If you're new to camping, take this short course on getting started.
Just up ahead, find practical advice on what you'll need, along with links to other helpful tips and tricks to the joys of communing with nature while staying safe.
Things to consider
On your first time out you may want to consider buying used camping equipment, or borrowing camping equipment from a friend. If you can afford it, you may even opt for all the comforts of home, while sitting safely behind the wheel of an RV camper.
How you want to travel to a campground - as well as length of stay - are also important considerations for the camping beginner. A two-night stayover is ideal, while a one nighter won't leave enough time to relax and enjoy it!
Also give some thought about how close or remote your destination, how you will get there, and what you'll be doing (hiking or nature walks, for instance) and with whom.
Depending on the style of camping you prefer, you may not need all of the items on the following checklist. That said, this is a good basic guideline for what to bring along for both comfort and safety.
Hiking Gear & Equipment
Tip: Shop around for the best prices on basic equipment, but remember that not all hiking gear is created equal.
Compass, maps and directions
Snacks (snack bars, GORP, trail mix)
Cell phone (for emergencies)
Matches or disposable lighter (for starting a fire in case you get lost in the woods)
Battery-powered reading light
Water purification tablets
Money (cash or ATM cards)
Because it take hours to dry, cotton clothing should be avoided whenever possible. Wool, fleece or synthetics are best.
Wide brimmed hat (to protect against rain or sun)
Woolen hat (for colder mornings)
Rain Jacket or sweater
Pants or shorts
Underwear (and/or long underwear)