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First Time Camping - Checklist

Updated: May 22, 2022

This article provides a comprehensive checklist essential to help have a successful Camping. In our previous Article, we provided details on how to choose a campsite based on various factors specific to each camping individual or a group/family. You can read at this link - First Time Camping - Choosing a Camp site

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Spring is just a month away and with many trying to flex their mind and body out of the Pandemic restrictions, are venturing out more with outdoor activities. Among them, Camping is most loved activity across all age groups. Today, in this article we will provide

you with a checklist which is essential for your first camping. Take a print out and keep it handy in case you love to scratch items of your list as you load them to your car trunk. Below list covers must have and nice to have camping gears. Few of the items can be repurposed from your kitchen. But, if you intend to go camping often, please go head setup a dedicated list of items and store it in your Garage. Lets start off with the primary item the camping tent and the accessories required within the Tent.

How to Choose a right camping Tent:

To pick a tent to best suit your group/family, there are few parameters to be considered.

  1. Size of the group

  2. Comfort and type of the Tent

  3. Weight and size of the tent and other camping gears

  4. Weather conditions

Camping Tents come in various types and styles which can best suit ground camping, or attached to a RV extender or SUV trunk. Based on your need, you can own them and share among family members. Size of the group or family plays major role in choosing a tent. Though the tents specifications are listed in inches/foot, its more common to choose a tent which specifies the number of persons fit in the tent. A visual image on the website or product page helps you make right decision. Usually they are designed to accommodate with a minimum of 1 person and to 20+ persons large group.

It is always advisable to take a larger tent than to the exact numbers specified on the product page. A 2 person Coleman Tent will fit 2 persons perfectly provided they sleep in a sleeping bag, with less room for any other camping gears to be kept accessible. It may fit the Queen bed, but then there will be no more space for any other items or them to move around. If you are doing a backpack camping and traveling light, it may be a right pick. But, if you are joining other group members and camping for 3-4 nights with additional camping gears and prefer to have a cozy sleeping arrangement, then 4 person Tent will be the right choice for 2 Persons.

Similarly, If you have two couples in a family and love to camp together, a cabin type camping tent which has a divider is a perfect choice as against a large 6-8 persons tent with no divider. This allows privacy and able to store personal items separately. Yes, Privacy in Camping :-).

If you love star gazing, you can look for tents with see-through roof. But, make sure that Rain fly is always kept handy as surprise thunderstorms are quite often when you head towards state parks with lot of woods or near hilly region.

Addition to it, compared to initial days, the camping tents are very advanced such that they are designed to be light weighted and ready to pitch in with less efforts and time. These instant Tents are very popular.

Not last but the least and very important factor is the tent able to withstand the drastic weather changes. Thunderstorms, Snow and heavy winds are the main party pooper during Camping. Though the weather forecasts can warn us and help us be prepared, there are instances were we will be surprised with conditions which are not in forecast. Heavy winds are too risky as the tents may fly off if not properly staked into the ground. Usually spare stakes are provided which should be used liberally. Thunderstorms are tricky and usually beats the forecast and love to surprise us during night. So, if you had plans to star gaze and had skipped spreading the rain flyer, make sure you do it before everyone goes to sleep. Every camper will have 1 or 2 stories of them getting drenched or their tent being flooded.

Alright, with this detailed info on what to consider while buying a tent, lets go through this comprehensive checklist. Feel free to add your own list to this.

Camping Tents and its Gears/Accessories:

Camp Fire - Fun activity and Cooking/Grilling


Few handy tools and accessories for backup or may need in case of rare emergency.

We hope you will have memorable experiences on this journey of camping and being close to the nature. Please share this article with your camping enthusiast friends and family members and is there any list of items which you feel should be added to the checklist, please leave us a comment.

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