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Learn2 Prepare for a Camping Trip
(7 steps)

Take a walk on the wild side

If you've never camped before, you may feel you need to buy a lot of stuff and learn a lot of new skills to get started. That's really not true. Camping can be a gearhead's dream, but it can also be a simple, cheap, and incredibly fun way to get out of town for a couple of days. You don't have to buy much (you can borrow or rent most gear), and as for skills, the only real hurdle most beginning campers face is building a good campfire. Almost everything else you have to do is an adaptation of things you probably already know how to do. That goes for packing, too. This 2torial will help you learn to prepare now so you can enjoy yourself later.

Before you begin

Consider taking a trial run: Go for just one night to a campground with all the amenities (toilets, fire pits, drinking water) that's close to home (or at least close to a town). You'll see what it feels like to cook and wash and sleep outdoors, and that will help you plan (and pack!) for more trips. If you're planning on backpacking for the first time, include a two- to four-mile walk wearing your loaded pack and your hiking boots during this "trial" trip.

The most essential packing tool is a list. It may sound mindless, but write down everything you'll need, then cross it off when you've packed it. Better mindless now than match-less later! Add to the list as you consider what shelter, clothing, food, and equipment you'll need.
   Go to Step 1 of 7

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Step 1: Assess your needs
Step 2: Secure your shelter
Step 3: Take the proper clothes
Step 4: Plan your meals
Step 5: Assemble a mess kit
Step 6: Assemble your amenities
Step 7: Pack and load

  • A phone and phone numbers (for campgrounds, weather updates, etc.)
  • Some maps or guidebooks
  • Some paper and a pencil
  • Some food, clothes, and camping equipment
  • Some boxes, bags, and/or backpacks
  • A vehicle


Choose a Frequent Flyer Program
Remember Important Tasks Before Traveling
Understand Rental Car Insurance
Get the Proper License to Drive Abroad
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