Essential Wild Camping Tips for Beginners

Wild camping is a wonderful way to get away from the grind of day-to-day living, allowing you to reconnect with nature and truly decompress. No matter if you want to hit a campsite with the family, or sit around the fire with a few friends, nothing compares to the great outdoors.

However, if you are new to wild camping, there are some things you will want to know before you find yourself away from civilization, such as how to pick a campsite, why you should wear a personalized medical ID bracelet for any conditions or allergies you might have, what to do with your food, and other essential beginner’s camping tips.

If you are getting ready to go on your first camping adventure, here are three essential tips for making the trip a success.

Photo by FabricioMacedoPhotos (Pixabay)

Establish Your Goals Prior to Picking a Wild Camping Site

Knowing what you want to get out of your camping trip is essential for understanding how to pick a campsite that will facilitate your aims. Before you decide where to pitch your tent, consider how important the following factors are to you:

  • Level of privacy and seclusion
  • Potential interactions with other campers
  • Proximity to amenities like bathrooms, showers, and potable water, among others

Additionally, it is also critical to think about the types of activities that you are interested in doing on your trip. For instance, are you looking forward to hiking solo, or do you want to sit around fishing with your friends?

Take all of these things and more into consideration when choosing where to go camping.

Look for Level Ground

Once you get to where you are going, you are going to want to seek out flat, grassy areas or gravel pads to set up your campsite. These kinds of areas are going to be the most comfortable and help you get a good night’s sleep.

tent for wild camping
Photo by Asukanda (Shutterstock)

Bring the Right Gear

Unless you want to take the Les Stroud approach to your camping trip, there are some essential items you are going to need to bring along, including:

A Camping Tent

There are a lot of tents out there, so figuring out how to choose the best camping tent for your needs is important. Some things that you will need to think about when selecting a tent include:

  • Capacity
  • Seasonality
  • Style
  • Material

This is just the tip of the iceberg. However, the finer points of tent selection are outside the scope of the piece, so be sure to do your due diligence before buying.

That said, whatever you decide to purchase, it is wise to go with a higher-quality option.

Sleeping Materials

When it comes to sleeping materials for wild camping, you will have to balance comfort and storage space in a way that you deem acceptable. That said, there are several options that you can go with that all walk that line reasonably well.

First is a blow-up air mattress. This option is likely to be the most comfortable and somewhat compact. However, they typically require electrical access to blow up, unless you did so before leaving. In this case, it is far less concentrated and susceptible to holes.

Your next option is a cot. This is an ideal option if you would like to be up and off the ground. However, these are a bit less comfortable than an air mattress, are not very compact, and can be rather heavy.

Finally, there is the sleeping pad. Sleeping pads are the go-to for many campers as they are both reasonably comfortable and compact enough for backpacking adventures.

However, if you are going to get a sleeping pad, it will need to be paired with a sleeping bag. Like tents, choosing a sleeping bag for camping is a topic unto itself. That said, the temperature rating of the one you get should match the climate in which you will be spending most of your time.

As you become a more seasoned camper, you are likely to collect a few different bags for various situations.

Medical Gear

Out in nature, cuts, scrapes, burns, bites, rashes, and the like are common occurrences. Therefore, it is critical to bring along the proper medical gear, such as a basic first aid kit, bug bite kit, and trauma kit.

Additionally, if you have any sort of allergy or medical condition, it is highly advisable that you purchase a medical alert necklace in case anything happens and you are unable to communicate.

drinking coffee while wild camping (
Photo by Pexels (Pixabay)

Cooking Equipment

Cooking gear is an essential piece of camping equipment. In this arena, you can opt to go fancy and get something like a camp chef or rough it and cook using your campfire.

That said, most campers will find a simple two-burner propane stove to be more than enough to meet their needs. In addition to this, don’t forget important items like lightweight pots, pans, eating utensils, and the like.


No matter if you are in a tent or an RV, you will need to bring along some essential toiletries, such as:

  • Toilet paper
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes

Going Wild Camping for the First Time

Going wild camping alone or with family and friends is a wonderful and memorable experience. Just be sure to bring along the basic necessities and you are sure to have a wonderful time around the campfire.

Elena J.

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