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8 essential tips for going camping for the first time

Augusts 1, 2022

We were all beginners once, and I'm sure each of us could share a funny anecdote about a camping accident.

New campers sometimes learn things the hard way, and even seasoned campers miss the basics from time to time.

Remember these common mistakes made by new campers and learn how to become a smart camper with the best tips and advice for your first time camping.

1. Familiarize yourself with the equipment

New campers often wait until they get to camp before trying out new gear. I've seen campers poke around for hours trying to figure out how to pitch a tent. Practice really does make perfect. Set up the tent in the backyard or living room before you take it camping. Check the operation of lanterns and camping stoves to make sure they are working properly. Try the sleeping bag one night at home to see how well you sleep in it.

2. Buy a big enough store

New campers often find themselves in a crowded tent. Make space and comfort a priority in your choice of tent. Most tents fit in the trunk of a car, so size and weight are not a major concern. For family camping, I recommend purchasing a tent with a capacity rated two higher than the number of people who will be using it. So for a family of two I would recommend a 4 person tent, for a family of four a 6 person tent, and so on.

3. Make a checklist

New campers often overlook using a checklist. It's no fun arriving at the campsite and discovering that you've forgotten something. Stay organized and make sure you don't leave anything behind by keeping a camping gear checklist. Use it while you pack and mark each item. Update and revise the list as needed. If something breaks or wears out, replace it. If something isn't really used, remove it from the list.

4. Arrive early at the campsite

New campers are probably unfamiliar with the amenities and rules of the campground. You've never been camping, how are you supposed to know? Arrive early enough to give yourself time to learn the campground terrain. Set up camp during the day, it's so much easier when you can see what you're doing.

5. Plan meals

New campers don't always put enough thought into meal planning. Find out how many meals you will make for how many people, and put together some menu ideas. Then shop a day or two before departure so the food is fresh. Avoid buying snacks, don't be one of those new campers who stop at the market for food on the way to the campsite.

6. Observe the Campsite Rules

New campers may not realize that there is no real privacy in a campground. Sound travels so well that campers can usually be heard whispering at the next site. A noisy campsite can prevent many people from camping. What little privacy you have is limited to your delimited plot or camping area. Respect the space of adjoining campers, and do not walk through other pitches or private areas to get around.

7. Bring enough clothes

New campers often forget to pack enough clothing. Remember, not all campsites have laundry facilities. Weather conditions can also call for different outfits. You'll like a raincoat in case it rains, a bathing suit for a dip, and maybe a sweater or jacket for those cool nights.

8. Avoid harsh weather

Camping is all about relaxing outdoors, so don't go camping if you know the weather is going to be bad. There is nothing more uncomfortable than sitting in the tent for two days while the rain hits the tent and the wind blows it down on you. Right after a storm it could be just as bad, with the camping areas soaked with rain and mud.

Càmping La Pineda de Salou®, is since 1970 a tourist establishment owned by Gamite, S.A., registered in the Register of Tourist Companies and Activities of the Generalitat de Catalunya, with number KT-000085-84 and classified as a 3-star public camping site.

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