First time camping: Budget friendly tips & gears

boy and girl reading on a tablet under the stars in front of a yellow tent

You can say that I got a little late to have my first time camping experience but it came out to be perfect. In fact, camping is a continuous learning experience and is the art of surviving in the wilderness in its true sense. Every time you go out camping, you would find something new, which would make your next experience better. But if you are going to have your first time camping experience then, there are certain things that you definitely need to survive without the comfort of your home.

First Time Camping Place

This is probably the most important aspect, which will dictate the rest of the things that you need. As a first timer, you could get excited to find something in pure wilderness, but it could get you in trouble if you have no previous experience. Why am I saying this? I will share my personal experience about it later in this post.

Moreover, in most of the countries, it is not allowed to do camping wherever you want. There are strict forest rules and therefore do a proper research before deciding upon a place. I live in Germany and was lucky to find a place which was in nature but was not too far from the civilization. Check out more about the hiking and camping options in Beuron.


Bring Some Games

Depending on how well you are prepared, you might have a lot of time to spend with your loved ones at the camping place. It’s fun to play some “no internet required” games in the true natural setting. If space and weight are the constraints for you then, frisbee and cards are the two top items that come to my mind.


First Time Camping: Gears You Need

(Check out my handpicked, budget-friendly camping gears at BEST DEALS page)

Tent: This is the most important gear for camping and your first time camping experience will mostly depend on the quality and performance of your tent. If you search on Amazon, there is a huge range of tents starting at $20-30 and goes up to a few hundred dollars. Out of this huge range, it’s difficult to choose the one which is just right for you. Generally, you need to consider the following things while selecting a tent:

  1. Weight: If you are going to carry it in your backpack then, go for the ultralight category, which is expensive
  2. Water resistance: Take something more than 5000mm to be sure
  3. Size: Commonly, the tents come for 2-4 persons
  4. Stability: This is important and therefore, choose a tent considering the weather conditions at your campsite

Cooking System: Ok, now you have a shelter and the next important thing is to eat. It’s not necessary to cook if you are going for an overnight stay but it’s fun and provides the complete experience to cook your own meal at the camping site. Basically, you need to have the fire to prepare food and there are several options to have it. As a matter of fact, you can choose to use woods to have a bonfire and can use it to prepare food. But in my opinion, the cheapest, safest and the most uncomplicated way is to use Butane gas. You need to buy a butane gas cartridge and a burner to mount above it. MSR is a well-known name in this category but you can easily get the complete set under $20 (Check Price on Amazon).

Sleeping Bags: Not to mention, it can get really cold in the night. Therefore, you need a proper rating sleeping bag. The sleeping bags are generally categorized by three temperature values “Comfort range”, “Limit” and “Extreme”. But you mainly need to focus on the “Comfort range” temperature rating. I used AbcoSport (Check Price at Amazon) sleeping bag, which has a comfort rating of 0-5 degree Celsius and I was perfectly alright in surviving the moderately cold night of September month in Germany.

Camp Pad (or Mat): Some people consider it as an extra burden but I suggest you get one because the performance of your sleeping bag depends on the quality of mat also. In addition to providing an extra layer between you and the cold ground, a good quality camp mat also provides you with some extra comfort to sleep on the hard ground. Again there are several categories in it and you can decide based on your budget and the comfort you need. I chose an inflatable mat (Check price on Amazon), which was very light, small and comfortable.

Cooking Pot: As I said before, its fun to cook your own food while camping. At least a morning coffee is must to have to kick in some freshness after sleeping on the hard ground. Therefore, buy yourself a simple cooking pot (Check price on Amazon), which you can also use as a coffee mug.

Ready To Eat Food: Keep some ready to eat food for an emergency. Unfortunately, my butane gas cartridge and the burner had different threads and could not go along together. Fortunately, there was another family doing camping beside us and rescued us by offering their fire. That’s why I said earlier, don’t try to go camping all alone, at least for the first time.

Headlamps (or Lantern): This has numerous benefits. Some of the benefits include; going to an unlit toilet, fixing your tent in the night, and much more. Moreover, some lantern come with an inbuilt mosquito killer, which is an additional benefit (Check price on Amazon).

Foldable Chairs: This is not necessary but if space is not a problem for you then its great to sit on a chair while enjoying the natural beauty and sipping your coffee.

Water Tank: This provides some extra comfort to manage your water needs in an organized way. Whether you need water to cook your food or to wash your hands, a small price water tank is quite handy for such small things.

Camping Gears at Amazon

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