Top 10 Camping Recommendations for New Campers

camping, vehicle

When it’s done right, camping is one of the best ways to de-stress, reset, and recharge from the fast paced rhythm of modern life.

There is even strong scientific evidence to show that removing ourselves from the urban environment and spending extended periods in natural environments can have a huge positive psychological effect on our mental health, as explained in this article about the benefits of camping. It can also help to reset our body clock, improve health and fitness, and bond with friends and family.

However, when camping is done wrong, the rejuvenating benefits of camping are far fewer and can be the cause of stress! So if you’re a newcomer to camping, here is a few top recommendations to ensure you get it right!

It may seem like alot of stuff to think about, but once you have all bases covered, you will be having amazing camping experiences for years to come!

1) Try Natural Camping

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Yes, camping can sooth mind, body and soul……but not just any camping!

Camping in artificial places like caravan parks doesn’t provide the same benefits as camping in the wild. It sounds like camping, it looks like camping, but it doesn’t feel like camping!

To break the firm grasp of civilisation, we recommend that you try camping in more dramatic natural environments like remote beaches, forests, mountains, snowscapes and deserts. These kinds of places will effortlessly capture your attention.

In doing so, you effectively reset your mind to the pace of the real world, where the only forces at play are the wind, the rain, the sun, the sky and nature. No screens, no ring tones, no traffic, no meetings, no construction….no stress.

2) Leave the Bitumen to Find the Best Camping Areas

As a rule of thumb, you will find the best campsites in the most remote areas, usually at the end of a long dirt track!

Long dirt tracks mean less people, and less people means less rubbish, less pollution and ultimately less stress. Plus, there will be more wildlife to observe and enjoy!

3) Find a Camping Friendly Vehicle

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If you don’t already have a vehicle suitable for camping, then here’s a few hints:

  • Type: If you want to access the best camping areas, then a four wheel drive is your best option. It opens up places which two wheel drive vehicles simply can’t access.
  • 4×4 Style: The style of four wheel drive you choose (for example a wagon or a pick up) should depend on which camping set-up you want, which we explain in more detail below.
  • Key consideration: Storage space. The more the better! A set of roof racks is always a very handy upgrade to expand available storage space and carry stuff you don’t want inside the vehicle. If it’s space you’re after, you could take a look at the SUV tents at https://fourwheeltrends.com and really take your car camping up a gear!
  • Maintenance: To ensure the vehicle remains reliable, keep it well serviced, install a GPS tracker for car and wash it down after every trip!

4×4 TIP: If you haven’t had much experience driving off the bitumen, we recommend easing into it by starting with relatively accessible places. A 4×4 training course can also be very handy!

4) Invest in an Appropriate Camping Set-up

Your camping set-up is your home away from home, either towed or carried by your vehicle. You have a range of options, including:

When deciding which off road camping option is best for you, remember that although some options provide certain camping conveniences (i.e comforts), they can come at a cost (i.e extra weight and thus reduced off road capability)!

This means you need to thoroughly consider the consequences of your options, and try to find the option with the most benefits and the least costs for your particular situation. Some brief examples are provided below:

  • The simplest option: If you’re comfortable living out of a tent, then standard tents and roof top tents provide the cheapest, most simplistic set-ups. However, simplicity can come at the cost of comfort.
  • The most comfortable option: Caravans win this one, but they can also limit your access to the best camping places, due to the difficulties of towing in rough terrain. For the same reason, camper trailers can also be a burden. All the extra running gear (i.e wheels, axles and suspension) are a liability on rough roads.
  • The most balanced option: For a good balance of simplicity, comfort and accessibility, check out slide on campers. They don’t provide quite as much storage space as caravans and camper trailers, but the real benefit is that a light slide on camper will go anywhere your vehicle carries it, and provides far more comfortable protected camping than a tent. Not to mention you are off the ground, away from rattlesnakes, and bears!

Some other questions to ask when choosing a camping setup:

  1. Can it be legally carried or towed by my vehicle (or will it exceed your vehicle’s legal limits)?
  2. Is it sturdy and durable?
  3. Does it have all my required camping facilities?
  4. Is it quick and easy and to set-up and pack up?
  5. Does it provide sufficient weather protection?
  6. Is it easy to store at home?

5) Invest in Good Quality Gear

In addition to your vehicle and primary shelter, it’s important that you take reliable travel and camping gear. We’re talking about things like:

  • A tool kit (spanners, screwdrivers etc.)
  • Vehicle recovery equipment (jacks, shovels, snatch straps, tyre repair kits etc.)
  • Camping gear (headlamps, portable cookers, ropes and pegs etc.)
  • Emergency equipment (first aid, flares, candles etc.)

Talk to any seasoned camper, and you will find they still use and cherish the good quality gear which they bought at the very start of their camping journey!

Plus, good quality gear is cheaper in the long run because you only buy it once!

6) Always Carry Extra Resources

You should always take a few extra days worth of the resources which support life, like food and water. It’s handy to bring along extra fuel as well!

7) Test Everything at Home Before The Real Deal

Before heading off into the never never, test your entire camping set-up at home. This helps to iron out any problems, and will also get you ready to set up camp quickly in bad weather.

8) Use Accurate Travel and Camping Information

Accurate information is essential. When you’re travelling and camping, make sure you get some apps and books to guide you through.

Camping apps are a great way to provide up-to-date info about campsites, access tracks, nearby facilities and attractions, right through to camping meal preparation. Books are an ideal alternative when your device runs out of battery, or you don’t have reception and haven’t downloaded the app’s content offline.

When it comes to weather forecasts and alerts, the most accurate information is the radio. Try not to base your decisions on internet based weather info if possible.

9) Abide by the Campers’ Code

We recommend you learn and practice the following tips. It’s basically about treating fellow campers how you would like to be treated yourself:

  • Drive around campsites very slowly to prevent dust clouds
  • Ask your fellow campers if they mind you camping next to them
  • When setting up your camp, give your neighbours enough room
  • Try not to walk through other camps (unless they block access points)
  • Clean up smelly stuff like bait and fish remains around camp
  • Avoid washing your dirty dishes at public taps
  • Limit nighttime noise (i.e. turn off generators and loud music before dark if possible)
  • Use firewood sparingly
  • Limit disturbance of soil, vegetation and animals around camp
  • Avoid disposing of any grey water into natural water systems
  • Clean up any rubbish on and around your campsite before you leave
  • Smile! Give people a wave, and share the happiness of being out amongst nature!

By following these tips, you ensure that the camping area remains pristine and enjoyable for everyone else! Plus, it’ll top up your karma supply!

10) Pack Everything Away as Soon as You Get Home

Once you’re home, grab a beverage but complete the camping experience by packing it all away.

First, make sure you clean anything that was dirty or wet and let it thoroughly dry. Then pack everything back in a logical, systematic way so it’s all there ready for the next trip. You’ll be thanking yourself in the future, no doubt about it!

Camping Conclusions

That concludes our top 10 recommendations for camping newcomers. By following these recommendations, you open up a world of exciting camping opportunities. And the best part is, you will find the ultimate relief, respite and relaxation from the busy modern world.

Once you experience the rejuvenating benefits of camping done right, you’ll be going back for more every chance you can get!

Good luck and safe travels!

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