To have a successful camping trip you need to be prepared. You can make sure that your first camping experience is a great one by being properly equipped. Here are some camping for beginners tips on how to choose the right type of tents and sleeping bags.
Camping Gear – You Get What You Pay For
As a first time camper you will have to invest in quite a bit of camping gear to get you started. It may be tempting to choose the cheapest tents and sleeping bags available but in the long run you will be much better off paying more for higher quality items.
Better quality tents and sleeping bags not only provide a more comfortable camping experience, when stored properly they will also last for many years.
Choosing a Camping Tent
The most important camping purchase that you will make is the tent. When deciding on a tent the two main things to consider are the size you will need and how well the tent will protect you from the elements.
Remember that while you are camping your tent will be your only form of shelter. If you have never spent a night sleeping outdoors you might be surprised at how quickly the weather can change from hour to hour.
Never assume that the weather will be just fine during your trip, even if it is only a one night stay. A flash rain or windstorm can ruin an entire camping trip in minutes if you are not fully prepared for it. So it is vital to choose a high quality sturdy tent that comes with a good rain cover.
If your tent is not able to withstand heavy rain or high winds you may find yourself waking up in the middle of the night to find your tent leaking or even worse blowing away. Good weatherproof tents can be pricey but it is well worth the expense.
What to Look For in a Camping Tent
A good tent will have a waterproof rain fly that extends over the entrance of the tent. The tent floor should be made out of waterproof nylon and run six inches from the floor up the sides of the tent to prevent it from becoming flooded in wet weather.
When considering tent size add in the amount of space needed for clothing and personal items. A tent that sleeps two people may have enough room for two but will not have enough extra room for your clothing.
Even though a tent may be advertised as a “two man tent” it does not mean that two people will actually be comfortable sleeping in the tent together. When it comes to tent size it is better to go a bit larger than what you think you will need.
Camping With Kids
Children who are around eight years or older will probably be willing to sleep in their own small tent but if you are concerned for their safety or think that they will want to bunk with you throughout the trip you could choose a large family style tent to comfortably accommodate everybody.
You can find great family tents that are designed as two separate rooms that share an adjoining nylon wall that can be kept open or closed. The layout offers room enough for everyone to sleep together as a family but you will still have a fair amount of privacy.
Buying a Sleeping Bag
Once you have picked out your tent you can start thinking about what kind of sleeping bag would be the best for your camping trip. Choose a sleeping bag that comes with a temperature rating.
The label should let you know whether the sleeping bag is for warm summer weather only or if it will keep you warm on colder nights. You should always pack warm clothing, including long underwear in case the temperature drops unexpectedly during the evening.
Recommended Camping Accessories
Since sleeping directly on the ground can be extremely uncomfortable you should use a sleeping pad beneath your bag. For optimum comfort bring along a comfortable cot or inflatable air mattresses which will keep you up off of the ground and allow for a great nights sleep.