Outdoor Life

All my life, I’ve been kind of a “couch potato.” I’m not really proud of that, but it’s true! I’ve always loved video games and TV and just being inside with the air conditioning and the comfortable couches and beds. I don’t think that’s so crazy, but I would like to get out a little more. One thing I’ve been considering is camping.

However, I’ve never been camping before, so I’m a little apprehensive. I also don’t have any friends who camp–my friends are willing to go with me, but it’s not like they have a lot of advice to share. The stuff I read online can be a little intimidating. Experts, can you give me a crash course in camping?

Don’t be intimidated–camping is for everyone! While there are great things about backpacking and true back-country camping, there are also plenty of camping options that are better-suited to first-timers like yourself.

In fact, you don’t even have to start out with tents and backpacks, point out the pros at The Mill Casino, Hotel, & RV Park, which you can visit if you travel to North Bend, OR. Recreational vehicles, which can be rented as well as purchased, are a comfortable and fun way to explore out-of-the-way places and great outdoor spots, from national parks to resorts and casinos like The Mill. Campsites equipped for RVs will have things like water and power hookups, so that you can “rough it” without having to go without your creature comforts. Getting into RVing is very easy!

The next step up from there, “roughing it”-wise, would be to camp in an established campground in a tent. Big campgrounds are designed to keep camping fun–not challenging. You’ll often have access to running water, showers, bathrooms, and other comforts. You may be able to buy firewood, and you’ll find fire pits and fire rings in many campgrounds. These family-friendly sites are the perfect place to pitch a tent for one, two, four, or even more–things like the weight of your tent won’t matter much, since you can often drive right to the campsite. Called “car camping,” this form of camping requires very little gear. You’ll want a first-aid kit, of course, but other than that, you need little more than a tent, sleeping bag and perhaps a ground pad, and a bin or cooler for food and drinks.

Of course, as you camp more often, you may find yourself getting “gear fever” and investing in more camping equipment: camp stoves, lighter tents for backpacking trips, and so on. Hike-in, hike-out campsites are your next level, and you might even find yourself looking for leave-no-trace backpacking and camping options. Ask around at resorts, camping stores, and hiking forums for ideas, say experts who recommend camping around Hervey Bay.

However, that can be a long way off for you, so don’t be intimidated! Buy an affordable tent at a big-box store or online, or rent an RV. Visit an established campsite for a one-night trip or a weekend. Build up your skills, starting with simple grilled food over fires and big, heavy, affordable tents. Bring a first-aid kit and other safety basics, but don’t worry about advanced and pricey hiking and camping gear. You’ll have plenty of room to grow as a hiker and camper, and plenty of time to decide if that’s the direction your passion is taking you. Don’t worry about what you know – just go camp!

I’ve never found time spent amongst nature to be a waste of time.” – Unknown

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