10 Common Camping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


Whether you're going hiking with friends or planning a weekend in nature with the family, camping trips can easily go wrong. If you're new to camping, you might be wondering how you can avoid rookie errors and ensure a successful trip.

So what are the main camping mistakes to be aware of? And how can you best prepare yourself before setting off?

Keep reading for our list of the top camping missteps and how you can avoid them.

1. Invest in a Survival Kit

The first and perhaps easiest thing you can do to avoid most camping mistakes is to buy a survival kit. This is something that you should absolutely make room for in your camping equipment budget.

Survival kits include essential equipment such as water purification tablets, a compass, a whistle, first-aid items, and much more. It's an assortment of must-need items to keep on you in case of emergencies.

If you're looking to buy the best rated kit, make sure you do a comparison of how some of the top brands compare.

2. Wear the Right Clothing

The next thing to do is to make sure you bring the correct clothes for camping. We'd always advise you not to bring any expensive items that are ill-suited to the great outdoors!

Bringing multiple layers of clothing is always a good idea, as the temperature in the tent can differ greatly during the night. We'd also recommend that you bring sneakers and sandals for when you are hanging out around the tent.

Of course, a waterproof jacket and hiking boots are essential for those taking part in more strenuous activities.

3. Prepare Food in Advance

A great way to make your camping trip more enjoyable is to do some preparation in advance. The utensils at your disposal while camping will surely be a step down from your kitchen, so do all the food preparation that you can before setting off.

This includes making a pasta sauce in advance, that just needs to be heated through and added to cooked pasta. You should also stay away from meat that needs to be refrigerated.

4. Don't Arrive Too Late

One of the most common mistakes that new campers run into is arriving at the campsite after night has fallen. It might be difficult to find a good spot to pitch your tent, and putting up the tent can be particularly challenging in the dark.

Be sure to set off for your journey in time to arrive while it's still light. Use a mapping service to plan your route, and give extra time for unanticipated setbacks.

5. Don't Forget Animal Repellent

The very first item you pack for your camping trip should be an insect repellent. Mosquito bites can make the difference between a great camping trip and an itchy nightmare!

Insect repellent should be sprayed throughout the day if you're spending time near standing water, such as a lake. You should also spray plenty at dawn and dusk which is when they are the most prevalent.

Repellent for animals also exists. If you're planning on camping in an area known for bears, make sure you invest in some bear repellent spray.

6. Be Ready to Build a Campfire

Starting a campfire and toasting marshmallows is one of the very best parts of going camping. This is an activity that will thrill both kids and adults alike!

Bring your own firewood, as you shouldn't depend on it being available in the area you're camping. Recent rainfall might mean the firewood you bring is essential.

You should also check out the rules of the campsite you're staying at, to make sure if there is anything else you need to be aware of.

7. Only Bring the Essentials

Next, think carefully when packing your bags for camping. Bringing unnecessary items with you serves only to make your tent a cluttered and inhospitable space.

Each member coming on the trip should bring just one bag. Going camping is far from a fashion show, so don't be afraid to re-wear your most practical items.

Make sure you leave muddy shoes outside the tent if you want to avoid a disaster!

8. Make Sure Your Tent Is the Right Size

When choosing a tent, you should aim for 30 square feet of space per person. A general rule is to bring a tent made for one more than will be sleeping in each compartment.

For example, three people can sleep in comfort in a four-man tent, while a tent with two compartments made for three people in each will actually be a great choice for four people in total.

Practice putting up your tent in advance. First, you can make sure how to complete this sometimes complicated maneuver! But also, you can make sure everything is in good working condition and no parts are missing.

9. Check the Weather Forecast

Next, make sure you check out the weather forecast. If there is torrential rain predicted for the weekend you're planning, why not put it off until the following week.

You should also be prepared for changeable conditions. Sunhats, sunscreen, waterproof coats, and extra layers should all be in your bag.

10. Be Aware of Surrounding Wildlife

Finally, it is important to be aware of the flora and fauna around you. Use a plant identification guide to make sure you're not accidentally rubbing up against a poisonous plant.

Campgrounds will often point out the different animals that can be spotted in the area, so look out for these.

You should also make sure you regularly dispose of all waste so you don't attract unwanted visitors. Make sure you don't keep food in your tent and put it in your car instead.

Those Are the Top Camping Mistakes to Avoid

We've now covered the major camping mistakes that those new to this activity are likely to make. By following the advice in this post, you can make your first camping trip a resounding success.

If you found this article helpful, make sure you check out our other advice posts!

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