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What first-time campers should know

We tackle the topics first-time campers frequently ask about to help ensure your debut adventure is full of great memories (and low on stress).
  1. What to buy

    If you and your loved ones are heading out for the first time, you’ll need to purchase some gear. When it comes to the big stuff, a basic tent, a sleeping bag, a light (fueled or battery) and a cooler are all you really need. You can even grab an old comforter or quilt if you don’t want to invest in a sleeping bag just yet.

    Now, if you’re already sweating over the tent, don’t. The two-pole Coleman® Sundome® tents are inexpensive and easy to put up—even by yourself. You can also consider the Coleman® Instant 8 Tent. It sets up in a minute or less and sleeps eight.

    Taking the time to “practice pitch” whichever tent you buy in your front yard can help eliminate any uncertainty you may feel headed to the campsite.

  2. The campsite is key

    Choosing the right campsite is as important as the kind of tent you buy.

    If you can stay within a half hour of your home, do it. There’s something calming about knowing you can get home quickly should you encounter any frustrations.

    It’s also helpful to find a campsite that’s within 10 or 15 minutes of a convenience or grocery store, just in case you forget a thing or two. And, if you can, go to a campground with experienced campers who can help you with any challenges that may arise.

  3. Pack your appetite—and a plan

    Eating right at the campsite can make all the difference. Plan your meals before you go and remember to pack plates and utensils. So many first-time campers forget these!

    Otherwise, it’s up to you to decide how much work you want to put into preparing your meals. A loaf of bread, some cold cuts, cheese slices and mustard may be the easiest to grab and make.

    If you’re looking for the hot, hearty meal we often associate with camping, pack some pre-pattied burgers, a bag of charcoal and a spatula. Just make sure the campsite you choose has a grill. If you’re more comfortable with a propane grill, pick up a portable one to take along.

    Remember to give it a trial run before you leave home so you know what to expect.

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