Not only if you’re a beginner to camping, but even if you’re a pro, there is a great chance of making some usual camping mistakes. Beginners are often not sure which items are essentials, or they’re not familiar with camping gear at all. They are full of enthusiasm and they think everything will be as planned. Sure, camping ought to be easy and funny, but if you’re heading to a wilderness unprepared, you won’t be enjoying. Here is the list of 10 beginner camping mistakes that everyone makes. Read on to learn how to avoid them.
Read also the guide for beginners.
1. Not checking the weather forecast
Go through the weather forecast for your destination, this way you’ll know whether you can take a camping or not. Nature and mountains are unpredictable and every mountain has its own microclimate. Be prepared for rain, fog, and wind. That means you have to bring appropriate clothes (wind jacket, raincoat, warm hood…) but it also means you might not be having a much fun in a damp weather. Learn how to predict weather using clouds.
2. Arriving late at camp
Make sure you pack your stuff and leave your house on time. You never know what can get complicated on your way – traffic is stuck, the car broke down, you forgot something etc. Avoid leaving in the late afternoon, or, worse when the night falls. Get in the camp early so you won’t be searching for good tent location or setting up your campsite in the dark. It could be very stressful.
3. Not choosing a good tent location
Take a few minutes to ensure you have a good location for your tent. That means you have to find a flat and dry ground. Check low points of the campsite where the water collects – you don’t want to end up in a pool of water. Don’t place your tent directly under the trees – the strong wind could tear it. Placing the tent right next to river or lake might look attractive, but you should consider the possible damp and of course mosquitos. Plan your campfire spot and put your tent far enough so fire sparkles won’t burn it. Check the ground beneath your tent too otherwise you could be lying on rocks or branches which will bother you while sleeping.
4. Not testing your equipment at home
There are two reasons why you should always test your camping items. First, to check whether everything is in function. Second, you should get familiar with your equipment and learn how to properly use it. You don’t want to spend hours and hours putting your tent up.
5. Not researching the destination
Always research where you’re heading to. Bring a map, or a guidebook, or simply find useful info on the net. Make sure you know how to get to the nearest road or where you can find a phone. Also, get to know your destination not only to deal with emergencies but also to enjoy your camping at its fullest. Get known with beautiful sites you should hike to, find out is there a spring of drinking water nearby etc.
6. Freezing at night
Many people understate the importance of good sleeping bag. To avoid shivering during night, buy a good sleeping bag made of insulator materials which will help your body to maintain warmth. Read these tips on how to feel warm and comfortable at night while on camping.
7. Leaving your food and garbage accessible
When night falls and everything is quiet, nocturnal visitors occur. Foxes, squirrels, hedgehogs, mice and other small animals are heading to your food. You will hear crinkle all the time – they are exploring your tent, your dishes, and food. Leaving food accessible around campsite can cost you a life since bears are attracted by the smell of food and beverages.
8. Buying cheap equipment
Try buying a quality brand name equipment. It is better to put some extra money in a quality item, especially in sale time, than buying a cheap one every year. But, remember, if you’re a beginner, don’t get carried away and spend a lot of money on items you might not need.
9. Not bringing first aid kit
Even the smallest injury can become unbearable if you don’t have a first aid kit for emergencies or minor injuries. Bring aspirin, tweezers, antiseptic ointment, gauze, gauze pads etc. Don’t let a minor cut on your finger to ruin your camping just because you didn’t bring a band-aid.
10. Don’t expect coziness of your home but don’t forget to enjoy
Maybe you won’t sleep as good as in your bed, or you will be constantly eating canned food. But it is certainly worth it. Enjoy the nature and don’t let stupid mistakes ruin your camping! Read here how to hike mindfully.