America Camping Xplorers

first time

Male Camping List

  • One T-shirts
  • One pair of underwear
  • One pair of pants
  • One pair of shorts
  • One Long-sleeve shirts (for sun, bugs)
  • One hat for shielding the sun
  • One pair of shoes suited to terrain
  • Rain coat (if you are in area of unexpected rain)
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • One jacket
  • One towel & wash cloth
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Sleepwear
first time mistakes


Notify Someone-Let someone know your destination, how far and how long you will be gone. There should also be details left in your vehicles of what trail or campsite you will be at and estimated time of arrival back to vehicle.

Weather- Checking the weather is very important, nature is unpredictable in the mountain, desert and the forest . The weather can often change quickly and dramatically. In general is it good to be prepared for any conditions that you might face by carrying the right gear, checking weather websites, and the park authority for your state.

Test driving your equipment –Take your equipment out at home and set it up. Make sure it functions. You do not want to get to your destination and not know how to use your equipment.

Bring a map/ Guide book/Compass –Understanding the topography is important. Know when and where there are ridges, terrains, sand, river, lakes. Know where the nearest road or phone is located.  

Arriving at Camp Site-Leaving your home on time is critical; you never know what can happen along the way to your adventure. Avoid leaving late so that arriving at a camp site late will not be a spoiler of your trip.

Check Campfire policy-Campfires are a big part of camping; it is the highlight of your trip! Having a campfire is also essential for cooking your food and staying warm. It is very important that you check to make sure where you are going there are fire rings or BBQs pits. Your local fire authority website will have information on the fire bans.

Choosing the Tent Site-Taking the time to choose a site to set your tent up can prevent a lot of disaster’s that could cause your trip to be stressful and filled with frustration. Find a flat and dry space

Animal Dangers – You should be aware of the wild animal threats in the area.

Hydration/ Drinking water – Bring extra water bottles.

Good sleeping bag/Pad-Choosing a sleeping bag with or without insulating materials is important because every person body temperature runs differently. Use some thought on what you buy and know the camping style you are about to embark on.

First aid kit-It is best to bring a first aid kit you made because you can put all the items you think you may need. Aspirin, tweezers, antiseptic ointment, gauze, Band-Aids are just an example.

Extra Layers /clothes-Bring appropriate weather proof clothing in case the weather changes. Be prepared for the unexpected. A well prepared trip could potentially prevent illness.

Securing Food/Bear Canister-Food left out not properly stored could bring havoc to the camp site by attracting animals. Canned food can be kept in a trunk and perfumed items can be kept in a bear canister. Never feed or approach wildlife as it could cost you your life.

Camping Equipment/ Tools-Bring extra equipment like lighters, sun protection, navigation, multi-tool nutrition, head light, duct tape, plastic bags.

Pack it in; Pack it out-Whatever you bring to the campsite you should also leave with it. Leave the site clean. Be respectful of the environment it’s beauty and considerate of other visitors.

full suv with camping supplies

Your First Car Camping Trip

You are planning to go camping for the first time. Or it has been years since you went camping.
For your first camping trip, it should be no more than an hour from your home. Depending on the time of the year, many campgrounds get “booked up” quickly, so once you have decided on a campground, make the reservation right away.
Click for places to camp
For your first camp trip we suggest leaving home early in the morning, staying overnight and leaving camp and heading home the following mid-morning.
Choose a campground that offers amenities such as a camp store, showers and laundry services. Make sure the campsites will have a car parking and camping area with a fire pit or ring, picnic table, a canopy, nearby water tap and toilet facilities.
For activities check for attractions, such as hiking trails, a nature center, and a lake or stream nearby for fishing.
Click for camping activities
What should you bring on your camping trip?
You should start with the things you already have in your home.
One of the first things you will need is a tent. Try to borrow a tent from a friend, buy a used one from the thrift store, or buy a cheap summer tent. Click for information on tents
As a new camper, it is suggested to go to a campsite with at least a wood firepit. Some campsite may have a charcoal Bar B Que grill too. If you do not want to cook with wood or charcoal, you should buy a two – burner propane stove.
For breakfast, scramble some eggs, fry up some bacon, brown some toast on your camp stove, served with orange juice or hot coffee. All the perishable items can be brought and kept cool in a large (get a 48-quart size to start) ice chest, making it easy to transport and store. Keep ice in the plastic bags, it will last longer.
If you have kids, instant hot cereal or cold cereal would be a good choice too.
For lunch cold cuts and chips would to fine. You may not have much time to cook because you might be out enjoying nature or some fun activity.
For dinner hamburger or hot dog would do fine. You can test your cooking over a fire with these two meats. Grilling corn or bake potatoes in aluminum foil will help make your dinner easier.
For snacks you can buy some smores.

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