Camping for the first time as an adult is daunting. Especially if your idea of hiking is usually something that gets you back to your hotel room by the afternoon so you can nap, just like me. Well, I don’t nap, but saying ‘watching TV’ doesn’t have the same ring to it…
As it happens, I found myself going camping with the girls on New Years Day. This meant I was facing the wild whilst nursing a slight hangover, it was the perfect storm.
I didn’t have many camping skills, either! My only request was that I sleep in the back of the car rather than a tent – I needed to take baby steps. I need steel between me and any potential wild animals. But I survived and found most of it quite pleasant despite my lack of camping skills!
For any first timers out there, try campaign for one night and ease yourself into it. So here are the top camping survival tips for my fellow adults!
The best camping survival tips for adults
1. Pack the Right Food
I didn’t even know I was going on this trip until a couple of days prior, then New Years Eve happened (plus I was working). So, I found myself having little to no time to prepare. After a frenzied hour of trying to pack everything, I realized I should have given this the same excrutiating research that any Virgo would do when in a ‘fish out of water‘ scenario.
However, since I was short of time, I tried the ‘go with the flow‘ strategy. This meant that I didn’t have my gluten-free food, except gluten-free bread and was ill-equipped with certain condiments that are necessary for basic camping.
Thankfully, my mates had already camped the night before and had brought the basics. But it’s best to pack bread, butter and jam, salt and pepper, biscuits, sandwiches or anything else that you can prepare before you leave. Add in a lighter and marshmallows for the campfire, cutlery, garbage bags and of course plenty of vodka – or just water.
2. Pack your Comforts
I brought lots of tech with me, including:
- Tablet – no matter what the hardcore campers say – this device has all my ebooks on it which means I have something to read just before bed.
- Selfie stick – great for group photos when you are in the bush or don’t have much space.
- Tablet/Smartphone and portable speaker. Listening to nature is great – but occasionally, Taylor Swift is a nice alternative. It may also scare off the wolves if there are any…
- Air mattress – this is something I should have brought along. It’s easy to set up and makes sleeping in a tent or van much more comfortable. You don’t want to wake up with a stiff back and sore neck.
- Something to help you relax – Bring with some wine or beer for relaxing in the evening.
- Wear decent walking shoes in case of hikes or for walking on uneven trails.
3. Bring the Necessities
Bring Aeroguard (insect repellant), sunscreen, a torch, a lantern if you have it for the campsite. It’s also smart to pack a headlamp for when you are walking back to the van/tent/toilet, as well as toilet paper, even though the long drop toilet is an experience.. I also packed warm socks, a lightweight but warm jacket, a towel, and my swimming costume in case you are near a creek or stream, as well as plenty of coffee!
So how did I go on my first camping trip as an adult?
I enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next one-nighter camping journey. Apart from the leeches, which are frightening, I will be more prepared next time with my gluten-free food!