June Safety Tip #2

Common Mistakes Of New Campers

We were all new campers once, and I’m sure we each could share a funny anecdote about a campground mishap or two. Maybe this list will make the learning process a little quicker and remind campers (new and old) of some things we should(n’t) do. Remember these common mistakes of new campers, and you’ll become a smart camper.

1.  Become familiar with your gear.

New campers usually wait until they get to the campground before they tryout new gear. Set up tents in your back yard before taking them camping. Check the operation of lanterns and camp stoves to make sure they work properly. Try your sleeping bag one night on the living room floor to see how well you sleep in it. Be a smart camper, become familiar with your gear.

2.  Buy a tent that is big enough.

Make space and comfort a priority in your choice of tents (unless you’re backpacking).  For family camping I recommend getting a tent with a capacity rated two higher than the number of campers that will use it. So for a family of two I would recommend a 4-person tent, for a family of four a 6-person tent, and so on.

3.  Make (and use) a checklist.

New campers often overlook a checklist. It’s no fun getting to the campground and finding out that you forgot something. Stay organized and make sure nothing is left behind by keeping a camping gear checklist. Use it while packing and check off each item.

4.  Arrive at the campground early.

Arrive early enough to give yourself time to learn the campground layout. Make your campground neighbors happy and set up camp during daylight hours. It’s much easier when you can see what you’re doing.

5.  Plan your meals.

Figure out how many meals you’ll be making for how many people, and put together some menu ideas. Then do you grocery shopping a day or two before departure so that the food will be fresh. Avoid buying munchies.

6.  Observe campground rules.

Please observe quiet hours. The little privacy you have is limited to your campsite. Respect the space that other campers have chosen, and don’t walk through another campsite to get someplace.

7.  Learn to back your RV before you get to the campground.

Be a smart camper, learn to back your RV before you get to the campground.

8.  Bring sufficient clothing.

Camping is all about being prepared. Remember, there’s no laundry facilities at the campground. You’ll like a rain suit in case it rains, a swim suit for a dip, and maybe a sweater or jacket for those cool evenings.

9.  Camp close to home.

Just in case, don’t travel far for your first camping trip. You may find out after a night of sleeping on the ground that you are not cut out to be a camper. You may have gear trouble and find yourself without a tent. You may run out of food. The weather may change for the worse. Any number of things could happen to make you want to go home early.