Tips for First-Time Campers

Going on your first camping trip? Great Choice!

Staying outdoors may seem stressful if you haven’t done it before, but with a little experience it is one of the best ways to relax and get closer to nature. We want everyone who camps in Mammoth Lakes or anywhere else to have a blast, so the ASO Mammoth team is sharing our best tips for first-time campers here.

Read all about it below, then visit the ASO Mammoth shop for the best outdoor gear and rentals in Mammoth Lakes!

Lay Down a Tarp Under Your Tent 

A tent is one of the most important pieces of camping gear you’ll own, so when you find one you love you’ll want to take care of it.

One of the best ways to do that is by laying down a tarp over wherever you intend to set it up. For starters, a tarp will keep your tent clean which makes a big difference when you’re packing or unpacking it.

Secondly, a tarp will keep things like rocks from damaging the bottom of your tent while you’re standing or laying in it.

Lastly, a tarp will put a layer between you and the dirt on the ground. That may not seem like a big deal at first, but all it takes is one experience where you camp in the rain to know how important it is to keep water from seeping into the floor of your tent.

Place Your Tent on Level Ground 

Before you even lay your tarp down though, make sure you’re placing it on level ground.

Setting up your tent at a slight angle may not seem like a big deal at first, but once you can’t sleep since you’re constantly sliding downhill it will become a very serious problem. Most campgrounds have level camping plots, but if you’re backpacking or dispersed camping then you’ll have to choose your plot, so choose wisely!

Know Your Sleeping Needs

One of the biggest challenges of camping is sleeping comfortably. After all, if you’re camping in a developed area then food and supplies are likely nearby, but a comfortable bed will not be.

Sleeping pads and the right sleeping bag will help keep you warm and give you some cushion from the ground, but if you know you have trouble sleeping on hard surfaces then plan ahead by using a cot or other sleeping set-up to stay comfortable. If nothing else works, you can also rent a cabin or try glamping!

Start with a Three Season Tent

A three-season tent is one that is designed to keep the occupants comfortable in spring, summer, and fall.

Their design makes them versatile and comfortable to use throughout most of the year, so if you’re new to camping then they will help you explore more areas and environments!

Follow Fire and Wildlife Rules

Depending on the season and area, there may be rules regarding fires and wildlife at your campground.

For example, during fire season campfires may not be allowed, or you may be required to leave all of your food in a bear locker due to bears in the area. No matter what your area’s current rules are, check ahead of time to make sure you’re ready to follow them!

Use New Gear Once Before Your Trip

Lastly, make sure you know how to use any new gear before your camping trip. For example, you may want to practice setting up your tent or starting a fire with your fire-starting kit to make sure you can do it quickly once you’re actually camping!