • Matt LeBlanc
  • John Madden
  • Zac Efron
  • Justin Bieber

What are the biggest health risks of camping?

The main health risks of camping are sunburn, sunstroke, heat stroke, dehydration, hypothermia, insect bites, sprains, concussions, cuts, and broken bones.

What is the most common injury in camping?

The most commonly sustained camping injuries are minor things like scrapes, sprains, and bug bites. Other fairly common injuries or health issues include sunburn, dehydration, sunstroke, heat stroke, and minor cuts.  

What should you bring in your camping first aid kit?

The most essential items to bring in a camping first aid kit include antibacterial ointment, antihistamine, antiseptic wipes or cream, assorted band-aids, butterfly bandages, gauze pads, insect sting treatment, medical tape, moleskin (or other blister treatment, non-stick pads, pain-relief medication, safety pins, scissors, and tweezers.

What are the biggest safety risks of camping?

When camping, safety should be your foremost concern. The biggest safety risks when camping are listed below.

  • Weather (flooding, snow, thunderstorms, extreme temperatures)
  • Wildlife
  • Fire
  • Insects
  • Poisonous plants
  • Altitude sickness
  • Falling trees
  • Getting lost
  • Hypothermia

Is it safe to camp alone?

It is perfectly safe to solo camp as long as you are prepared to be entirely self-reliant and responsible for your own safety and well-being. 

Some of the added responsibilities of camping alone are planning, transporting gear, and carrying out campsite tasks on your own. For safety purposes, we recommend not advertising that you’ll be alone and informing someone at home who you trust of your plans.

How to take care of personal hygiene when camping?

At established campgrounds, you’ll only need to bring along standard toiletries and make use of the facilities to take care of camp hygiene. At backcountry or “dry” campgrounds, you’ll need to find a water source and carry biodegradable soap. We also recommend bringing along wipes, hand sanitizer, menstrual products, and a Ziploc bag for waste.

How do I go to the toilet when camping?

If you’re at an established campground, this isn’t a problem as most will have toilet facilities. If you’re backcountry camping, things are more complicated.

Pee or poo? For the latter, dig a “cathole” that measures 4 or 5 inches wide and around 8 inches deep, take care of business, and then fill in the hole. Pack your TP in a Ziploc bag and carry it out. For the former, find a good tree blocking the line of sight from camp or any trails and get the job done. 

In both circumstances, make sure you are at least 200 feet from any campsite, trail, or source of potable water. 

How do I wash when camping?

At established campgrounds, you can make use of shower facilities – all you have to do is bring along your own toiletries and maybe pay a small fee for shower use.

At backcountry or “dry” campgrounds, you should carry biodegradable soap and wash yourself in rivers, creeks, ponds, or lakes, or “dry shower” with wet wipes.

How do I plan my first camping trip?

When planning for your camping trip, start by choosing a destination and then booking your spot in advance. Next, research the area for activities, amenities, facilities, and risks (such as wildlife or wildfire). After that, buy or borrow camping gear and practice using it. After making a meal plan and a packing list, pack carefully, keep an eye on the forecast, share your plans with a friend at home, then go camping!

What factors should I consider when choosing a campsite?

The following is a list of factors you should consider when choosing a campsite.

  • Accessibility
  • Amenities
  • Noise
  • Exposure – will it be exposed to the sun or prevailing winds?
  • Nearby water source
  • The views
  • Presence of wildlife
  • Tree cover (good for rain or snow, not so good if there are loose branches overhead)

Where are the best spots to go camping near you?

The best way to find the top US campsites is by either visiting the national park, state park, or national forest website for the area where you plan to camp or searching for camping locations on a specialized campground booking site like Hipcamp.

What should you know before going camping in Joshua Tree?

Our top tips for visitors to Joshua Tree National Park are listed below.

  • Bring lots of water
  • Bring sunscreen and a sun hat 
  • March through early June is the busiest period
  • Don’t visit June–August unless you really like the heat
  • Book your campsite well in advance or get there very early for first-come, first-served sites
  • Bring a telescope for stargazing
  • Be sure to visit Sky’s the Limit Observatory, the farmers market, art galleries, Skull Rock, Intersection Rock, and Cholla Garden. 
  • Bring your hiking shoes!

Where are some of the best Joshua Tree campsites?

Some of the best camping locations in Joshua Tree National Park are Jumbo Rocks Campground, Cottonwood Campground, Black Rock Canyon Campground, Indian Cove Campground, White Tank Campground, Sheep Pass Campground, Ryan Campground, and

Hidden Valley Campground.

Do you need a permit to camp in Joshua Tree?

Yes, a permit is required to camp at all Joshua Tree campgrounds. Some of the park’s 500+ campgrounds are first come, first served, but you’ll have to make reservations for others during the peak season.

What should you know before going camping in Yosemite?

Below, we’ve listed a handful of things that campers planning a visit to Yosemite should know.

  • Go in early spring or late fall to avoid the crowds.
  • Don’t visit on summer weekends if you prefer quiet campsites.
  • Arrive early to secure a campsite.
  • Make reservations for camping in the Yosemite Wilderness well in advance.
  • Be prepared for extreme weather – the valley can reach highs of 100 and lows of freezing even in summer months.
  • Have a backup plan – make sure you know what options are available if you can’t secure a campsite in the valley.
  • Consider free camping on the BLM and USFS land surrounding the park.
  • Campsites here can be noisy – bring earplugs and patience!
  • The Visitor Center is the only spot where you’re guaranteed cell signal.
  • Showers are available at Curry Village ($5).
  • There be bears – make sure you abide by the park’s bear safety rules.

Where are some of the best Yosemite campsites?

Some of the best campsites in Yosemite National Park are Lower Pines, Upper Pines, Tuolumne Meadows, North Pines, Wawona, White Wolf, Camp 4, Curry Village, and Yosemite Creek.

Do you need a permit to camp in Yosemite?

A wilderness permit is required year-round for any overnight stay in the Yosemite Wilderness. Reservations are required to stay at any of the park’s 13 established campgrounds.

What should you know before going camping in Big Sur?

Below, we’ve listed a handful of things that campers planning a visit to Big Sur should know.

  • The best time to camp in Big Sur is from March to May, or September to November.
  • Campsites here are popular, so make sure you make reservations months in advance.
  • First-come, first-served camping is available in Andrew Molera State Park and the Los Padres National Forest.
  • Car camping on BLM land is a good backup option if the campsites are full.
  • Overnight camping is not permitted along Highway 1.
  • Campfires and BBQs are only permitted in designated campgrounds.
  • Rattlesnakes are common in the area, so it’s wise to wear boots and long pants.
  • Ticks are also a problem, so be sure to carry out regular checks.
  • Stock up on fuel and water before you arrive – both can be very expensive in the area.
  • Bring your hiking shoes – Big Sur is home to dozens of amazing hiking trails of all difficulty levels.

Where are some of the best Big Sur campsites?

Some of the best Big Sur campsites are Kirk Creek Campground, Limekiln State Park, Pfeiffer State Park, Plaskett Creek Campground, Ventana Campground, and Fernwood Resort Campground.

Do you need a permit to camp in Big Sur?

While you don’t need a permit to camp in Big Sur, you must camp in designated campgrounds, most of which you’ll need a reservation for. The exception to this rule is Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, such as Los Padres National Forest, where there are plenty of spots for free roadside camping.

What should you know before going camping in the Grand Canyon?

Below, we’ve listed a handful of things that campers planning a visit to the Grand Canyon should know.

  • Roads around the park and trails are subject to temporary closures.
  • Avoid peak season – and expect crowds even in quieter months.
  • For a quieter time of things, head to the North Rim.
  • Reserve accommodation well in advance.
  • Permits are required for overnight stays within the park. 
  • Be prepared for elevation changes – the elevation of the North Rim is around 8,000 feet, while the Colorado River, at the bottom of the Canyon, sits at around 2,200 feet.
  • Shade is hard to find – pack plenty of sunscreen and wear a sunhat and lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • A free shuttle bus operates on the South Rim. 
  • Bring microspikes if visiting in spring or fall in case there’s ice on the trails.
  • The South Rim has two year-round campgrounds and two seasonal campgrounds, while the North Rim has only two seasonal campgrounds.

Where are some of the best Grand Canyon campsites?

Some of the best campsites in Grand Canyon National Park are Mather Campground, North Rim Campground, Desert View Campground, Trailer Village Campground, Phantom Ranch, Tuweep Campground, and Grand Canyon Village Campground.

Do you need a permit to camp in the Grand Canyon?

Yes, if you plan to camp anywhere in the park other than the developed North Rim or the South Rim campgrounds, a permit is required.

What should you know before going camping in Lake Tahoe?

Below, we’ve listed a handful of things that campers planning a visit to Lake Tahoe should know.

  • Reserve a campsite – spots go fast from late May through September
  • Bring your hiking boots, fishing gear, and swimsuit!
  • Bring a bucket to wash your clothes and plates in – washing them in the lakes, rivers, or streams isn’t permitted. 
  • Many campsites require a campfire permit – make sure you get one before starting yours.
  • Bring warm clothes – nighttime temperatures can drop into the 40s even in summer.
  • Acclimate – Lake Tahoe is situated at over 6,200 feet, so you may need a few days to acclimate to the thinner air before embarking on any serious hikes.  
  • Cover up and use sunscreen – the elevation also means you’re more susceptible to sunburn. 

Where are some of the best Lake Tahoe campsites?

Some of the best Lake Tahoe campgrounds are Sugar Pine Point State Park, Fallen Leaf Campground, Eagle Point Campground, Campground by the Lake, D.L Bliss State Park Campground, Meeks Bay Resort and Marina, Meeks Bay Campground, Zephyr Cove Resort, and Nevada Beach Campground.

Do you need a permit to camp in Lake Tahoe?

Most of Tahoe National Forest is open to free or “dispersed” camping.

What should you know before going camping in Texas?

Below, we’ve listed a handful of things that campers planning a visit to Texas should know.

  • Texas is big and weather conditions vary greatly across the state. East Texas is green and forested in many parts, while West Texas is mainly desert. In summer months, South Texas is extremely humid, while North Texas is prone to dramatic thunderstorms and funnel tornadoes.
  • Summer temperatures can, and frequently do, reach the 110s – take cover in the hottest hours of the day, bring plenty of sunscreen, cover up, wear a sunhat, and bring plenty of water.
  • Bug spray is a must!
  • Some of the critters you need to avoid include black widow spiders, rattlesnakes, cottonmouth snakes, copperheads, and fire ants.
  • Book your campground in advance – places go fast in the peak season.
  • Primitive and free camping is available in many BLM locations.
  • Dress in lightweight, light-colored clothing to beat the heat.
  • Texas is home to 89 state parks, historic sites, and natural areas, and two national parks (Big Bend NP and the Guadalupe Mountains NP).

Where are the best camping sites in Texas?

Some of the best camping in Texas can be found at Inks Lake State Park, Burnett County, Big Thicket National Preserve, Colorado Bend State Park, Big Bend National Park, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Fredericksburg RV Park, Padre Island National Seashore, Grand Texas RV Resort, Lost Maples State Natural Area, and Dellanera RV Park, Galveston.