I know you guys will laugh at me when I tell you how I got the camping tips for beginners and gear must-haves, which I bring to each adventure. Actually, I learned a lot the hard way, and I was like: Shit, it’s freezing in here, have I forgotten something to bring with me? Or something like Man, this awesome. I wish I knew it exists before! Anyway, let’s start from the beginning…
When I started this addiction…
It was back in 2015 that I camped for the first time in my life. It was in the golden season and in the Black Forest in Germany. That time I had a tent and a sleeping bag only. On the first day, my wife and I had a long night. By dawn, we were already freezing as the temperature dropped to 4°C. I was too naive to think that a winter sleeping bag would be enough. Yet the cold made it go through it and hit us in the bones…
As I am too lazy to go out and buy the items on-site, I first read about some camping tips and tried to find something suitable on Amazon. It’s crazy what kind of things you could find out there…
First things, first for camping tips for beginners: the backpack! Here is how to choose an adequate backpack for your travels. If you are looking for more
Sleeping Bag: I have the High Peak Winter TR300 Sleeping bag which is really good and can only recommend. You can find buy it directly here.
Tent: My tent is the Coleman Darwin 2. It survived several storms and also a cow-attack 🙂 She has been my first and only shelter till now. I also got it on Amazon right here.
Looking for bigger tents? Then have a look at this nice guide about family tents and how to choose the right one.
How I survive cold nights
So you might have guessed the lessons learned from my first camping experience. Yes, you would also need a mattress for winter camping and maybe also for more comfort in summer while sleeping on rocky ground. I tried several mattresses for a couple of months until I found a great one. It’s really light and takes little space.
If you are a beginner and like snow camping. Think about getting a thermal aluminum cover which you should put in the tent under the mattress. Thus you won’t get your hands and feet frozen as soon as you touch the tent ground 😉
What also happens to me, usually in negative temperature, is that I always struggle to keep my feet warm inside the sleeping back. This was a real challenge for me until I found about foot-warmers. They changed my life 😀
Foot-warmers are like big stickers you put on your socks. They are made of a chemical substance that gets warm for several hours as soon as it touches the air-oxygen.
By the way, make sure you choose the right socks when you of for long hikes to prevent blisters and several days of uncomfortable feeling.
Mattress: So I got the Terra Hiker Mattress from here. It has an integrated pump and you can fill it in with air in few seconds.
Thermal Cover: As a thermal cover, I have this one from Grand Canyon Aluminium Cover which is really light and covers all the tent surface.
Foot-warmers: guess what? They are also on Amazon and not very expensive. Find them here:
Lighting camping tips for beginners? Think also about lights if you are gonna spend a dark night outside or for mountain night-hikes. I bought two pieces. I use one inside the tent and a head torch to cook for wandering around in the dark.
Head Torch: I have this cheap but good head torch from Winzwon which I recommend to you. You can find it here:
Tent-Latern: For the tent, my latern I use is not available anymore but I wouldn’t recommend it anyway because it’s kind of heavy. That’s why I would advice to get this Eletorot lamp (2 x pieces) on amazon right here:
Camping tips for beginners about food
So now the most important part comes. 😉 Let’s speak about food! For the dishes, it’s straightforward. However, it took me actually quite a long until I found a light and good stove. You wanna eat something warm at night. Which is, for me, at least really important on cold mountain nights.
For my vegetarian friends, here is a nice vegetarian camping food guide that could be helpful for you 🙂
I looked for my stove to share with you guys, but unfortunately, it’s not available anymore. But never mind 🙂 Because I have this for you:
Camping Dishes: What I best could find is this dish-set for cooking including a stove head. Available right here.
Stove: If for some reason you wanna buy a separate stove, you can get this one from Zoeson which is really handy and small, right here.
Gas bottles: they always have to be bought separately. You can find them here:
Clothing camping tips for beginners
So now, once you no longer need to worry about food and overnight gear. Let’s talk about clothes. 😉 In the mountains, no matter what the season is, it always gets cold at night. So don’t get surprised if you tell you to bring gloves in July and a thick jacket for windy nights.
By the way, check this nice post if you are looking for some advice about how to choose the right minimalist backpack for travels.
As a newbie, I didn’t experience unexpected and fast-changing weather. I used to look at the weather in the city where I lived and said, well, it’s really hot. I’m gonna go light this time. I ended up freezing at night at 1500 Meters over sea level 😀 I guess you guessed what camping tips I am talking about now!
Here what I have bought on Amazon:
Jacket: Once upon a time I found a good offer for jackets and I got the famous Geographical Norway one for a little cheaper. Always keep an eye on it here:
Trousers: think about buying light and water-resistent ones. I have the Gitvenar one which is really comfortable which you can buy from here.
Gloves: Also think about having water-resistent ones to play with snow when you need to 😉 I got the Vbiges ones. They are here:
Thermal underwear: watch out. Wear them only at night when you go into your sleeping bag. They are really useful in winter. I bought my size also on Amazon right here:
Thermal socks: They have a huge added value to keep your feet warm in negative temperature. You can find mine here:
If you are looking for other good waterproof jackets, take a look at this post. It lists a nice compilation of waterproof jackets that you might like.
Diverse but Important Gear:
Safety is always as important as enjoying the moment. Always bring a first-aid kit with you because you never know what could happen in the mountains where there is nobody and no network. So better be well equipped 😉
One time, we were heading to the alps for winter camping. We had to face some icy paths (like, for example, while crossing Glaciers), and sometimes it becomes dangerous to step on them with normal or water hiking shoes. I always learn the hard way. I found that such a thing does exist: Crampons. Let’s have a closer look:
Crampons: I got mine here. I still believe it’s a good idea to buy it:
First-aid Kit: most important one in my camping tips for beginners. They should be small but extensive. You find my recommendation here:
Last but not least, don’t forget your photography gear and especially your power bank! What I usually bring with me is my Canon 80D camera with my wide-angle lens. I also have 2 spare batteries if I shoot a timelapse at night, which really takes a lot of power. Actually, I recently came across this nice post about some handy photography accessories that make a big difference in your photography activities.
Health and safety are essential when you are in the mountains. Make sure you all have some needed medicines during your hikes.
Last but not least, don’t forget your drone for epic aerial views if you are in a scenic mountain area. But always check the safety and flying regulations in the region you are in. Drones are forbidden in some natural places to protect wildlife. If you are a newbie drone pilot like me, make sure to learn how to fly a drone safely.
This is it, guys! I hope I didn’t forget anything in my camping tips for beginners. In case you are looking for more inspiration to surprise a here are some gift ideas for hikers. If you have something to add, like what tripod to buy, write it in the comments below, and update my article accordingly.
Nomads nation is also doing some nice product reviews. If you would like to buy a good backpack. Check what they are saying about it.
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If you have any questions, I am here and would be glad to help!