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Camping is a brilliant way to experience the great outdoors and unplug from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Setting up tents or putting yourself into your unused sleeping bag for a couple of days allows you to reconnect with nature and explore sights that you’ve never seen before.

If you’re traveling as a family, camping is a great option as there is plenty for the kids to enjoy as well. But either way, you want to make the most of your time in the outdoors. Here’s how!

Camping Tips to Get the Most From Your Outdoor Adventure

No Cheating!

Roughing it is no longer necessary when camping, and there are many things that you can do to make the trip more enjoyable and less stressful.

But whether you’re planning on sleeping on the ground, or heading to outdooorser.com to choose the perfect hammock, try your best to keep the camping experience authentic. 

That means making your own food and creating your own fire, not allowing the kids to play video games, perhaps even playing a guitar around the campfire!

Camping tent RF

Pack the Right Gear

Packing the right gear for your camping adventure is one of the most important things for making the trip a success.

You need to bring everything you’ll need, and nothing you don’t, and sometimes that might mean it’s a good idea to make a checklist (or use this camping checklist that’s already made for you).

Beyond the obvious that you’ll need a hammock or a tent, a sleeping bag and pillow, think about things like how much food you’ll need, the utensils you’ll need to cook with, if you need any cooking gas, and maybe even a wind break if the weather forecast isn’t great. 

You also need to make sure you have the right clothing, maps if you plan on hiking, and one thing people often forget is to do some bathroom prep. 

If your campsite doesn’t have toilet facilities you’ll want to bring a shovel so that you can dig a hole when you need to defecate. You dig a hole and then bury your waste so that it cannot be detected by wild animals. Pack toilet people too!

Even if you like traveling alone, or you’re already with a group, that doesn’t exclude the possibility of meeting new people as you’re making your way around the globe.

Organize a First Aid Kit

You should never camp without a first aid kit. A simple safety precaution which is an absolute must for every trip, you’ll be more able to handle medical issues while away if you’re well-stocked with emergency supplies.

Bring any medications that you use, including allergy medications and over-the-counter pain relievers. And make sure you have plenty of gauze, bandages, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, tweezers, small scissors, tape, etc. that you need to clean and dress wounds, remove ticks, and more.

You generally don’t have to be a doctor to help yourself, or others, in an emergency, though you do have to have the first aid skills and tools to administer the care required; you need to be traveling with a first aid kit.

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Protect Your Phone

As much as camping should be about disconnecting, many people still travel with their phone. It can be used as a camera, compass, and even to know what weather to expect.

But is important to take the time to properly protect your phone especially if you don’t have Kardashian levels of money to replace it! The most basic way to do this is by organizing a case.

When choosing a case to use for your phone, you need to make sure that it is waterproof. You don’t want it to be destroyed if you drop it in a creek or it falls out of your pocket while canoeing or kayaking.

You also want to be sure that it is strong enough to keep the screen from cracking if it drops during a hike or climb.

The ultimate device for outdoor networking, allowing you to stay in contact with friends and access emergency assistance without needing the internet or a phone signal.

Learn Some of the Basics

While the above tips will help make the most out of your camping adventure, learning some of the basics of camping wouldn’t hurt either!

This means learning how to put up a tent, how to hang a hammock, and how to start a fire. Putting in the effort to master these skills before you head out into the wilds will mean you spend less time struggling with the basics and more time enjoying the great outdoors.

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SPREAD THE WORD! PIN THIS TO YOUR TRAVEL PINTEREST BOARDS ↓

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

    32 Comments

  1. Great article!
    A few things to add, which are probably obvious to your readers already: Remember to leave no trace! *Everything* that you bring in needs to be packed out. And stay on the trails – don’t go bushwhacking through the forest, disturbing the environment.
    Also, red light headlamps are great for use at night. Unlike regular white lights, they help you keep your night vision, and since animals can’t see that spectrum, you won’t be inviting bugs to fly into your eyes all evening.

    • Thanks Luke, and thanks for the additional tips, these are all fabulous points. I’ve actually never thought of using a red light headlamp, but it’s such a great idea – going to organize one for our next trip. Thanks!

  2. I really like camping but I dislike being cold. I need a super warm sleeping bag plus a good insulated mattress.

    • Lol me too – summer camping is usually my go-to. Winter it’s hotels 😀

    • @MegJerrard Well, it was supposed to be summer in Washington State.

    • It’s definitely not summer here in Tasmania haha! Hope it warms up for you 🙂

  3. Camping is not in my cards. As the primary repast for mosquitos, I don’t find the concept enjoyable.

    • Oh I always travel with a strong mosquito repellent, and spray my tent as well as my body. We camped in Alaska last year during summer and went as far as to buy full body mosquito nets to sleep in!!

  4. I have to have an inflatable mattress with me if I’m going camping – hope that doesn’t count as ‘cheating’ but I refuse to sleep on the ground. Helpful tips 🙂

    • I use them as well … domestic trips more so than international, because they’re so bulky to have to try and take in your luggage, but so great for local camping trips!

    • There are lightweight, self-inflating camping mattresses/air pads that pack down really well, but really add a lot of comfort. Great for even international travel. My family frequently uses these from Alps Mountaineering (which also double nicely as extra mattresses in hotels when we don’t have enough beds).
      http://a.co/1pxZtmX

  5. Taking a broom with you is so clever, I’ve never thought of that! Not exactly practical if you’re flying internationally lol I would love to see the looks on the faces of customs officials of someone trying to walk through with a broom ha! But for local roadtrips where you can just throw it in the car – great!

    • Glad we could pass on the tip! Haha yes I don’t know how practical it would be to fly with, though I’m sure you can probably buy some type of collapsible broom maybe that packs down. I might look into it!

  6. I second Luke’s points above about re-emphasizing responsible camping, not leaving trash behind, and if the campsite doesn’t have toilet facilities that also means any paper you use. We have separate trash bags just for that.

    • Absolutely Dominick – leave no trace! It’s a very good point on taking EVERYTHING with you re the toilet paper too.

    • Even Leave No Trace principles say it’s OK to leave TP buried along with your crap in the cathole. Obviously somewhat dependent on the environment/soil – ie, not ok in arid lands, but in rich, bacteria-heavy soil like a tropical rainforest, where things break down quickly, it’s fine.

      https://lnt.org/learn/principle-3

    • Thanks for the info Luke – a really insightful post … I’ve not actually used natural toilet papers before 😀 I think I’ll stick to my normal toilet papers as vegetation and stones doesn’t really appeal lol, but I had been under the impression it was best to pack it all out with you, so it’s really good to know it’s ok to bury it in the cathole 🙂

  7. My favorite camping is setting up on the beach – nothing like listening to the ocean crash to shore as you sleep … and you technically have a bathroom facility there naturally 😉 That said, we f-ed up on one of our trips and didn’t pitch our tents far enough back, so the tide washed in and everything got wet. But nothing beats it!

    • Oh no!! Haha noted!! I hope too much of your gear didn’t get ruined. Totally agree that beach camping (when you’re not swept out to sea!!) is the best 🙂

  8. The first aid kit advice is so good. We often forget this but it really could be so important. I’m always annoyed when I can’t find bandaids for blisters, but something more serious and you would definitely need it. Thanks! Making a note to maybe leave on in the car permanently, that way it’s there even if we forget!

    • Absolutely Ali, leaving it in the back of the car is a great idea 🙂 Happy camping!

  9. Really great camping advice. Thankyou.

    • You’re welcome Carolin, glad it was helpful 🙂

  10. My version of camping is glamping. You won’t find me out in the woods unless I’ve got a bathtub and a bed!

  11. I’m really attracted to a camping experience, but at the same time I’m a little scared by the lack of comfort……..

    • You could start by trying a camping experience close to home before jumping in the deep end so to speak by going straight into a 5 day trip overseas. Hammocks are a great way to go if you want to increase comfort, or if you’re taking a road trip, inflatable mattresses make the experience a lot more comfy (I say roadtrip because it’s easier to throw them in the car than it is to fly with them, a bit bulky and take up space in your luggage. Hopefully you’ll love it! 🙂

    • I like the hammock idea, I might start in my garden…

    • Bakcyard camping is really fun 🙂

  12. Hi Megan. Great trip! Those items you suggested are all I need. Thank you a lot for your sharing, you help me a lot. By the way, I also thinking about cooking during the camp. Could you give me suggestion about cooking items?Now, I get a Backpacking Stove. Thank you in advance for your suggestion.

    • Thanks Issy, I’m glad the post was helpful for you 🙂

      Re recommendations on a camping stove, you’ll want something portable and easy to pack. The Coleman Bottle Top Propane Stove is our favorite, and it’s great for fuel efficiency. Here’s the link: https://amzn.to/2Om7Npo

      Hope that helps!

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