Introduction to Camping

The freedom of the great outdoors beckons to all who hear the call.  The call is being answered by millions of people worldwide, many of whom are venturing out for the first time and are looking for hiking gear and accessories.  The outdoor industry has exploded in the recent past, as many new hikers, campers, and explorers are entering the scene.  Photos and videos of beautiful landscapes draw them in, and the unforgettable adventures keep them hooked.  However, for many, the prospect of gearing up for the first camping trip can seem daunting and expensive.  With planning, and a few simple tips provided here, you can make your first camping experience safe, fun, and affordable.  

Your First Trip

Your introduction to camping should be a quick and simple trip.  The goal is to experience the basic elements of camping, get familiar with standard camping gear, and of course, have fun!  To keep things simple and without much worry about the elements, plan for a one night trip. It is wise to start in a fairly developed area, where you can access by car. In addition, choose a time of year when the nighttime temperature lows are comfortable, and not too cold. There is nothing like trying to manipulate unfamiliar tent equipment and camping stoves while in the freezing cold.   Keeping your first trip simple, will also let you start camping with the bare necessities when it comes to gear.  

The Traditional Tent 

The tent is the ubiquitous symbol of camping and a staple piece of camping equipment.  This item should be one of the first purchases you make.  Choosing a high-quality tent is an investment, as you will use it for many years to come.  There are hundreds of tent options from many different top camping brands.  Start by narrowing down the field by choosing your ideal tent size first.  Select an appropriate size depending on how many people or pets will be sleeping in it. Now the question of where to buy camping gear comes next.  Of course, brick and mortar outdoor sports camping stores are a great place to start.  You can see the products in person and hear from store personnel about their opinions.  However, online camping stores are ultimately one of the best places to buy, as they often offer discounts and a wide variety of choices.  Regardless of what you choose, make sure your tent has a rainfly, and is from a reputable camping brand. 

Tarps and Sleeping Pads

Several other pieces of camping equipment you will want to invest in right away are sleeping pads and a tarp.  A sleeping pad is often overlooked as a piece of camping gear, however it will aid in your full night of rest by protecting you from the elements, as well as regulating your body temp.  Top camping brands for sleeping pads are Nemo, Therm-a-rest, Sea to Summit, and Big Agnes.  Inflatable options and foam options exist, all with their pros and cons.  A tarp is another key part of your equipment, as it protects the floor of your tent, and keeps moisture from coming through.  

Additional Items

Once you have your tent, tarp, and sleeping pad, you have your shelter basics prepare you to camp! Additional camping supplies are also helpful. You may already own many items that you can use on your camping experience, such as a cooler, cooking-ware, chairs, and blankets.  Eventually, you will buy camping-specific gear and apparel, which will make future camping trips easier.  Until then, you can use what you have, and borrow from friends and family.  Slowly try out different camping gear from top brands and decide what you like.  This will also give you time to benefit from potential sales. and score some cheap camping gear. 

Ready to Camp

The time to embark on your first camping trip is now!  Plan out a weekend with good weather and start hunting for some of the basic camping gear described here.  Once you have the necessities, get out there and enjoy yourself! Don’t let a big gear lists and price tags keep you from enjoying the great outdoors.