Tips for First Time Campers

Not sure what to expect? Feeling anxious? With some good advice, a sense of adventure, and being prepared, camping can be extremely fun and rewarding.

There’s something special about embracing the great outdoors; being in touch with nature and enjoying the simple life. It’s a time of watching a majestic sunset, telling stories under the stars, of falling asleep to the sound of waves crashing and waking up to birds chirping.

Camping creates a sense of achievement, too – from simply setting up a tent, to cooking a delicious meal on an open fire and bonding with family and friends without todays interruptions such as technology.

Here are some tips to help you embrace the camping lifestyle.


Be Prepared

Don’t over pack – take the essentials only and make a checklist. Download our Camping Checklist here.

Keep your camping gear simple especially when purchasing for the first time – essentials only at first and build on your items each time you go on a trip.

Experienced campers strongly recommend setting up camp close to a town so purchasing those forgotten item or items is simple and stress free. Make sure the town has a grocery and hardware store.


All Weather Conditions

Rain, hail, or shine – you should always be prepared.

Consider packing activities such as cards, or board games in case of bad weather.

Before heading off on your adventure, check that your tent is rainproof.

Pack a raincoat and boots and place a spare set of clothes in a waterproof container.

Another invaluable items to pack is a tarpaulin or two; these are also useful to protect against the sun and wind; plastic bags and ziplock bags to protect and store items when it rains.

Always keep bedding and other items away from the walls of your tent to avoid rain leaking through to the inside or even heavy due.

Always be prepared: Even if the weather forecast predicts warm sunny days, weather can be unpredictable. Wet weather and warm clothes may be even required when camping in summer: in some places, overnight temperatures may be cooler than expected so ensure you have appropriate bedding and clothing for the likely temperatures.


Test Run

Consider a test run like pitching a tent in your backyard, particularly if camping with children. This way you can get an idea of what is needed or not needed and you can check your tent’s condition including rips, tears, poles, pegs, rope etc.


Take A Friend

Consider asking other campers to come along and learn from the experienced.


Setting Up Your Campsite

Once you choose your spot, check the ground under which the tent will stand and clear away any loose objects such as sticks and rocks.

Do not pitch our tent on top of an ants net. This will ensure greater comfort.

Don’t set up under trees as falling branches could cause damage.

A level spot is most appropriate and if on a slope, sleep with your feet downhill.

When setting up your tent ensure that you are not located in an area where water will be directed away in heavy rain, or a natural waterway. If in a beach location consider tides.

Consider putting a ground tarp/sheet under your tent. Ensure it does not extend out from under your tent as this will cause water to be captured under your tent.

Always keep the zipper to your tent closed.


Fire Season

Be aware of fire bans and restrictions in the area you are travelling. You don’t want to incur a fine or worse, you don’t want to be responsible for starting an out-of-control fire.

Always respect the power and danger of campfires.

Keep fires within a contained area with a ring of rocks and an outer ring of gravel or dirt to protect against the fire spreading.

Keep children away from the fire and never leave your fire unattended.

If you dry your used tea bags overnight, they can be used as fire starters later.


Top Tips:

  • Leave your itinerary and mobile phone number with a friend or relative.
  • Learn the basics of first aid and take a well-stocked First Aid Kit.
  • Wear shoes or sandals at all times and take your shoes off before getting into the tent.
  • Shake your shoes before putting them on.
  • When leaving any camp site, check that nothing has been left behind and ensure all rubbish is removed.
  • Never pack tents or camping equipment away when wet as this will cause mildew and destroy your equipment.