Okay, you’ve heard your friends talk about the great weekend they had or the wonderful vacation they had. And they were camping.  So how to start camping is on your mind. Perhaps you’ve heard of how relaxing it can be to do some outdoor camping. Or perhaps you’ve figured out just how romantic it can be outdoors under the stars. So you want to learn how to start camping. I have a few suggestions…

How To Start Camping

There are really just two main necessities to start camping – 

  • A tent
  • A sleeping bag

As long as you don’t mind starving and losing weight, wearing dirty clothing for days on end, and drinking rainwater… 🙂

A tent

Okay, so there are a few other necessities. But let’s start with that tent. The first thing to do is buy a bigger tent than you think you need to start camping. If it’s just you and your better half going out camping, look for a 3 or 4 man tent.

I have the sneaking suspicion that the same people who make tents also pack sardines. They certainly have the same mentality. They also have the tendency to believe that the average person is 5’4″ and 120 pounds.

I’m here to tell you, I’m just a little bigger than that! Look around Amazon tent reviews, and you’ll run across people describing how they had to sleep diagonally in the tent just to fit.

A sleeping bag

Next, get a nice sleeping bag. One that’s long enough for you. Forget the ‘Mummy’ sleeping bags unless you live in Minnesota or some other frozen paradise. My father brought home a ‘Mummy’ sleeping bag from Antarctica, and let me tell you. If your campsite is warmer than the South Pole, you don’t need a ‘Mummy’ sleeping bag.


Many campsites have fireplaces or grills, so you might not need a camping stove. But pots, pans, dishes, and silverware you can raid out of the kitchen. If the campsites don’t have fireplaces, you may need a camping stove and know how to use a camping stove.

If fine china is all you have, skip the china and buy the 100 pack of paper plates at the supermarket. You’ll need a bigger cooler than you think you’ll need. Buy the biggest one you can, fill it partially with ice, then all the food you plan to eat.

How To Start Camping

How To Start Your First Camping

First Step: Practice!

Next: Head out to the backyard and practice.

Yep… let me say that again – head out to the backyard and practice.

You lose a point each time you have to walk back into the house. If you lose more than 3 points, you don’t want to go out camping yet, you’ll be miserable!

It’s downright amazing what a little experience will give you in the way of knowledge. What you need to take with you, whether your camping gear is adequate, what you’ve forgotten to bring.

Even these ‘practice’ sessions will be fun if you’re going to take kids with you. You should force them to ‘practice’ too. Kids often need kids’ camping gear to make their camping fun that we don’t think of on our own… so a little backyard practice can get you up to speed.

The nice thing about camping is that you can have a mini-vacation every weekend if you wanted to. And once you’ve acquired all the camping gear you need, it really doesn’t cost very much at all to go out and have a really great time!

I’m rather lucky in that there’s a great campground just a few miles away, and I know some people who need to drive 10-20 miles or more just to get out of the city. Not everyone can be lucky, I guess. But everyone can have a great time camping if you just take the time to learn how to start camping.

Meals For Camping

One of the first things you must plan before heading out on a camping trip is meals for camping. You don’t want to get out to the campsite and realize that you don’t know what you’re going to eat! A little prior planning can go a long way when you get out to a campsite.

It’s not going to be fun to realize that you’re missing some ingredients. And have to drive out to a store somewhere while everyone else is enjoying the camp. If you’re going camping with kids along, it’s even more important to plan ahead.

Hobo Stew

A camping trip with kids just really isn’t the same without sitting down to a meal of Hobo Stew. Involving the kids in making and cooking their own meals can make the camping trip even more fun. And even adults can enjoy a good Hobo Stew.

In fact, even when it’s just adults. Hobo Stew makes a quick, easy, and delicious meal. So before your next trip, take the time to view the video above so you’ve got the essentials.

How To Make Hobo Stew

As for the recipe, there are almost as many recipes for Hobo Stew as there are people making it. But the main ingredients are simple.

  • Aluminum foil
  • Hamburger
  • Vegetables

I like the idea of just bringing vegetables along with a cutting board and cutting up what I want to put in. This is also a very sneaky way to get the kids to eat their veggies in a stew, it’s hard to avoid them!

How To Start Camping
Big loaf of bread

Bring along a big loaf of bread. I find that Hobo Stew goes best with sourdough bread but that’s just my favorite combination.

Add something to drink, and you have one of the better meals for camping. For a healthy dessert, you can have strawberries, or whatever fruit happens to be in season.

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