Top 12 Camping Tips

Top 12 Camping Tips

After rafting on a whitewater course on the Ocoee River, generally speaking, a camping vacation will be more fun if it is well-planned. Instead of worrying about who left the toilet paper behind or how you’re going to preserve your food to prevent wildlife from taking it, you want to be able to unwind and concentrate on your outdoor experience. To make your next camping vacation as enjoyable as possible, check out our list of the top 12 camping tips. If you want to camp near the Ocoee River, look no further than Outland Expeditions. We are located right outside of Chattanooga, TN. Let us know if you have any more tips you would like to add to our Top 12 Camping Tips!

Test drive your Tent

There is nothing more frustrating than driving all the way to your campground, spending the day hiking and adventuring, and then struggling and racing the setting sun to set up a tent that you are unfamiliar with. Take your tent out of the bag and practice setting it up in your yard before it’s big debut!

Camp close to Home

If you are new to camping, choose a camping spot that is reasonably close to home. We’re not suggesting you give up on your camping endeavor and run back to the comfort of your home when the first snag comes up on your trip. But it is nice to have a retreat within reach if your whole plan goes south. Having to drive for hours after you are already in a bad mood at a ruined camping excursion only adds to the misery and can deter new campers from trying again.

Make Reservations

Find out if campsite reservations are required at the campground you intend to use. Some campgrounds fill up quickly and you’ll need to reserve your space and dates far in advance.

Check out the campground Map

While you are looking at campsite reservations, be sure to check out a campground map. We suggest finding a campsite that is close to a bathroom, but not right next to it! It is also helpful to know where popular recreation areas are in relation to your intended campsite as well as ranger posts and other helpful locations.

Top 12 Camping Tips

Comfortable camp chairs

Purchase comfortable camp chairs. You will be spending a decent amount of time sitting in a camp chair as you prepare food, eat, and relax and the last thing you want is to be uncomfortable during all of it!

Test drive your sleeping gear

Speaking of comfort, make sure your sleeping gear is warm and comfortable. This may be one of our most preached camping tips because nothing ruins an otherwise perfectly good camping trip then a sleepless night due to aches or shivering. Do some research about the climate and common weather patterns of your intended camping site so you know what to expect at night. Sleeping bags, cots, and inflatable mattresses are among a few of the more common sleeping gear set ups. And, like we suggested with your tent, you should consider test driving your sleeping gear out before you take it out for real!

Don’t forget the sunscreen and mosquito repellent

The most important of the Top 12 camping tips is: Sunscreen and mosquito repellent are must-have items. Do not leave home without a good sunblock and bug spray, you are sure to be miserable without their protection! There are countless options for each of these products on the market so you can be sure to find a brand and ingredients that fit your lifestyle.

Meal prep

Meal prep can be a game changer! Try to prepare and pack as much of your meals before you leave home as possible. This will not only save you time and money, but space in your vehicle and cooler as well. Here is a link to a list of easy meals you can prepare ahead of time:

Early check-in

Check into your campground early. The most common check-in time for campgrounds is 3pm, but you should always contact the campground where you’ll be staying to find out for sure. Arriving early will give you plenty of time to set up your campsite before it gets dark.

Safe food storage

Keep coolers and food locked in your vehicle rather than storing it in your tent or, (gasp) leaving it in the open. Your vehicle will serve as protection to keep nighttime critters away from your food. This is an especially important tip to follow if you will be camping in bear country.

Be okay with getting dirty

Remember that dirt doesn’t hurt. Don’t bring your best clothes and don’t expect your kids, animals, friends or even spouse to stay clean. Camping is an immersive experience in nature and no one gets through the experience without a good amount of dirt. The good news is that some campgrounds have shower facilities! If yours doesn’t and you know you won’t be able to stand not showering for a few days, there are lots of portable shower products on the market.

Backup activities

Plan outdoor activities AND back up activities in the event of bad weather. Card games and other indoor (or, in-tent) activities are great options to have on hand if it starts to rain or if someone doesn’t feel well enough to get out and hike. Leave the electronics at home and get creative with old fashioned games, toss a football around, or just take some time to chat and play get-to-know-you games.


Conclusion – Top 12 Camping Tips

Your next, or very first, camping trip will be everything you’re hoping for if you take the time to plan it out and take care of all the important details before leaving home. As always, we encourage campers to also follow the leave no trace rule- leave your campground better than how you found it and pack out everything you packed in. We hope our top 12 camping tips help ease your experience and that you’ll share any additional tips you’ve got with us in the comments!

Book Now

Thanks for reading about our Top 12 Camping Tips for after whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River in Tennessee! Always remember you can check out the middle Ocoee if you are looking for whitewater rafting near Chattanooga. The middle Ocoee is the most popular river trip!

2 replies
  1. Charlotte Fleet
    Charlotte Fleet says:

    Thanks for mentioning the importance of having safe food storage while camping. My family is planning a camping trip for next month. I’ll make sure we get the proper food and cooking equipment beforehand.

  2. Robinson
    Robinson says:

    Hey there! I came across your article on the top 12 camping tips and I must say, it’s an excellent piece of content. As someone who loves camping, I found your tips to be very practical and useful. You covered everything from preparing for the trip to setting up camp, cooking, and even dealing with unexpected situations.

    One tip that stood out to me was the importance of checking the weather forecast before heading out. I’ve made the mistake of not doing this in the past and it resulted in a very uncomfortable and rainy camping trip. Your suggestion of packing extra tarps and ropes to create a rain shelter is a great idea, and something I will definitely keep in mind for future trips.

    I also appreciate your emphasis on Leave No Trace principles. As outdoor enthusiasts, it’s our responsibility to preserve and protect our natural environment. Your tips on proper waste disposal, campfire safety, and respecting wildlife are all crucial for minimizing our impact on the environment. Overall, I think your article is a valuable resource for anyone planning a camping trip, whether they’re a beginner or an experienced camper. Thanks for sharing your expertise!


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