Camping 101

camping fire

Getting Started:

Backyard Camping

  • An easy first time camping experience can be done in your own backyard. Set up your backyard just like you would a park campsite. This can be a great trial run to get everyone acclimated to camping, within the familiar confines of home.

Seasonal Camping

  • Summer, spring, fall and winter are all great times to go camping! However summertime is the ideal season for first time campers. Remember to bring the proper clothing for that specific season.
Great American Backyard Campout

What to Wear

  • In the warmer months, bring moisture-wicking clothing in light colors and fabrics. In the colder months, pack extra layers of wool and heavy fabrics. During the rainy season, bring rain gear such as a jacket, hat and water resistant shoes. Always remember extra pairs of tall socks!

Packing Essentials

  • Try to bring only the essentials- especially if you have to carry them! A tent, sleeping bag and/or blanket, bug spray, flashlights, sunscreen, extra layers of clothes (in case of cold or rainy weather), matches, trash bags, a first aid kit, a multi-purpose knife, any necessary toiletries.

Food and Drink

  • Pack high energy healthy snacks such as granola bars, nuts, dried fruit and other items that don’t require cooking and bring lots of water.  Check out our favorite recipes for simple campfire meals.
Circumpolar star trails

Nighttime Fun

  • The stars and campfire make for lots of fun nighttime activities.  Check out our Activity Finder to see what you can do when the sun goes down.

Putting out a fire

  • The proper way is to dump water on the ashes, stir the ashes and dump more water to completely put out the fire.

Don’t forget to practice the Leave No Trace rules!

For more tips, check out our favorite camping activities and try them at your Campout >>

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