My husband and I recently bought our very own camping gear, and so we wanted to give it all a test run, before our major camping trip planned in the end of November. Our recent trip to Chilao Campground was actually our very first time camping alone, and our second camping experience overall. I’ll admit, I was a little scared that none of our friends could come with us, and we also went on Halloween, which spooked me out a bit more. But it turned out to be a fun and successful experience! Definitely learned a thing or two, and it made me feel much more ready for longer nights outdoors.
As a first-time camper, here’s a list of some of the things I think you should have before leaving home for the great outdoors:
- Tent – A given. If you plan on camping, you’ll need shelter. Some people opt for a hammock, but if it’s your first time, a tent will give you the comfort you need to feel “at home”.
- Sleeping Bags & Sleeping Pads – If you want a goodnight’s sleep, you’ll need a comfy sleeping bag, one which is suitable for the weather, and an insulating sleeping pad to help block the cold temperature of the ground from reaching your body. Bring extra blankets and use them if you still feel cold, or place it underneath your sleeping bag & pad to make it more soft.
- Portable Stove/Firewood & Food – Food is a necessity. Portable stoves make life easier for you, it will boil you water fast enough so you can have your coffee. But you will survive with just a campfire for heating/cooking meals. My favorite campfire food would be cheese quesadillas cooked in aluminum foil, and some hotdogs.
- Warm Clothing – Most days in L.A. tend to be scorching hot, but the nights can still get really cold. When it does, I stand by three layers: Base Layer, for warmth and moisture control (usually moisture wicking clothes); Mid Layer, to keep the warmth of your body within (wool sweaters); Outer Layer, the shell for weather protection (down jackets). And for socks, go for wool! On some days however, a light sweater and some sweats will do. So be sure to always check the weather before you leave so you can prepare!
- Foldable Chairs – You wouldn’t want to be sitting in the ground all day & all night, while you’re hanging out in your campsite. Getting those foldable beach chairs are perfect, so you can sit and stay by the campfire at night and relax while you gaze at the stars.
These 5 things kept our trip fun and hassle-free. We were comfortable from start ’til end, and that kind of camping experience is what will make you want to do more trips in the future.
Last but not least, do extensive research, especially about the place you’re going to. Each campsite will always be different, so it’s good to know what to expect. And in all cases, always expect the worse. We even researched on “How to survive a bear attack”, just in case. 😉
What other things, do you think, will help make someone’s first camping trip a success?