Travel

Camping for beginners

I love camping! If I plan enough ahead…

I’m not really a big camper, I didn’t grow up camping, but I decided I wanted to be good at camping! You can bring your dog, I love the outdoors and waterfalls, and it’s cheap! So here is how my non camper self has learned to camp!

The first thing I have to do is get a campsite with water and electric. Turns out you have to book these way in advance! Also just going for one night makes camping a lot easier. I will work my way up to longer camping trips!

I thought the hardest part was knowing what to pack so here is the best list I can make of what to bring!

Basics List:

• Tent – We bought this tent for $34 at walmart and I think it is the perfect size for two people, a queen air matress, and a dog. Just get a tent that is easy to put up and easy to carry. The tent I stole from my parents was massive and I still don’t know how to work it, very stressful in my opinion.
• Air mattress/blankets/pillows
• Hiking Shoes/Shower flip flops
• Hiking Clothes
• Cooler with food you can cook on the grill
• Water – We buy bottles of water and freeze half of them to keep the cooler colder
• Swimsuit
• Towel
• Bug Spray
• Sunscreen
• Folding chairs
• Lighter Fluid/Charcoal/Tongs/Cast Iron Pan/Tin Foil
• Paper Plates/Utensils/Paper Towels
• Trash Bags
• Wet Wipes
• Firewood/Coat Hangers for Marshmallow roasting
• Flashlight
• Cash/check (in case the park doesn’t accept credit card)

Food was a really hard thing for me to wrap my head around too because you have to keep it cold! To make myself feel better about meat sitting in a cooler all day I now only bring precooked meat. For example, if we know we want to grill chicken I will precook the chicken breasts at home so we can just warm them up on the outdoor grill. Below is what we ended up doing:

Breakfast – Breakfast tacos, I premade an egg/sausage/potato mixture so that all we had to do was heat it up in the cast iron pan on the grill

Lunch – Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, chips, apples (or other fruit that doesn’t need to be refrigerated)

Dinner – Fully Cooked Sausages, Onions (precut), Peppers (precut) and then we threw these together in the cast iron pan, covered with tin foil and cooked for about 20 minutes stirring every 5 minutes or so until the onions were caramelized

Fire Starting:

The easiest way to light your coals is to douse the coals in lighter fluid first, then let it soak in for about 10 minutes, then light your coals. Same thing will work for your bonfire later.

Also don’t forget the smores! (and coat hangers for roasting the marshmallows)

Bringing food that is easy to cook and the right equipment makes camping really fun! 

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