camping essentials checklist guide

Camping Essentials – For First-Time Camping – Make Your Camping Comfortable

I’m not a pro-camper, but I have gone camping a dozen times. Every camping trip is a lesson learned and new items added to the checklist.

We create a checklist, and then after the camping, we improve the checklist to make out next trip easy and comfortable.

My very first camp was in Sante Fee Ski mountain slopes. We pitched the tent on 4 inches of ice (not snow). It was a long weekend, and all campsites were booked. So, what would seven college students do? We pitched a tent where we could park a car on an unoccupied frozen campsite.

Note: The college recreational center will rent out tents for free for students.

So, here are lessons we learned from our camping trips as a bachelor and with kids.

1.  Camping Tent

Get a bigger tent than the occupants. If you are a family of four with two kids, you have two options.

  1. Get a tent that fits 6 or 8 for a family of 4.
  2. If kids are older, get two tents.

Pitching the tent is easy. However, you need patience if you buy a regular tent.

Let’s look at some camping tents – regular and popup tents.

19%
15%
Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup in 60 Seconds
22,675 Reviews
11%
Coleman Pop-Up Camping Tent
6,076 Reviews
Coleman Pop-Up Camping Tent
2 or 4 person pop-up tent. Coleman.
Great reviews and fast setup.
Pop Up Tent, Zenph Automatic 2-3 Persons
799 Reviews
Pop Up Tent, Zenph Automatic 2-3 Persons
See the Product Demo Video!

Thinking back, the camping tent we have is a regular tent.

Note: If you are buying for the first time, I will spend a little more to get a popup tent.

Our next tent will be a pop-up tent. It pops open, and we don’t have to spend 30 – 60 minutes setting it up and struggle to pack it back in a small bag. It’s fun to pitch the tent, and it’s not fun to fit the tent back into a small bag!

2. Tent Footprints

I’m sure you would end up buying a tent that will cost between $50 to $200. For those tents, you need tent footprints.

A tent footprint is a fabric or material you lay under your tent that provides a moisture barrier and protects your tent floor from wear, tears, and punctures.

Amazon Basics Waterproof Camping Tarp
11,469 Reviews

Please get the tent footprint. Thank me later. 

Practical example – I want to keep the tent and bed free of dust. I do not want to go inside the tent with my sandals or shoes. If I were to remove them outside, I would have to step inside without stepping on the mud. Tend footprint will extend outside the tent and allows you to not get inside the tent without stepping on the dirt.

Get a larger tarp or a tent doormat to leave your shoes and sandals outside.

3. Tent Stakes

Tents usually come with low-quality stakes. If you want something sturdy, then buy a pack of stakes.

Do not forget the hammer or you will search for a stone or a tree branch.

4. Sleeping Bag or Pads

Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, or two-inch memory foam?

You can decide how comfortable you want to sleep. Did I tell the sleeping bag, I had did not help when I was sleeping over 4 inches of sold ice?

If you can drive to the campsite, you can take what makes you comfortable. If you have to hike up the campsite, then weight matters!

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Last update on 2023-05-14 at 20:06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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