Tent Camping for Beginners 101: Tips, Tricks, Basics & Ideas
If you ask keen campers why they love it, you’ll get a dozen different answers But one word will crop up over and over again: freedom. The freedom to go where you like, usually without having to book. To chase the good weather.
If it’s raining in Wales, head for East Anglia. If the TV weather forecast says that it’s better in the north than the south, then you can head north.
Freedom is important when you’re actually on site. Get up early, if that’s what you want to do, or lie in till lunchtime – you certainly won’t be the only one doing so on most campsites.
You can eat, what you like and you can do what you like. And, also with proper setup of tent, you can actually sleep, whereve you want. Tent camping is actually gives you wings of freedom with the ultimate relaxation.
Tent Camping for Beginners 101
With a few knowledge and experience tent camping for beginners isnt much of tough experiment to do. Here in this article we will cover some basic tips, guides and tricks for tent camping with safety and comfort.
Setting Up Camp
Depending on who you’re with and where you’re camping, the process of choosing where you’re going to pitch your tent can be either a complete breeze or a diplomatic nightmare.
An efficiently run campground with your family is a million miles away from letting a gaggle of mates loose on a maze of fields come festival season and even further away from being completely out in the wilds. Here are a few things to think about when you are setting up your camp and to make your stay in the countryside a happy one.
When You Arrive
The first thing to do when you arrive at the camping trip is to put the kettle on so by the time you have finished putting your tent up, tea will be up.
Plan to arrive in daylight. This way you will have the advantage of sight. If you arrive while it’s still light you’ll be able to work out where the sun sets and rises and choose which way to face your front door. Do you like shade in the morning for a slow rise for breakfast, or do you need that extra push of light streaming into your tent to get you out of bed? Or perhaps you would like to view the setting sun from your bed.
But don’t worry: if, come the end of work on a Friday night, you are itching to get away from it all and it’s dark by the time you arrive at your destination, just have a torch or even better a head torch at the ready and be prepared to move things around a little come the morning.
How to Pitch a Tent: First Time Tent Camping Tips
If you are doing your first time camping trip, then there should be many things you can follow for first time tent camping. It’s not like camping in a tent is a difficult thing to do, actually tent camping basics are very easy. But still, there are some camping tent tips and guide you should follow for pitching a tent eighter if you are a beginner camper or a seasoned camper.
Take a Good Look at the Weather
When you are pitching your tent don’t forget to think about what the weather might do. Yes, we British love our weather – after all, it gives us something to talk about.
The chances are that you’ll be camping when the forecast is good. But the good old British weather invariably doesn’t do what it’s supposed to so always be prepared.
Picking Up the Right Campsite Ground
Remember that old phrase “high and dry. Low campsite areas can be pockets for cold air and collect rain like a sponge. So on rainy nights pitch your tent higher up for backcountry camping, or it might not be waterproof for long.
High or Low? Place for Camping Trip
The higher campground is good but you’re then exposed to wind, so use hedges and other natural windbreaks to your advantage. Don’t camp under trees in strong winds – you don’t want branches crashing down on you. That said, trees provide excellent refuge for shade seekers when those hot, sunny days are just too much. Bliss!
Camping Near the Stream
It’s lovely to camp near a stream, river or sea; the sound of the water is so relaxing and helps to filter out any unwanted noise. However, waterside pitches do pose some potential hazards.
Be sure it’s not going to pelt down with rain if you’re planning to camp near a river – you could wake to find the riverbanks burst and your tent on its way to the sea!
Tent Camping on a Beach for Beginners
If you’re lucky enough to be camping or sleeping on a beach, choose a spot well above the shoreline or you may end up going for an unplanned moonlit swim. You can usually tell where the shoreline is by the line of flotsam and jetsam (seaweed and other bits and pieces) on the beach.
Lightning strikes the highest object in a campsite area, so don’t put your tent under the tallest tree in the forest and don’t camp in the middle of an open field.
If you find yourself driving around in the dark, desperately looking for somewhere to camp, and end up having to pitch your tent for a not so romantic night’s camping in a car park, just be ready for when the warden appears and sternly asks you to move on.
Once You’ve Chosen Your Spot
Once you have selected the right spot for a basic camping tent you can now follow some tips:
Look for a nice expanse of flattish campground clear of tree roots for basic camping tent.
The campsite areas needed to be cleaned before setting up a tent.
Clear the site of stones and sharp sticks or you will regret it later.
If you do have a sloping site make your bed with the pillows at the top of the hill so your blood runs to your feet, not your head.
Be careful not to park your tent over a wasps’ or ants’ nest (we know from bitter camping experience that wasps can nest in holes in the campsite ground).
Other Things to Consider on How to Tent Camp
- If campfires are permitted, where is the woodpile and is there already a fire pit?
- Do you want neighbours or not?
- Where are the toilets, if any? It’s no fun to have your camp on the main highway to the loos.
- Where is the water tap?
- Where do you park your car?
- Where do you put the rubbish?
- Are there any noisy kids (if you don’t have any)?
- Are there any noisy kids for my noisy kids to play with (if you do? Remember that it’s fun! It’s like building yourself a new house, or playing at being a kid again. Get creative and enjoy it.
Tent Camping Setup Ground: How to Setup the Campground
For camping and backpacking trip, setting up the campground is an important part. If there is just one tent to put up, then it’s pretty simple: ‘oh, that looks nice; the sun rises over there and I’d love that view in the morning. Let’s camp there!
Best Tents for Beginner Campers
For perfect tent camping, you will need the best camping tents along with proper camping gear. You should pick something that is easy to set up and gives you proper comfort and safety for camping. Either for dispersed camping or camping in a campsite, you need perfect backpacking tents. Here are few choices you can look at:
- REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ & 3+
- REI Grand Hut 4
- Eureka Space Camp 4
- Big Agnes Big House 6
- Nemo Hornet Ultralight Backpacking Tent
- REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus Tent
- Decathlon Quechua 2 Second Easy Tent, 2-Person
- Coleman Instant family camping tent
- Kelty Discovery 4
- Caddis Rapid 6
- Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 Tent
- Kelty Dirt Motel 3-Season Backpacking and Camping Tent
- Marmot Limestone 4P
- Coleman Da Gama Unisex Outdoor Tunnel Tent
- Kelty Grand Mesa 4 Car Camping Tent
Family Tent Camping tips & Ideas
Camping trip in a group of family members makes it a bit trickier to organise the pitch. Inevitably everyone has their own idea of how things should be done, so some tact and negotiation skills can often come in handy. For proper tent camping, here are few tips on best way to tent camp. You can follow these tips for perfect comfort in a tent:
Best Tent Camping Set Up Layout
A circle of tents is the traditional layout and, to our minds, is the best way to begin with, ideally with a campfire or other focal point at its heart. There’s something very special about a circle of tents.
It’s so lovely to wake up to a new dawn, tiptoe out of your tent, put the kettle on and see sleepy faces emerge from their tents. As the night falls you can watch everyone sat around the roaring campfire, sharing stories into the small hours as one by one they slip off to their boudoirs.
Keep Your Tent in a Safe Distance from Fires
You do need to ensure that the tents aren’t too close to the fire (if you’re allowed one) and check the wind direction so no one gets smoke billowing into their tent though this seems to be unavoidable, however hard we try. For a safer camping trip, you need to follow some safety guidelines, and this is one of them.
If you can’t have a fire make a communal seating campsite area, with candles and even flowers if you’re feeling decorative. You could also make or take a shelter with you to put over the communal area, for shade or protection from the rain.
Gazebos are very cheap but it’s probably just as easy and more fun to make yourself a shelter with some tarpaulin. But if you have got fire from camping stove or campfire please don’t put your gazebo over the top of it.
Take sheepskins and lay them over plastic matting; they make wonderful insulators for your posterior and are really comfy and warm.
Pick a Good Area for Camp Kitchen
Eating is the favourite camping pastime, so put the camp kitchen, if you’re having one, in or near the circle if you can as it’s always a hive of activity. Try to make this a shaded spot away from the heat of the fire.
Put the Door In Front
It’s not always possible to create the perfect camping circle. Don’t worry if you can’t – the main thing is to try to create a sociable camp, with all the tents facing towards the fire or communal area.
Don’t pitch a tent body in a way that its door faces the back of another tent and be sure to leave enough space between tents for a restful night’s sleep. Tent walls aren’t snore-proof, giggle-proof or indeed any other sort of noise you may care to make the proof.
Best Tent Setup for the Big Tipi or Bell: Keep it in the Middle
If you or one of your gang has a big tent, a tipi or bell tent with a big living campsite area, a good idea on best tent setup is to position it near the middle of camp to be used as a living room, kitchen or poker den. On any camping trip, placing things in order does help a lot.
Likewise, if you or one of your gang has a camper-van or motor home, try to park it with its door facing into camp so it can be used to everyone’s advantage.
Some have awnings, which can provide shelter or shade; if yours doesn’t, one can easily be fashioned by tying a tarpaulin to the sides of the camper and using poles or long sticks as props. The camp kitchen can be set up underneath and everyone gets to use the campers’ facilities too.
What to Take Camping in a Tent: Tent Camping Gear Checklist
While camping in a tent we tend to forget many things, and after setting up the campsite, the things we tend to remember. So, it is always a better idea to make a “what do i need for tent camping” shortlist of camping. The camping checklist should look like this:
- Camping Tent
- Folding camping chair
- Camp Table
- Sleeping pad
- Camp stove
- Instant tent or a Backpacking tent
- Air mattress
- Backpack for keeping camping gear
- Frying pan
- Camping equipment box
- Sleeping mat
- Eating utensils
- Flush toilets
- Cooking utensils
- Tent repair kit, paracord, gaffa tape, cable ties, sewing kit
- Sleeping clothes for camping
- Dome tent repair kit
- Dry underwear and camping socks
- Kitchen stove and fuel
- Chopping items
- Towels and sweatshirts
- Tea pots
- Hiking shoes & hiking boots
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent kit
- Toothpaste and toothbrush
- Mugs/cups for camper
- Lantern and Batteries
- Comfortable sleeping bag
- Camping Pillows
- Sleeping Bag
Camping Tips and Tricks for Tents for Comfort
Have your mallet and pegs to hand and use the instructions provided. Get everyone to help each other. Or just get the others to set up the tents while you find the brandy and sort out the food.
Diagonal wrinkles in the tent floor could indicate that you’ve stretched it too tightly in one direction – check for these while you’re putting up the tent.
It’s no mean feat to pitch a tent in windy conditions – a tent with no poles is essentially a great big kite. Gather some stones, logs or anything else heavy that you have to hand to hold down the tent and flysheet. Grab some friends to help you.
Stake the tent at one corner as a security measure in case of sudden gusts. Thread the poles through one at a time, staking as you go, and use your guy ropes for extra stability.
Tips Tricks for Inside the Tent
We know this sounds geeky but keeping your tent organised from the outset makes camping life so much more pleasant. Weirdly, Tess is obsessively tidy when camping but at home, it’s quite a different story.
- Keep the sleeping area free from muddy boots and muddy boys. Use a perfect comfortable tactical boots to avoid problems.
- If you have a porch in your tent, put the food in there; if not, keep the food at the doorway.
- Use your dustpan and brush to sweep out leaves, dirt, sand and spiders.
- Keep a camp lamp near the door inside your tent. Camp lamps are great and are widely available at camp shops. Alternatively, you can use candles but must always blow them out when you leave the tent or slip off to dreamland.
- To make your own camp lamp, put some sand into a jam jar (so the heat doesn’t melt your groundsheet) then place a tea-light on the sand. Make a handle out of wire and you have the perfect cheap, easy and pretty camp light.
- Use s-hooks to hang things from your tent roof. Hang your torch within arm’s reach of your bed.
- Zip up your tent when the sun starts to set in order to keep in the day’s warmth and avoid condensation as the temperature drops.
- That old bit of carpet that’s been in your car boot can be used as your tent’s doormat.
Best Way to Tent Camp for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
Bedtime is heavenly when you’re camping. Sleeping under the stars, listening to the murmur of your neighbours, the pitter-patter of rain or the gentle lapping of water can all lull you off into a deep, luxurious sleep … But only if you’re comfy.
Why make do with an old, thin, nylon sleeping bag when it requires just a little extra effort to take your duvet, sheets, sheepskins, pillows and blankets and have yourself the best bed ever? Believe us, it’s worth it – if you get a good night’s sleep you wake up refreshed, and you feel so smug in your big delicious bed. We have an ongoing challenge to see who can make the comfiest bed.
Another great thing about making super-comfy beds is that you can pull them outside in the morning and lie in with the best view in the world.
- For extra luxury wrap up your toasty warm hot-water bottle with your duvet half an hour before you go to bed.
- Tuck a sheepskin under your sheets for some added comfort and warmth.
- If you don’t like the idea of taking your duvet, zip two sleeping bags together and steal someone else’s warmth.
- Weather permitting, air your bed during the day.
Come nighttime, just pop on your nightie or Jim jams. Climb into your super-cozy camping bed and dream of tomorrow’s delights.