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13 of the Best Camping Tips with FREE Camping Checklist Printable

by Elyse V

It’s the end of May, the temperature is rising, and we are officially into camping season. After a few years of Staycations, where camping and other vacations were on hold due to Covid, we are sharing 13 of the best camping tips just in case you’re a little rusty. If you’ve ever gone camping, you know preparation is everything.

I mean, if you don’t prepare to go camping, you’re going to be one unhappy camper (pun intended). To avoid this, we thought we’d also include a free camping checklist printable to make this camping season the best yet.

13 of the Best Camping Tips for Camping Season 2022

1. Know what amenities you need/want and then research your Campground.

This is first and foremost. Make a list of the amenities you require and then research campgrounds to find the ones that have the most amenities from your list. There are campsites with bathrooms, showers, running water, electricity, fire/cooking pits, and picnic tables. Some even have beach/lake access for swimming nearby. This really should be completed/booked as early as possible as Campsites go fast. Hint: Confirm if the campgrounds have any restrictions at the same time like alcohol, fire, pets, noise/music, and/or curfews at the same time.

2. Research the surroundings.

Once you have decided on a campground, learn what type of animals are in the area so you can be prepared for a sighting. You should also research what type of plants grow in the area and if there are any poisonous plants to be avoided. It is also a good idea to brush up on traditional poisonous plants like poison ivy and poison oak to be able to avoid them.

3. Perfect campsite location.

Once you decide on your campground, you want to choose a campsite that is close to as many amenities as possible. Having said that, you don’t want a campsite too close to the bathrooms or you will be disturbed throughout the night. Again, try to book your campsite as early as possible.  

4. Decide a layout for your campsite.

Ideally, you want your campsite on flat ground and cleared of excessive rocks, roots, and sticks that could make sleeping difficult. You also want a good tree so you can hang a tarp and a line for somewhere for things to dry. Hint: The tarp should be hung after the tents as it can protect you from rain and sunlight.

5. Designate areas of your campsite.

Designate an area for eating, an area for sleeping, and an area for hanging out and make sure these separate areas are maintained.

6. Camp Test and Set-up.

Be sure to do a dry-run and set-up your campsite prior to arriving at your campsite if possible. The purpose of this is to make sure that there are no surprises. You don’t want to realise something is wrong with your camping gear at the campsite.

Also, be sure to arrive to the campground in plenty of time to set-up your campsite in daylight. You don’t want to rush against the setting sun to get set up so be sure to arrive early.

7. Food Planning.

You have to menu plan for camping just as you do when not camping. This is especially true if catering to speciality diets like vegan or gluten free. The more food you can cook and store ahead of time, the less critter attracting mess that will be around your campsite. Here are some examples of make-ahead gluten-free camping recipes that can be cooked at home and stored in chilled bins until ready to eat.

8. Food Storage.

Food must be kept in sealed bins because food tends to attract a variety of critters on a campsite. Plastic bags or containers with easy to remove lids will not work. Purchase these bins ahead of time and pack your food before leaving home.

9. Use Doritos as kindling.

I know this is going to sound impossible but if your fire won’t start, you can use Doritos or Fritos instead. I’m not sure if it’s the oil contained in them or the texture, but they are easy to light and will last. Worse case scenario, if you don’t use them as kindling, you can always eat them as a snack. Hint: Adding bundles of sage to the fire will keep mosquitos away.

10. Find a good All-Purpose Unscented Liquid Soap.

You can replace all the individual soaps (body wash, shampoo, dish soap) with a good, natural unscented soap like Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Soap! You can even use this soap to shave and wash laundry (if needed). An all-natural soap takes the worry out of contaminating the campsite environment. This is just one way to help the environment and help protect our planet. Click here for  6 easy changes to make for Earth Day and beyond.

11. Be prepared for whatever comes your way.

Invest in a well-stocked, portable first aid kit that has everything you could need for common ailments/injuries and is also a mini-medicine cabinet. You’d need antiseptic, ibuprofen, Tums, Band-aids, antihistamine, an EpiPen, etc. You never know when you’ll get a crazy headache or wake up with an injury or allergic reaction. Also, depending on where you’re camping, pack a bear spray and a pepper spray for safety measures!

12. Bring boardgames, a few decks of cards, puzzles, a book.

Although there is a bit of work that goes into camping, there is also a lot of downtime. If the weather is not good – or if it rains – you will definitely need something to fill the time. A good board game or puzzle or card game could be exactly what’s needed. Or even if you are relaxing, you might appreciate having a book or magazine to leaf through.

13. Leave No Trace Behind

At the end of your camping trip, make sure you clean your area and leave no traces that you had been there behind. Avoid disposables. Use a camping dish set (for example). It’s the least we can do for Mother Earth. She give us so much.

Free Camping Checklist Printable

Click the button below to view, download, or print the free camping checklist printable. It consists of 3 sections: Shelter and Protection, Personal Care and Comfort, and Kitchen and Cooking. There is also a blank checklist for you to customize to suit your needs.

We hope this list of 13 of the best camping tips and free camping checklist helps your camping trip go off without a hitch.

Are you going to be going camping this season? What amenities do you look for? Do you have any tips we should add to our list? Let us know in the comments so we can add them to our list.

Whoever said “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail” might have been thinking about camping. Have fun.

See you around the campfire.

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