Kevin Morse is an avid camper and a veteran Groove Life Customer Experience professional. Kevin and his family love to camp every chance they get. They make it a point to go camping at least once a month.
As a husband and father with years of camping experience, we thought he would be the perfect person to offer advice to beginning campers.
Hey, Kevin! What are 4 tips you would offer first-time campers?
1. Keep it simple!
First things first. You need shelter, you need food, and you need the right clothing!
Don’t spend a ton of money if you’re not sure what you like yet. Search online for used camping equipment, check local stores to see if they rent out equipment (and chat with the employees there about camping too!), or ask around at work or church before you drop those benjamins on the fleece lined, air conditioned, chrome plated sleeping bag that’s rated for penguins in the arctic.
2. Do Some Research
Research the places you want to go and the type of camping you want to do. Even just a few minutes online searching “how to tent camp in Tennessee,” “the most beautiful places to camp in the Southeast,” or “hammock camping vs. tent camping” will give you an idea of what you might want to try!
KOA is a great national resource for camping. Heck, even your smartphone can search for “camping near me” and offer some hidden locations you may enjoy.
Maybe you want to camp places where you can hike, or maybe you’d rather find a great spot and just hang out there the whole time. There’s no wrong answer. But a little research might save you later on.
We made a plan to drive through Yellowstone last month, and only discovered after we got there that a major road we intended to take had actually been closed all year! Checking their website would have saved us some stress and time.
3. Keep Your Plans Loose
After you’ve done your research, relax. Make a loose plan of what you’re wanting to do each day, and then be flexible. Some of the best moments in camping are unplanned.
You may want to go down to a river for an afternoon, or hike a local peak, or just take in the beautiful creation from the nearest hammock. Also, the weather can change on you, so be flexible, slow down and enjoy the scenery and people you are camping with. Relax, have fun, and enjoy the creation!
4. Don’t Give Up!
Don’t let one bad experience ruin your desire to camp.
Our first camping experience was our worst camping experience. Even though the temperature was supposed to be in the mid 50’s, it dropped into the single digits. Then the kids’ tent flooded at 2:00am.
This all happened on Christmas Day! Say it like it is- it was awful! We’ve had some amazing camping experiences since then and that’s because we learned from it and kept going camping. We grew a ton as a couple, and a family, because we pushed through the challenges.
Just remember- there’s as many ways to camp as there are to cook chicken. If it was too raw and outdoorsy, try a camper. If it wasn’t primitive enough for you, try backpacking.
We have tweaked things after every trip we’ve gone on, and that’s been part of the fun! If you want to enjoy the outdoors, there’s a way to do it that you will love.
You’ve just got to find it!