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Camping Equipment For Beginners

Updated on August 7, 2014

Camping Equipment Advice For Beginners

Choosing camping equipment and tents can be a problem for beginners. Normally it is a good idea to buy as little as possible on your first camping trip and to hire and borrow as much as possible. It is very possible that you hate camping and then you have not wasted a lot of money. Of course, as you are considering it chances are you will love it!

Naturally there are the basics that you may have already. I think this will vary to a great extent depending on the Country you live in and your everyday lifestyle. How much do you really want to "rough it" or do you want some creature comforts?

If you live in South Africa it is pretty sure that you will have a few cooler boxes and folding chairs. We all “braai” (barbecue) summer and winter! Nothing and no weather will stop us!

So, if you have cooler boxes and camping chairs already it is a good idea to check them and make sure that they are all in good working condition. You do not want a chair collapsing far from anywhere. That is true for your cooler box as well. Also keep in mind to make sure ice will be available at your camping site


Camping Equipment And Your Camping Spot

This is something the beginner really has to keep in mind. It may be a good idea to go camping where there are good facilities such as ablution facilities and shops close by.

Having the basic “luxuries” will make it easier for you to decide if you enjoy camping. If you hate it even with these “luxuries” you can be pretty sure you will not enjoy camping in wild spots and you should not spend any money on camping equipment.

It is also very important to enquire about the “braai” facilities. Do you have to bring your own grid or not. Are the “braai” facilities at each camping spot or do you have to make use of communal facilities.

Electricity For Your Camping Equipment Or Not?

In South Africa it is a good idea to know whether or not electricity is available. Many camping camps in South Africa has electricity points at their camping spots. Of course, having electricity makes it possible for you to use appliances such as kettles, two plate electricity stoves and most of all a camping freezer, solving your meat problem!

Having an electric kettle can really make things better. It is really comfortable to be able to make coffee and tea without having to light a fire or gas stove. If there is no electricity bringing along a gas stove can make life easier.

What About The Equipment A Beginner May Forget?

Very often if you are “camping” in a camp that is at a holiday resort you will find that they have everything you may need and the shops tend to have all the equipment campers tend to forget about. It may sound ridiculous, but we once forgot to bring a table and we had to buy one at the shop, at a very inflated price, of course!

So, once again at a camping site with basic “luxuries” and shops close by is a good idea. It is amazing how “essential” differs from person to person. Find out what your needs are before attempting the “wild” Your check list may very a lot from some other campers. Seasoned campers at the camping spot will also be able to give you some very valuable advice.


Bring Along Enough Warm Clothes And Bedding

This is another mistake we made once. We went camping in summer in an area that is normally very hot and we did not bring along extra blankets in case our sleeping bags are not hot enough. That night it got bitterly cold and I froze my but off as I covered my granddaughter with everything we had. The next day we bought blankets, and of course, we did not need them on that trip. A lot of money wasted!

Food And Camping Equipment

Here we have another potentially disaster happening. You have to plan your food very carefully. Make sure that you will be able to cook the food you bring along without too much trouble. It is also not to bring along any fresh produce if you will be able to buy it at your camp as you need it.

On the other hand it is also better to bring along all the non perishable food you plan on cooking. Prices as camping sites are notoriously high.

This is another reason why camping in a “comfortable” camping site first is a good idea. As you will not have to carry anything for long distances weight is not that serious and it is a good way for you to find out what you actually use and what is unnecessary. Next time you will know what you need and what can be left at home.

Well, I know this does not nearly cover all the basics, but these are the lessons I learned when we first started camping. Fortunately we always camped with grown up children and they could always help in the case of problems.

Camping Equipment And Safety

Keeping safety in mind when using and using camping equipment is very important. If you have small children you have to think ahead when choosing your camping equipment.

Tables need to be very strong and stable so that a child bumping it or leaning on it cannot cause an accident and everything on the table lands on the ground, or even worse, in the child and hurting the child. Gas bottles and lamps need to be well out of the reach of a young child.

All these kind of precautions needs to be taken into account. Consciously Think about every piece of equipment and the possible accidents that can happen while you are using the equipment. For instance in South Africa we had a child badly burned by a fire lighter.

It is impossible to point out all the possible dangers so keep the possibilities in mind at all times.

On the other hand, because accidents do happen, make sure you have all the basic First Aid equipment you may need. Make very sure you have the necessary equipment to treat burn wounds, it is amazing what kids can get up to and hurt themselves.

Your Comments And Ideas Please

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    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 

      4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      A very useful and informative hub. We did a lot of camping years ago and recently started taking the caravan out again. Camping is so much fun, I highly recommend it. Great tips for beginners.

    • BNadyn profile image


      4 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

      We still want to go camping in the near future since we didn't have the chance over this summer. I didn't think about so many of these things like how much food to bring and sturdy tables and to bring a lot of blankets even in summer. I'm glad I read your article, useful tips, thanks! Pinning this to save. :)


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