Going camping for the first time can seem like an overwhelming adventure. Food, location, shelter, safety, and weather are just some of the things that need to be addressed.  Despite the planning, camping can be an incredible experience.  I recently went camping in Joshua Tree National Park for the first time since I was a teenager and wanted to share five simple tips for first time campers.

Five Simple First Time Camping Tips

Growing up in Hawaii means I have never been a stranger to the outdoors. However, up until recently, the last time I spent time camping was when I was a teenager quite some time ago. I recently made plans to visit Joshua Tree National Park for a weekend. What was different about this trip was that I wouldn’t be bunking in a hotel room, I’d be camping.

Starting from the ground up acquiring camping gear and planning a camping trip can seem stressful, but it really isn’t. All it takes is a little bit of planning out as well as building up some camping supplies. After my first time camping, I wanted to share some first time camping tips for other people looking to get outside end enjoy the outdoors more.

Plan In Advance

Spontaneity can be fun but I knew that I had my trip to Joshua Tree for about a couple months. This allowed me to think about what exactly I need as well as give me enough time to obtain everything. Which brings me to my next bullet point…

Shop Around

Camping gear can be expensive but the truth is, there’s not a lot which is really needed to get out there. I highly suggest to shop around different stores. I already knew REI was going to be expensive so that was automatically off the list of places to shop at. For the items I needed I kept it between Target, Walmart, and Costco. Each place had items I needed, some were just cheaper than others. Planning in advance allowed me to be flexible with where I bought items.

Keep It Simple

  • Like I already said, there isn’t that much that is needed to get out there but I did need some basics:
  • Tent.
  • Sleeping bag.
  • Tarp (although, the tent that I bought has a pretty durable looking bottom to it).
  • Cooler.
  • Air mattress (a sleeping pad is another viable option).

Really, that’s all that I needed.  I was under the impression that more was needed for a camping trip. What it took was me getting out there and actually camping to realize it.  Of course, there may be some additional items that you might want to get for your own comfort. But these will help with food, weather, and shelter.

Don’t Overthink Food

I’m a pretty hungry guy. I thought I would end up needing a lot more food than I did. My girlfriend even tried to convince me to not bring so much food. I didn’t realize it though until we came back with leftovers from our camping trip. My trip was in Joshua Tree National Park and during the day, we were actually pretty busy exploring the park. This left for very little time to actually eat. What I needed were snacks that just kept me full. Trail mix, a peanut butter jelly sandwich, hard boiled eggs, and a protein bar were enough. Our bigger meal was at night. Regardless, the next time I’m going camping, I’m not overthinking food.

Always Check The Weather

This simple camping tip should be obvious, but I can’t stress this enough. Checking the weather makes the difference between a comfortable and uncomfortable trip and a good time and a bad time. Is the weather going to be cold? Well, it would be awful if there weren’t enough warm clothes that you brought along. Is the weather going to be hot? Well, then there’s no sense bringing along extra clothes if you don’t need them. Always prepare for the elements.

Summing Up Tips For First Time Campers

Going camping is incredible. But please don’t overthink it. Camping supplies are really very simple for a short camping trip.