Everybody started as new campers and everyone, even seasoned campers, made mistakes from time to time. Below is a list of the common mistakes new campers should remember and try to avoid to prevent unpleasant experiences.
1) Not researching the destination
Selecting the right campsite and read up on the conditions, weather, facilities available, including water and toilet, permits,..etc will determine whether your trip will be successful or not. Popular parks are usually booked well in advance, so if you do not book, you will be disappointed on arrival. The worst thing is that the nearest alternative campsite could be hours of drive away and it is getting late in the evening. Hence, always call in advance to find out the costs and availability.
2) Not trying out the tent and equipment
New campers usually wait till they reach the campsite before trying to set up their new tent. It will be a big embarrassment if you fumble for hours trying to put it up or reading instructions at the camp ground on how the thing works.Practice makes perfect, so always set the tent up first in the comfort of your home before the trip. This includes used tents just to make sure all the parts are still in working condition. Try out the new light, lantern and stove to ensure they operate properly. Check all batteries and bulbs and bring extra sets just in case. It is also a good idea to try the sleeping bag one night at home to find out how well you fit in.
3) Arriving late at the campsite
Arriving late at the campsite is a bad idea as it may be crowded or not having the opportunity to pick a better spot. You also need sufficient time to get familiar with the campground layout, rules and amenities. Besides, setting up tent and preparing meals are a lot easier during day time than struggling at night using flashlight. Tip: Make sure to reach the campsite early and have a backup plan if the site of your choice if full.
4) Not buying a tent that is big enough
Beginners frequently find themselves short of space inside the tent. Unless you are backpacking, it is always a good idea to opt for a bigger tent size. For instance, for couple campers, it is recommended to go for a 3 to 4 person rated tent, for a family of four a six person tent, etc. In your subsequent camping trips, you will appreciate the benefits of the extra space.
5) Not buying quality equipment
New campers tend to choose cheaper equipment on their first buy and upgrade later. This is usually the wrong decision as upgrading is costlier later. In addition, camping in the back country or wilderness require good and quality stuff that can be relied upon.
6) Throwing Garbage
Throwing garbage is a very bad habit, not only spoils the environment but also attracts nocturnal animals or insects to your site.Hence, always carry large garbage bags to lock up all the garbage and put it out of reach. Remember to bring out all the garbage bags in the car with you and dispose off properly in a bin outside the camping park.