All of us were beginners at camping at one time and have had the experience of making mistakes. There is no problem with making them as that’s how we learn. As I read somewhere we are all mistake makers but we are also all mistake breakers. However, fortunately, we don’t have to repeat the mistakes of experienced campers because they like to pass on their wisdom to newbie campers. So here are 6 common beginner camping mistakes and how you can sidestep them:
Forgetting a Vital Piece of Camping Gear
One of the annoying things is getting to the campsite is realizing you haven’t brought along a camping essential or other pieces of gear you need. You can be a long way from the nearest store when you are about to retire for the night and realize you haven’t brought sleeping pads or maybe sleeping bags, or maybe you need to make a visit in the middle of the night and you haven’t brought a flashlight…. You probably get the idea!
A camping list for tent camping can help to avoid this particular mistake. This gives you the opportunity to check through your gear as you pack it into your car. If you get all your gear together in one place the night before you leave you can check it off. (Depending on your personality you can do double and triple check as you pack the car too).
Taking Too Much Stuff
This is kind of the opposite of the previous mistake, where you try to take everything including the kitchen sink. This makes camping difficult as you are climbing over everything and spend your life sorting things out and putting away. It is all just a mess.
Here again get yourself a good camping checklist and think through what you’ll need, ask others and check online. You don’t have to buy or get everything at once, go through the essentials and prioritize so you bring enough to enjoy yourself fully. It takes a little time to work out what you need to spend your money on quality camping gear and not cheap but poor quality goods.
Not Trying The Gear Out At Home
There is nothing worse than getting to the campground and having to sit there and work out how to put up your tent, how to work the camp stove or that some vital piece of equipment doesn’t work or fit how it should. O maybe the instructions are written by someone who doesn’t know English. Try the great out at home – put your tent up at least once. Try putting the stove together and lighting it. If you run into problems here you can go on the internet and find a video or ask questions. You can always phone the help desk too.
Getting to the campground late, having to put up the tent, organize your gear and cook a meal can be stressful, especially if it’s starting to go dark. Especially as everyone may be tired out from the long journey and they’re hungry too.
Too Ambitious Cooking
There are a couple of mistakes here, but both about time and organization. The first is relying on campfire cooking as the sole source for your meals. Cooking on a campfire takes time and preparation so you need to leave yourself plenty of time to get the fire to the right temperature for cooking. Have a backup plan for when you are pressed for time.
The second part is trying to cook complicated meals. Cooking at camp especially using a campfire is more involved, so keep it simple and follow some easy camping recipes.
Not Looking After Food
If you don’t store your food properly or food scraps you are like to get a visit from the local wildlife. They’ll come and visit you in your tent in the middle of the night for a midnight feast. And they aren’t cute and friendly.
So throw your food scraps in the designated places and do this every night before you go to bed, so you don’t get attacked by raccoons or worse. Food should not be stored in your tent. Keep it in your car and out of sight.
Other mistakes I could mention are not bringing enough light, not knowing the camp rules, being cold at night, your attitude and so on. With a little planning and checking with other campers, you can be well prepared and have a fun and enjoyable experience and avoid the common camping mistakes made by beginners.