How to Avoid Common Mistakes in the First Time Camping

Camping must be in everyone’s bucket list, as it’s something that should be done at least once in a lifetime! Experiencing the great outdoors while enjoying the night by a warm campfire is the dream for the adventurous souls. Plus, it makes a great activity to do with loved ones. You can even experience solitude and relaxation, going camping by yourself and being one with both the nature and your soul.

But when you’re about to start camping, especially if it’s your first time, you should know the ropes and acquaint yourself with the different camping gear and etiquette. Many beginners happen to make mistakes when camping, and it just makes the whole experience a bad one, which you wouldn’t want! So here are some tips on how to avoid common mistakes in the first time camping for the new camper:

  1. Research



You should always make sure that you do your research before you leave for camping! Spontaneous trips are great, especially when camping out in the grounds, but it can get a bit too much for the new camper. It’s best to know where you are going so you can be prepared for the right weather conditions and area, rather than end up forgetting important gear or bringing too much weight in your bag.

Also, budget is very important, which is why it’s best to search up on camping grounds to find out their rates and availability. You don’t want to go to a place and find out you didn’t bring enough pocket money, or that they are too full to accommodate any more campers! It becomes a waste of time and effort, so be sure that you make a call or search for good camping spots online.

  1. Test your equipment

test camping tent

A common mistake new campers make is that they purchase equipment without testing it out first. Practice pitching a tent or creating a fire with your new gear, so as not to waste time trying to figure it out yourself when in the camping grounds. That way, you won’t only save a bit of time and effort, but also avoid the embarrassment of not knowing what to do.

Testing your equipment will also help you know whether the item works or not, so you can have it replaced by the manufacturers. It’s best to know how everything works before you head on to your trip, so instead of bringing a whole set of instructions, you can go start your trip with the proper equipment straight away.

  1. Campfire


The campfire is one of the most essential and memorable parts of the trip. That being said, it also is a bit difficult to set up, especially if you’re just a new camper! A common mistake campers make is not being prepared to create a campfire, or worse, having a backup in case the weather conditions do not allow you to make one. Not only does it ruin the whole campfire experience, but it can also be a bit of a hassle especially when you rely on the campfire to cook your meals!

Like mentioned, make sure that you are allowed to set up a campfire in the grounds you’ll be staying in, and that the weather condition is good enough to build one. And if ever, bring a backup stove or create a plan (such as making a barbecue!) in case something does happen that prevents you from making a campfire.

Further Reading:

How to Build a Campfire: Tips for Beginners

  1. Cheap over quality gear

ripped tent

Just because you’re a new camper doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on the equipment! Buying it cheap may mean that you end up getting low quality goods, which isn’t what you would want to have when camping. A ripped tent or broken lighter may make or break your whole camping experience, so make sure you choose quality over purchasing one at a cheaper price. But don’t overpay, either! Try to catch sales or search online for discounts of quality camping gear if you’re on a budget. Spending a bit more than usual will get you saving up a lot more in the long run!

  1. Buying too much

Family Camping Gears

Family Camping Gears

You can buy quality goods, but don’t end up spending too much and purchasing too much equipment! You might not even need it during your trip. Make sure that when purchasing camping gear, everyone is onboard and ready to go, as well as making sure you really need that piece of equipment. Again, do your research and know what you need before going shopping. Avoid buying spontaneously and make a list of the necessities.

It’s recommended to prepare and get things required for the beginner camper, and once you go on the next few trips, create a mental list of what else you will need.

  1. Cold nights

winter camping

Make sure that your bedding and tent is made of quality material to avoid teeth chattering late at night! Bundle up with soft sleeping bags, makes sure you are well-clothed, and again, be prepared for the weather conditions that can change anytime. That way, you won’t end up having a sleepless night trying to battle the cold weather.

  1. Being too late

arriving late to campsite

Arriving late at the campsite ends up with you looking for free space to pitch your tent, especially when camping during peak season! Not only is it a waste of time, but you don’t get to have first dibs on the areas you want, missing out on beautiful views. Make sure you arrive early in the morning rather than late afternoon to avoid preparing your stuff in the dark. It’s a hassle having to pitch your tent at night, especially if you’re just beginning!

  1. Lighting

lightning camping

One thing is for sure; always bring enough lighting, may it be torches or headlamps. One can never have too much lighting when camping, so bring extra to avoid a night of pitch black surroundings. You’ll only have the moon and fire as light if you don’t. Pack battery operated flashlights and bring backups for those just-in-cases.

  1. Leaving your food and garbage out in the open


It does not only create a mess, but it’s also a way to invite unwanted critters! Avoid leaving garbage and food around your area to avoid a huge mess created by foxes and possums during the night. Lock your food to avoid it from being stolen, and always remember the “Leave No Trace” rule of camping. Clean your mess and make sure you leave the campsite the way you went in: Clean and spotless.

We all make mistakes, whether you’re a beginner or have been camping for quite some time now. Instead of a bad experience or mistake ruining your entire camping experience, it’s best to just laugh it off and use it as a lesson for your next trip. Camping is an enjoyable activity meant to make you happy, so leave it that way and just have fun!

And there you have it, some tips and ways on how to avoid common mistakes in the first time camping. New campers won’t need to worry about the wilderness or ruining the whole experience, as camping is meant to be a fun and memorable time to enjoy alone or with your loved ones around you. As long as you’re prepared and up for the challenges you’ll face when camping, you’ll definitely have a great time and want to do it again! Make sure you read up on the how-to’s of camping and e ready for anything. After all, it isn’t only all fun and games, but a learning experience as well. Have fun with the great outdoors!


My name is William, a family man with two kids and the passion for camping. I started Pandaneo with sharing memorable camping experiences back as a newbie camper, introducing my family to the love for the great outdoors. As time passed, we started traveling across states, trying to hit as many campsites we can!