68 Essential Tent Camping Tips

Tent camping (also known as primitive or traditional camping) is a great way to get started in camping. It is inexpensive compared to buying a motor home or camping trailer or renting an RV. All you need is some camping equipment which can be purchased at many camping stores. Most people start out tent camping and it is the most common way of staying at a Festival (as opposed to boutique camping or staying in a hotel as some do). This type of camping is also called car camping or tailgate camping. You can tent camp at most state and national parks and national forest service campgrounds. Many private campgrounds also allow tent camping. Be sure to check with the campground directly to make sure they allow tent camping. Here are some tent camping tips that will help you have a more enjoyable time in the great outdoors.

  • Buy a tent that is bigger than what you think you need. If you have a family of 4, buy a tent that sleeps 6-8. You will be surprised at how small tents become once you put your gear in them.
  • Check the weather forecast before you go, but remember weather can be unpredictable.
  • Bring a lantern or two, and a lantern stand.
  • Don’t forget your camp chairs.
  • Get a good, compact sleeping bag suitable for the weather.
  • Sleeping cots are still roughing it.
  • An air mattress is really roughing it.
  • A portable shade cover is nice on hot sunny days.
  • Pack at least one day of extra food and water in case of emergency.
  • Always let at least one person know where you will be and when you plan to return.
  • Don’t get caught hiking after dark. Return to your campsite during daylight hours.
  • Know what to do when an unexpected storm comes. Hiding under a tree is not safe during lightning.
  • Wear proper camping clothing for the environment you’re in. Don’t allow yourself to get too hot or too cold.
  • Hiking boots with thick socks and thin liners are recommended.
  • Tread lightly and leave no trace. Avoid grassy or brushy areas.
  • Assume all snakes are poisonous and leave the alone.
  • If ticks are a problem in your area, be sure to tuck shirts into pants and pants into socks.
  • Do not wear shorts while hiking if ticks are a problem.
  • You can help avoid tick bites by staying on marked trails.
  • Do not crush a tick on your body. This may allow bacteria into your skin.
  • If you find a tick attached to your skin, grab it with tweezers.
  • Be alert to a fever or skin rash. This could indicate a tick bite.
  • Have a well stocked first aid kit for each camping trip.
  • Check expiration dates on ointments and medicines.
  • Get a good ice chest. Make sure it has a locking mechanism to keep animals from getting in it.
  • If you have room, consider using two coolers. Put dry ice in one to keep items cold longer
  • Cooked meats last longer in a cooler than raw meats.
  • Frozen meats also last longer.
  • Block ice last longer in a cooler than ice cubes.
  • Bring strike-anywhere matches and two wind resistant lighters.
  • Store matches in a waterproof container.
  • Don’t plan to cook anything too complicated. Keep your menu simple yet filling.
  • Make a menu before you go for all the meals you will need at your campsite.
  • Measure dry ingredients at home, and pack them in labeled Ziploc bags.
  • If you plan on campfire cooking, bring your own grate.
  • Keep a camping box of cookware, dishes and silverware just for camping trips. Also add a tub for washing dishes and dish towels.
  • Invest in a quality camp stove. Propane stoves are easy to use. White gas stoves will produce more heat.
  • Precook the first night’s meal at home and store it in a cooler.
  • Plan a cookout night where everyone cooks. Hotdogs are great for this.
  • Make packet meals. Wrap meat and vegetables in aluminum foil and place it on the grill to cook.
  • Don’t forget a can opener.
  • Bring a sponge with a scrubbing side to wash pots and pans.
  • If you like coffee, invest in this coffee maker. COLEMAN COFFE POT
  • Pack a Leatherman Tool or Swiss Army knife in your camping supplies.
  • Bringing wine? Don’t forget the corkscrew.
  • Bring a plastic cutting board.
  • Bring dish soap in a small bottle.
  • Small portable propane gas grills work great for camping.
  • Pack at least one sharp knife for preparing food.
  • Potholders or oven mitts are a must if you’re cooking over a campfire.
  • Bears can break into cars. Do not store your cooler in your car.
  • Do not ever have food in your tent. Bears can smell it.
  • Anything with a scent should be stored outside your tent. This includes deoderants, toothpaste, etc.
  • Keep campfires small. A large campfire can ignite nearby trees and brush.
  • Make sure you have a bucket of water near the campfire.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended.
  • Keep the area around the campfire debris free. Sparks can ignite vegetation and start a forest fire.
  • Ashes should be cold to the touch when you leave a campfire.
  • Build fires only in designated fire rings or fireplaces.
  • Know the rules about gathering firewood. Some campgrounds allow it, some don’t.
  • Never cut branches from trees. They won’t burn anyway.
  • Start campfires by building a teepee of dry twigs and brush. After the fire gets going you can add larger pieces of wood.
  • Lint from your dryer is a good fire starter.
  • Do not throw trash in the fire pits.
  • Know before you go if your campground sells firewood or allows gathering.
  • Hardwoods make the best bed of coals for cooking.
  • Softwoods make the best flames.
  • Have fun, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

Author: Mason

I'm a 21-year-old festival fanatic from the UK, an avid techno listener and blogging enthusiast. I have a passion for all kinds of live music from Ska to Psychedelic Trance and I particularly love the UK rave and festival scene. Follow me on Google+

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