So you’ve never been camping before. That’s alright, no one’s judging. But Summer is coming (YESSSSS) and maybe you’ve been feeling a bit cooped up (between NorEasters and the Pineapple Express, that’s understandable), or maybe you just want to get out of your comfort zone. Either way, getting out for a night of camping under the stars is a great way to recharge, and maybe even step out of your comfort zone (aka off the couch).
But, like anyone, your first time camping can be a bit…intimidating. So, let’s break it down.
The whole point of camping is to leave all the complications behind you, to recharge, be one with nature, and spend some quality time with those close to you (or just some time to yourself, but first-time campers should probably bring a buddy – just saying), right? That said, I’m not a hardcore camper. Each year, we do an annual camping trip – four nights in a tent and let me tell you… I’m SO ready for my luxuries at that point. So, this blog post will cover the basics of camping with a dash of “glamping” on the side.
- Tent: I like my space…I like to stand up in my tent. If you’ll have two people, go for a four person tent. I have a six-person for just the two of us. We definitely “glamp.” Your tent doesn’t have to be pricey – especially not when you’re just getting into camping and not sure how much time and money you want to invest in this new hobby.
- Mini outdoor rug for in front of the tent door. Great for keeping dirt and pine needles out of the tent. Not necessary but nice to have and easy to roll up with the tent.
- Camping chair. Get a comfy one with some extra storage for cups, sunglasses, book, etc. Here’s one I really like, and it’s not expensive! https://amzn.to/2pC3psl
- Firewood, firestarter sticks, lighters (2 to be safe)
- Cooler with plenty of water, snacks, food, and ice.
- Air mattress: The specifics depend on what kind of camping you’re looking to do. We use one like this: https://amzn.to/2pGl9C7 but want one like this: https://amzn.to/2IP6BsP
- Cooking utensils (foil for campfire meals, camping stove, skewers for hot dogs or s’mores)
- Bedding: Keep in mind, the air in the air mattress gets REALLY cold, so a sleeping bag is ideal even if it’s hot during the day.
- Hammock (I love this double one by Fox Outfitters https://amzn.to/2IP6BsP)
- Trash bags (Make sure to “Leave No Trace.” This means, whatever you bring with you should go home with you!)
- Baby wipes (For cleaning your feet or removing bug spray/sunscreen from your body before bed if there’s no shower nearby) and hand sanitizer
- Flashlights (always good to have a back-up) and extra batteries
- Towels for showering/lake/river/laying out, bathingsuit
- Sunglasses, hat
- Sunscreen, bug spray, face wash, deodorant, SPF chapstick, toothbrush & toothpaste, hair brush
- Outfit for each day + extra shirt. Hiking pants are a great addition as well. Much more versatile than denim. Pack layers, because at night it does get chilly! Sandals and closed toed shoes, Long pants for night time, when the weather cools off. Socks. Sweatshirt/Jacket.
- Medications/First-Aid (Advil, bandaids, neosporin, anti-itch spray or hydrocortisone)
- Cards, games, portable speaker for music, lantern for games at night.
- Table for preparing food or playing games by the fire if there isn’t a picnic table close by
- Use a storage container (something like this: https://amzn.to/2DSAtRf) to carry items from your car to the tent, or just to keep organized. At the very least, it’s a great side-table for your air mattress.
- Bring a portable battery charger for your phone – because let’s face it, you probably want your phone charged, even if there’s no cell service.
- Dryer sheets are a great way to keep your tent smelling nice – when the tent heats up in the daytime, your tent smells like fresh linen!
- Sage in the fire place is a great way to keep mosquitos at bay https://amzn.to/2pFbKuB
- Paper plates and paper utensils can be tossed in the fire as kindling
These are just the basics for a weekend of glamping. My advice is to keep a notepad (digital or otherwise) with you on your trip, so you can take note of the things you forgot or wished you’d brought with you. Each time you go, it’ll be easier to pack, and more fun when you get there!
Here’s to the upcoming camping season (because I don’t winter/spring camp in the rain up here in Seattle!)! If there’s something you think should be on this list, don’t hesitate to leave it in the comments below!