10 Tips for Tent Camping
Whether you’re a pro or a newbie, these tips are perfect for tenters.
Tent camping is an escape from the busyness of our lives that takes us on adventures in the beautiful outdoors where we can disconnect from technology and reconnect with Mother Nature.
However, in order to make your camping trip comfortable, and thus, enjoyable, you need to know what you’re doing and have the right gear. Otherwise, your vision of the perfect camping trip may, in reality, be a nightmare.
To make sure you get to experience the summer camping of your dreams, we’ve put together 10 tips for tent camping.
Once you have all the below checked off your list, you know that you are really set to go and hit the road for your favorite KOA.
1. Practice Setting Up The Tent At Home
Sure, it may look easy to set up. “The box claims set-up only takes 5 minutes,” you say. Well, not everyone is a camping pro, and when you’re out in the woods with just a few minutes of sunlight left, you are not going to want to be testing out your camping skills.
Instead, set up the tent in your living room or back yard a couple of times before heading out. Not only will that help you get the hang of what goes where, it will also help you speed up the process of setting up the tent so that you aren’t wasting your precious camping time fussing with tent poles.
2. Pick Your Campsites Ahead of Time
Few things feel more stressful than that panicky feeling you get as the sun is setting, and you have no idea where you’re going to park your tent for the night.
Avoid this with our help. By using the “Find A KOA” feature, you can find the best camping spots in no time, and ahead of time.
Search the areas you’re interested in exploring, and find the nearest KOA campsite. You can then click to see more information about each individual site including amenities, activities, photos/videos, and more.
Here you can also reserve your camping spot before you leave for you trip, so that you don’t end up spending your camping trip sleeping in your car.
3. Make Campfire-Friendly Meals Ahead of Time
Just because you’re camping and don’t have access to a big kitchen doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have good food. If you’re not feeling excited about a can of baked beans and some hot dogs for dinner while camping, then plan ahead and make some meals that are easy to cook over the campfire.
Make chicken kabobs ahead of time and pack in plastic bags. With this method, the kabobs will be all set to pull out, and you’ll be able to cook up a fabulous meal over the fire in just a few minutes.
We’ve got great camping recipes here, so take a look at our favorites — you’re likely to find some that you’d like to bring on your trip!
4. Bring Extra Padding
No, camping in a tent does not have to be uncomfortable. There is great gear out there that was made to help you get a good night’s sleep while in your tent.
Key to a restful night is a sleeping pad of some sort, or maybe even an inflatable mattress. Whatever your extra padding is, be sure not to forget it. We promise your camping trip will be much more enjoyable if you are well rested.
5. Bring Games
You will likely go hiking while camping, and possibly swimming if near water, but one thing people seem to forget is that there is quite a bit of down time while camping.
But that’s the whole point, isn’t it? To get away from our busy lives and just relax?
We certainly think it is. And down time is a great opportunity to pull out some card or board games and have some good old fashioned fun.
6. Pack Good Coffee
While some love the traditional cowboy coffee while camping, there are those of us coffee “snobs” who just cannot bring themselves to accept chugging down coffee grounds.
And just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you can’t have coffee that tastes just as good as the cup from your favorite cafe. You can bring a French press, a pour-over setup, or buy yourself some instant coffee that is more on the fancy side.
It will be worth it to you to have that good fuel first thing in the morning.
7. Waterproof Your Tent
While beautiful, Mother Nature is also full of surprises — you can never be too sure what the weather is going to do. It could be sunny and 75 degrees one minute, and pouring rain the next. And this is something you’ve got to be prepared for while camping.
In order to keep yourself and your gear dry, it’s a good idea to waterproof your tent before heading out on your trip.
How do you do this?
It’s quite simple – just purchase a can of silicone sealant and, while practicing the setup of your tent (see #1), spray the tent from top to bottom, left to right. Don’t forget the zippers!
Cover every square inch of your tent with that spray and you should be all set if you find yourself camping in a downpour.
8. Go During the Week, Rather Than The Weekend
If your schedule allows, go camping during the week. Campsites on any summer weekend are typically jam packed with people — everyone is looking for a little escape.
So, if you’re looking for a more quiet and relaxing camping trip, see if you can work a mid-week stay into your schedule.
9. Take Advantage of Campsite Amenities
With KOA’s in-depth descriptions of each campsite, you will know what amenities the sites you’re staying at offer.
Standard to KOA campsites are amenities such as:
- Level ground to pitch your tent
- Picnic tables, water spouts, and fire pits
- Clean restrooms
- Hot showers
- And much more
Knowing that you’ve got these and other great amenities waiting for you will take a lot of stress (and likely extra packing) off of you.
10. Leave The Campsite As You Found It
This is a very important rule to follow not only out of respect for those that come after you, but also to protect our beautiful outdoors. Bring out any trash you brought in, and make sure your fire is completely out.
Also, be sure you’ve packed up all your own gear and haven’t left anything behind.
You feeling really ready to go camping now? With these 10 tips up your sleeve, your camping prep will be much easier, and therefore, your camping trip will be far more enjoyable.
So start practicing your tent pitching now — there are adventures out there waiting!
Born and raised in the Big Sky Country of Montana, Leslie K. Hughes is a writer, editor, and communication specialist who calls Arizona Home. Leslie has over 10 years of experience in working with words and helping people use the magical English language to grow their businesses. When not traveling and choosing “cake over steak,” Leslie serves her fabulous clients as Copy Girl.