Camping Guide for Beginners

Are you thinking of going camping with family, friends or on your own? Well, in truth, even if you are the most magnificent urban creature, the desire to camp at an undisclosed location out of the city will always capture your imagination. Of course, if it’s your first time, you may feel a bit worried, scared and confused. Luckily, we are here to give you just the help you need!

Now, as a beginner camper, getting an experienced and outdoorsy person to guide you is one of the ultimate essentials. For instance, you may have a friend with a perfect campground reservation and a variety of camping gear to share. However, if you’re stranded or have limited options for assistance, we’ve created this individual and family camping trip checklist just for you!

Here, we are going to talk about all the essential camping gear as well as some interesting tips to give you fun camping with family and friends experience. Take a look!

What Type of Family Camping Equipment Do You Need?

Camping For Beginners
Carry the right camping gear! Source.

Our vast experience in camping has shown us that it’s just like staying in a rather primitive cabin — such means that you should pack as if you are going to sleep in a place with almost no furniture, no stove, refrigerator and electricity.

Also check these posts about camping gear:

Hard Top Roof Top Tent for Camping: Need To Know
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Camping Tricks and Tips Essential for Fun and Survival in the Wilderness
How To Prepare For A Family Camping Trip: A Must-read Guide
Stay Dry and Safe with These 7 Camping Tips in the Rainy Days
Benefits of Camping In Your Hammock
9 Tips for First Time Hammock Campers
Hiking Insights for Best Camping Tents & Maximum Protection
Best Hiking Backpacking Sleeping Bags for Good Sleep
Waist to Neck: 10 Tips You Need to Know for Hiking Equipment
Feet to Waist: 7 Hiking Tips for Beginners

The good thing is if you are in a developed camping site, you may have access to water and clean community bathrooms just yards away. Also, many campsites have tables (but if yours does not, remember to bring one) as well as a safe place for packing the car or even pitching any 4 season family camping tents.

Use your initial investment wisely by renting or borrowing costly items, for example, your tent, pads, and sleeping bags. This is an intelligent option because it saves you from spending too much cash for something that may not last past one camping trip. Having said that, if you’re ready to invest, this good camping list and tips will help you in deciding on the items you need to buy.

Get Top Rated Family Camping Tents

Over the years, we’ve learned that if you have a sufficient budget; you shouldn’t be afraid to spend ‘big’ on getting a tent. For instance, you could buy a camping tent for family of 4 as it is cozy and creates more room for you to relax and bond together. You can even get an impressive 20 person camping tent for sale in one of the retail stores.

It’s also important to check the peak of the tent especially if you need a shelter which allows you to stand up while inside. You may even add some vestibules outside your door to create a nice place for storing muddy boots and shoes.

“Can you help me set up my tent?” Of course, if you are a beginner, it’s only natural for you to ask for such assistance. However, you’ll be pleased to know that the process is quite easy and the best thing to do is to practice pitching your tent before you leave home.

Finally, remember to have an adequately sized footprint. One that’s too small won’t protect your tent floor adequately while one that’s too large will only catch and pool rainwater underneath your tent.

Your Sleeping Bag

When choosing your bag, make sure you’re fully aware of its temperature rating. We feel that with a 3-season sleeping bag, you’re ideally suited for the unpredictable weather. It will ensure that you adjust accordingly if you are hot (or always cold).

Your Sleeping Pad

Your sleeping pad should be as comfortable as the mattress on your bed. On top of that, it should have top-notch insulation features to prevent you from losing excess heat. Large air mattresses, like that which you leave for your guests at home, may appear temptingly plush and cool but their lack of insulation will leave you feeling cold.

So, while comparing sleeping pads, carefully go through their specs. The longer and broader ones usually have an improved insulation value called the R-value. These brand of products are warmer and more comfortable.


Even luxury camping sites lack illumination, so remember to carry your own. Although a flashlight is okay, we recommend that you bring a headlamp as if frees up your hands and allows you to perform other tasks. A lantern also adds a nourishing ambiance to the camping site.

Carry a Working Stove

It’s good to cook while on a camping adventure especially for families as it creates a perfect bonding experience. With a traditional two-burner propane stove, you’ll have a fun time preparing meals under the stars or early in the morning. However, don’t forget to bring a few fuel canisters and a working lighter.

Last, but most importantly, fire up the stove before you leave home to make sure it’s working. After all, you wouldn’t want to be hit by the rude shock that the stove is faulty while you’re already out in the woods.


Just like the stove, if you have a cooler, make sure it’s functioning correctly before you take the camping trip. It should also have enough space for storing perishable goods and enough ice to preserve the food. Thick insulation coolers are the best as they make the ice last a bit longer but sadly, they are quite costly.

Sporks, Cups, Plates, Knives, Cups and Pots

All 4 season family camping tents should have everything you need for food preparation and consumption. So, feel free to raid your kitchen, instead of shopping for things like a cheap camping knife, plate or cooking pot. On top of that, carry things like biodegradable soap, and one or two washing tubs to clean dirty dishes.

Get a Couple of Camping Chairs

This is the last family camping equipment on this list simply because it’s optional. We’ve been to many camping sites and found people who are comfortable just sitting on the picnic table or grass. Even so, we feel that it’s more enjoyable when you have a cozy structure, like a hammock, where you can to relax, enjoy the serenity and even take a nap.

What Should You Wear When Camping With Family or Friends?

Camping For Beginners
Choose Warm and Comfortable Camping Artier. Source.

The beauty of any camping trip is dirtying yourself up. Therefore, wear attire that’s grimy. Avoid clothes made from cotton because once they get wet, they will make you miserable and cold even in the mildest of weathers. With that in mind, here are the clothes you should take with you if you want to continue loving family camping.

  • A warm coat
  • Warm socks with a beanie for night time
  • A raincoat (just in case)
  • Sensible and sturdy shoes

The Essential Camp Toiletries

Of course, you’ll require hygiene items and prescription medication. You may also carry some bandages and other recommended drugs like allergy medications from home. If you’re not sure on what you need to get, a first-aid kit has all comprehensives supplies in a compact and nice case.

Always prepare for dangerous bugs and intense sunlight before you go camping. Carry items like a strong insect repellent and sunscreen because many campgrounds run out of such supplies. Finally, don’t forget to pack your toilet paper, soap, a towel as well as a hand sanitizer for your kitchen area.

Family Camping Checklist Meal Plan

Camping For Beginners
Settle on the most acceptable family meal plan. Source.

If you are an experienced chef or meal planner, you’ve got nothing to worry about, but remember that simple preparation is important. Even if you are not an accomplished chef, with a basic camping meal plan, you add more energy and excitement into your entire adventure. It could be as simple as having dinner before you drive out, cooking breakfast in the morning, and lunch before breaking the camp the following day.

Now, if you’re taking a cat camping or any other pet, carry a bunch of canned entrees, side dishes, and fresh foods. Also, remember to bring a lot of snacks, some tea, and coffee to keep your body fully rejuvenated for the activities that lay ahead.

Choose the Best Camping Spot

You have endless campground options from RV parks to national parks. Humanity’s enthusiasm to continue camping is also quite endless, so ensure that you make reservations in advance to avoid certain annoying inconveniences. However, there are those sites which run on a ‘first come, first served basis.’ Such means that booking in advance will not help. Instead, visit the grounds to see when it’s best to show up.

Finally, unless you want to connect with your ‘inner animal,’ avoid dispersed camping or primitive sites. It’s better to camp in a more developed ground, with running water and flush toilets. It’s also important to confirm if the water coming from the spigot is treated. Over the years, we’ve seen water sources which pose huge health risks and other serious complications.

Remarkable Tips When Taking a Pet to Any Luxury Camping Sites

Camping For Beginners
Pets can make good camp company. Source.

Do you wish to take your cat or dog for a long for a long pool camping trip or any other outdoorsy adventure for that matter? Well, this is not always easy, and a lot of thought needs to be placed in the entire process. So, let’s go through some hidden tips to make your pet camping trip a stress-free and enjoyable one.

Know the Campground Pet Rules

Every commercial campground we’ve visited whether a long pool or sand mat camping site have allowed pets. A good number of them have designated fences in dog parks where you can feel free playing with your canine friend. That said, the rules of pet camping are pretty universal. They include:

  • If your pet is outside the tent or trailer, it should be on a leash
  • Always clean up after your pet
  • Go for walks with your pet all the time
  • If you’re thinking of bringing dog camping (or cat), ensure that’s it’s in its best behavior or else you may be asked to leave if it keeps on disturbing others.

Have the Right Pet Gear

As you organize your camping supplies, remember to pack something for your pets. For instance, before we take our cat, Princess Esmeralda, with us, we spend almost thirty minutes making sure we’ve packed the best cat camping gear. In most cases, everything fits into a small bag pack.

However, if you have a larger animal like a dog, you’ll require a spacious place for keeping camping dog gear. Items that should come into your mind here include food, treats, water, and a small pickup bags for collecting its droppings.

Prepare Wisely for ‘On the Road’ Trips

Camping For Beginners
Essential gear to carry with you on your trip. Source.

While some pets love traveling in the best family camping vehicle, others don’t! That’s why it’s important to ensure that they are comfortable and safe throughout the journey. So, it doesn’t matter if you have the best camping dog or cat, it’s bound to get spooked along the way. So, we recommend that you limit their car movements as much as possible.

A good number of pet stores sell structures for keeping small cats or dogs. If you have a large dog, you can seclude it to a small portion in the car. All in all, the essential thing to keep in mind is that your pet feels safer if it stays close to you while traveling so don’t chase it away when it comes to nap your lap.

Create a Safe Place for Your Pets

Both dogs and cats love having space where they are free to play and move about. You can create a good hiding place for your cat or a nice and soft bed for your dog. If you can convince your pet to see the pet carrier as a safe place, you’ll have an easier time transporting it when the time comes.

Do you like hiking with your dog? Then read this.

Check our big range of posts for outdoors, hiking and camping from here.


With all these guidelines, you’ll have one of the most enjoyable times camping especially if it’s your first time. Whether it’s getting top rated family camping tents, choosing the right location, or packing the required gear for your pet, here we’ve made sure that you have everything you need. Even so, is there anything else you feel should be in your camping list? Comment below!

About the author: Annabel Poindexter is an ambitious writer from North Carolina. She was fond of traveling and poetry since high-school. And now she enjoys sharing her stories with various audiences. Annabel is the co-owner of this platform.

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