Going camping for the very first time? There are quite a few things you need to be aware of, or else the fun trip you envisioned could very well turn into a disaster! For your convenience, we have compiled a list of pointers – take a look:

Know your gear

Don’t wait till you reach the campground to try out new gear. Familiarize yourself with lanterns, and camp stoves to make sure they work properly. Try your sleeping bag one night on the living room floor to see how well you sleep in it. Practice setting up your tents in your garden beforehand.

Prepare a checklist

What happens when you get to the campsite and realize that you forgot something crucial? Stay organized and make sure nothing is left behind by keeping a camping gear checklist. Keep it handy while packing and tick off each item as you go along. If something breaks or wears out, replace it.

Get a tent with sufficient capacity

Make space and comfort a priority in your choice of tents. For family camping get a tent with a capacity rated two higher than the number of campers that will use it. So for a family of two, get a 4-person tent.

Steer clear from severe weather

Camping is about relaxation and not braving the storm, so if you find out about weather conditions not being in your favor at a particular place or during a certain time, just reschedule the trip. There is nothing more uncomfortable than sitting in your tent for two days while rain pounds your tent and the wind keeps laying it down on top of you. Right after a storm could be just as bad with rain-soaked campsites and mud.

Decide on meals ahead

Decide how many meals you have to prepare for how many people, and then put together some menu ideas. Do your grocery shopping a day or two before the trip so the food remains fresh. Making a stop at the quick mart to buy your food on the way to the campground is a strict no-no!

Be respectful to neighbors

New campers may not realize that there is no real privacy in a campground. Sound travels so well that you can usually hear campers whispering at the next site. One noisy campsite can keep dozens of campers from a good sleep. Please observe quiet hours. The little privacy you have is limited to your campsite. Respect the space that other campers have chosen, and don’t walk through another campsite to get someplace.

Stay close to home

It is advisable not to travel too far on your first camping trip. You may find out after a night of sleeping on the ground that you are not cut out to be a camper. There might be issues with the camping gear as well, you could run out of food, or the weather can take a turn for the worse. Any number of things could happen to make you want to go home early.

Remember these rules if you are a newbie and the camping trip will work out smoothly. Even if there are hassles, you will know exactly what to do!