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Camping-Guide für Anfänger, Bild: Pixel-Shot / shutterstock

Sleeping Under the Stars: Your Beginner’s Guide to Camping

The freedom of nature, the twinkling of the stars above you, and the calming silence interrupted only by the chirping of crickets – camping offers a unique way to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. For beginners, however, getting started in the world of camping may seem a little overwhelming. This guide is designed to help you make your first camping adventure memorable and stress-free.

1. The right equipment

Camping equipment includes a wide range of equipment needed for outdoor camping. Choosing the right equipment depends on various factors, including camping style, time of year, length of stay, and personal preference. Here is some basic information about camping equipment:

  1. Tent: The tent is one of the most important components of camping equipment. It provides protection from the elements and insects. Tents come in different sizes, shapes, and materials. Some important considerations when choosing a tent include size (how many people it needs to accommodate), weight, pitch time, and weather resistance.
  2. Sleeping bag: A sleeping bag is crucial to sleep warm and comfortable. Sleeping bags are rated by temperature range, so choose one that suits the expected temperatures. There are also sleeping bags in different shapes, such as mummy shape or blanket sleeping bags.
  3. Sleeping mat or air mattress: A sleeping pad or air mattress is used to increase sleeping comfort and insulate you from the cold from the floor. They are available in different thicknesses and sizes.
  4. Cooking equipment: If you want to cook on site, you will need camping stoves, pots, pans, and dishes. There are portable gas stoves, wood-burning stoves, and other options.
  5. Dinnerware and cutlery: Camping tableware and cutlery should be lightweight and durable. There are special camping sets that are made of plastic, aluminum or stainless steel.
  6. Lighting: Headlamps, flashlights or camping lanterns are essential to see in the dark and illuminate the camp. Choose models with long battery life or rechargeable options.
  7. Backpack: A suitable backpack is important, especially when backpacking camping. It should be comfortable to carry and provide enough storage space for your gear.
  8. First aid kit: A first aid kit with bandages, medicines, scissors, tweezers and other important items should always be with you.
  9. Clothing: Pack weather-appropriate clothing that can be worn in layers. Think rain jackets, warm clothes and weatherproof boots.
  10. Tools and accessories: A pocket knife, ropes, pegs, an axe (if allowed), and repair kits for tents and sleeping bags can be helpful.
  11. Environmental protection: Garbage bags and environmental protection products are important to ensure that you don’t leave any trash behind and respect nature.
  12. Maps and navigation: Maps, GPS devices or compasses can help you orient yourself in nature.
  13. Personal equipment: This includes things like a water bottle, sunscreen, insect repellent, toiletries, and personal medications.
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2. Choose a campsite

Choosing the right campsite is crucial for a successful and enjoyable camping holiday. Here are some important factors to consider when choosing a campsite:

  1. Layer: The location of the campsite is of great importance. Consider whether you want to camp in a secluded, natural setting or close to amenities and activities close to the city. Distance to attractions, hiking trails, and other activities can also be important.
  2. Accessibility: Make sure that the campsite is easily accessible, especially if you are traveling with an RV or trailer. Check the road conditions and if there is enough parking.
  3. Equipment and amenities: Check what facilities the campsite offers. This includes toilets, showers, water points, garbage disposal and electricity. Some campsites also offer barbecue areas, picnic tables, fire pits, and playgrounds.
  4. Cost: Clarify the costs of using the campsite, reservation fees and any additional fees for special services. Compare the prices with your budget.
  5. Reservations: Check if the campsite requires reservations or if it is possible to arrive spontaneously. In high season and at popular campsites, especially in France and Italy , a reservation is often advisable.
  6. Camping rules: Find out about the campground’s rules, including quiet hours, campfire regulations, pet regulations, and other regulations. Make sure you respect these rules.
  7. Safety: Pay attention to the safety of the campsite. Check to see if there are emergency equipment, fire extinguishers, and emergency numbers. Also clarify whether there are wild animals in the area and how you should behave in case of encounters.
  8. Nature and Environment: Observe the environmental regulations and protect nature. Do not leave garbage behind, use environmentally friendly products and respect natural resources.
  9. Activities and entertainment: Check if the campsite offers activities or entertainment that suit your interests. This can be hiking, fishing, cycling, water sports or organised activities.
  10. Reviews and recommendations: Read reviews and look for recommendations from other campers to learn more about the experiences of others at this campsite.
  11. Season and weather: Consider the time of year and the expected weather. Some campsites are seasonal or close in winter.
  12. Groups and family: If you’re camping with a group or your family, make sure the campsite has enough space for everyone and is kid or group friendly.

Choosing the right campsite can have a big impact on your camping adventure. By considering these factors and planning carefully, you can ensure that your stay is safe and enjoyable.

3. Safety first

  • Weather: Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Wildlife: Find out about any wildlife that may be present in the area and how you should behave.
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4. Sustainability and respect

  • Garbage: Produce as little waste as possible and take it back with you.
  • Nature: Respect the flora and fauna. Stay on the trails and do not pick plants.
  • Noise: Be considerate of other campers and wildlife.

5. Clothing and weather

Choosing the right clothing when camping is crucial to being comfortable and safe in nature, regardless of the weather conditions. Clothing should be worn in layers to adapt to changing conditions. Here’s a list of clothes you should definitely pack when camping:

  1. Base layer (underwear):
    • High-quality functional underwear made of breathable material that wicks sweat away from the skin to keep you dry and warm.
  2. Middle layer (insulation):
    • Insulating clothing such as fleece sweaters or jackets that retain heat but are breathable at the same time.
  3. Outer layer (protection from the elements):
    • A waterproof and windproof outer layer that protects against rain, snow and wind. This can be a rain jacket, a hardshell jacket or a weatherproof jacket.
  4. Slacks:
    • Durable, water-repellent pants or thermal pants for extra insulation. Hiking pants with removable legs can come in handy in changing temperatures.
  5. Headgear:
    • A warm hat or headband to protect your head from the cold. A sun cap or a wide-brimmed hat provides protection from the sun.
  6. Gloves:
    • Warm, water-repellent gloves or mittens to protect hands from cold and moisture.
  7. Socks:
    • High-quality, moisture-wicking socks made of merino wool or synthetic material. In cold weather, you may also want to wear an extra layer of thinner socks.
  8. Walking shoes:
    • Sturdy, waterproof hiking boots or boots with good grip and a non-slip sole that offer grip on different surfaces.
  9. Other accessories:
    • A scarf or buff scarf to protect your neck and face.
    • Gaiters to keep water, snow and dirt out of the shoes.
    • Rain cover for the backpack to keep gear dry in the rain.
    • Swimming or neoprene shoes for water activities or humid conditions.

Keep in mind that the weather can vary greatly depending on the location and season. Therefore, plan accordingly and adapt your clothing to the specific requirements of your camping trip. It is better to carry too many layers with you and be able to take them off when necessary than to be inadequately prepared and uncomfortable.

6. Food and drink

  • Store: Pack enough food and water. Consider the duration and nature of your activities.
  • Preservation: Think of a refrigeration option for perishable food.

7. Entertainment and activities

  • Hikes: Explore the area on foot and enjoy nature.
  • Games: Pack board games, cards, or other outdoor games for fun evenings.

8. Health and well-being:

  • First aid: A well-equipped first aid kit and basic knowledge of first aid are essential.
  • Awning: Remember to bring sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat.